After I took my final bow, I knew I would never be more proud. Leaving my home was going to be one of the hardest things I would ever have to do. This entire experience reminded me of why I joined theater in the first place. Seeing the kids work so hard and have the time of their lives brought back so many memories. It helped remind me to never lose sight of what I love and to never give up on my dream. I will never forget that after our last show one other actor in the cast came up to me and said, "You inspire me. Thank you." That was, by far, the best thing anyone could ever say to me.
With the kids being by my side everyday, I now see how they experience the world. Even at a young age, kids can develop passions very fast. I have never seen kids work so hard and have so much fun at the same time in one experience. Besides them all having insane talent, they also had motivation. Being Maria in this show brought the mom side of me out and I took them in as my own. They made me extremely proud every day and when I had to say good bye, I cried as I hugged them all. I will never forget this experience because I made relationships that can't ever be replaced and I was reminded of who I was and where I wanted to go in life.
After it was all said and done, I definitely learned that working with kids is super fun, but also super exhausting! They have so much energy that I wish I still had, but I learned how to keep up with them. As far as the show goes, I learned that there are times in your life where you must climb every mountain until you find your dream. I am to the point in my life where I must say good bye to many beloved friends as I make my way into college. It's sad and scary, but also exciting. I made so many friends during this experience and if I could do the show all over again, I would try to make even more friends and have more proof on how theater truly does affect people.