During March oflast year, I was sitting in the audience of the opening night of a musical thatI wrote. I remember sitting there, watching my songs and my music, being sungfor 100 people. Each time the audience would applaud, it was a feeling like noother.

It is one thing to perform someone’s material and a completely differentfeeling to have someone perform what you wrote. That moment, I can say, trulychange my life.Remembering backto the first few weeks of the program, our mentors would ask us to go home andwrite. This sounded like a fairly easy task to someone who hadn’t writtenbefore, but it was very difficult in the beginning. Whenever I would write, Iwould feel like my scene was amazing while working on it – a true stroke ofgenius. Then I would come back the next morning and find myself wanting tocompletely rework it. It’s natural to question your work and it’s an importantpart of the creative process, but it becomes a problem when you let itinterfere with your creativity.At the beginningof our meetings we would go around the table and share what we had brought in.

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Iwas hesitant about sharing because I wasn’t confident in my work. I would makeup excuses for why I couldn’t share, “I had a lot of homework”, or, “I couldn’tthink of anything”. I blurted out these responses while knowing that I had afolder on the desktop of my computer filled with writings. I was so scared offailing in front of people who I thought were better than me that I just didn’ttry. I realize now that the reason they were improving and becoming “betterthan me” was because they were sharing their work, the good and the bad. Once Istarted sharing, I saw monumental growth in my writing ability. I was just asgood as all the people who I sat next to at the writers table, it just took mea little longer to realize that.

On opening night,I looked at the show not as a writer anymore but as an audience member andfound that the show was actually pretty awesome. I can honestly say – thatmoment changed my life. Over the course ofthis program and last year, I learned that I should never censor myself in fearof failure. Failure is how I grow. I can never learn from my mistakes if Idon’t make any.

I need to continue to push myself and take chances becausesuccess that results from taking a chance is the most rewarding. I know thatfear will never disappear, but I must acknowledge it and choose to overcome it.            Lookingahead to 2018, I want to continue this upward trend of creativity andconfidence. I want to be able to present my ideas and think not about how muchpeople will judge me, but how much I can improve if I share. I can apply thisto school, theatre, and my social life.