I was a very shy kid: never wanted to read aloud in class, always slouching in my chair when teachers were calling on kids to answer questions, barely singing in choir hoping my voice didn’t stand out during concerts, just trying my best to blend in. Aside from the occasional elementary school play that had mandatory participation, I was never involved in theater growing up. The idea of being the only one speaking on stage in front of hundreds of people terrified me!
That being said, my stage fright and general shyness never stopped me from enjoying musical theater. One of my first loves in life was the Broadway show Annie and the subsequent movies that followed. I must have watched the 1982 film at least four to five times a week for years. The music would play over and over in my head constantly. In middle school, our choir performed several musical theater medleys including songs from Wicked, Rent, Spring Awakening, and Dream Girls. Whenever we got the chance to sing from one of these musicals, my heart would light up! Cut to my junior year of high school when I was desperately searching for volunteer opportunities to put on my college applications, I stumbled upon a listing posted by The American Repertory Theater at Harvard University needing volunteer ushers for a new musical written by Sara Bareilles. Being the ultimate Sara B fan, I immediately signed up.
That first performance sitting in the audience of Waitress the Musical, seeing it make its world premiere, was one of the most defining moments in my life. I can’t even begin to describe the feeling I had sitting there watching the cast take their bows. The sense of belonging was one I had never felt before. The atmosphere of live theater is electrifying. I already knew I wanted to study communication, but from that moment on I knew I wanted to work in entertainment and promote and advocate for art that I believe in.
I’ve been able to have some incredible experiences since my career in entertainment began. I’ve been able to return to the A.R.T. and work as a Public Relations Intern on their team learning the ins and outs of how to promote brand new shows and the process of getting those shows to Broadway. I participated in a program through Boston University and spent five months in Los Angeles, in order to immerse myself in the heart of entertainment. In L.A. I was able to work at CBS Television as the Entertainment Diversity and Inclusion intern. From the connections I made at CBS, I was able to work as a Production Assistant on the Tony Awards in 2019. Like many other people, I grew up watching the Tonys with my mom every year. We watched and loved every award show, but the Tonys were always the most fun and inspiring to watch. Working tirelessly in the days leading up to the day of the show, and then to see all of our work come to life, in the end, was one of the greatest experiences of my professional career.
In June of 2019, three days after the Tonys wrapped, I started as a Press Intern at a Broadway PR house called DKC/O&M. After looking up to so many Broadway Press Representatives that got their start at DKC/O&M, it was a dream come true to work there. I was able to work on shows like the revival of Oklahoma!, Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, Sea Wall/ A Life, and many more. Getting to work on shows that meant so much to me, and seeing them, in turn, mean so much to others was incredible. Broadway was where I was meant to be.
After graduating from college in the midst of a pandemic, I felt lost in terms of what my next steps were going to be. Broadway, and theater in general, was shut down with no end in sight, the entertainment industry as a whole was experiencing a standstill, and I was a recent graduate entering a job market that was saturated with people who were older and more experienced than I was applying to the same positions. However, there was a beacon of light amidst all of the darkness, there was Broadway Plus. Working on the team at Broadway Plus has been one of the greatest opportunities I could have ever asked for. Being able to work with artists and provide Broadway experiences for both artists and fans alike has been an amazing thing to not only be a part of but just to witness. Working with this team of people and on a service that brings so much joy to everyone involved has been a savior to me throughout this time.
When you’re growing up and starting school, everyone emphasizes the importance of finding your purpose in life. It seems like an overwhelming task to so many people. How can you possibly begin to find your passion and a career that you want to spend a good portion of your life doing? I don’t believe people need to go out and find their purpose as quickly as possible. I think the whole concept of finding your purpose needs to be retired honestly because I believe that your purpose will find you when you’re ready for it. I never would have predicted in a million years my career to be what it is now, but I was open to new experiences, opportunities, connections, and thankfully theater found me. So be open to everything, any new jobs or people you meet, because you never know what may happen! You may very well end up stumbling upon the thing you love most in life; your purpose.