Today I’m not posting a poem or a short story like I normally do because I was having a conversation with my dad that conjured up some pent-up emotions that I didn’t realize existed anymore. My dad and I were talking about my high school teachers and experiences. The most important part of high school for me was the plays and musicals that I performed in, acting kept me going. I started to talk about one of my high school directors who led the shows for two years, Ms. B. I didn’t get along with Ms. B, I don’t really know if anyone did. I had a problem with her because she would always talk about the kids in her acting classes like they were superior to the rest of us who only did the shows. I always found this particularly insulting because it wasn’t my fault I couldn’t take her acting classes in the first place, my honors schedule wouldn’t allow it. Another thing that bothered me was I didn’t doubt my acting skills, I am not cocky and I’m not an extremely confident person but I am confident in my acting capabilities. One day I sat down with her to tell her that the way she spoke to us, as though the kids in her acting classes were better, was insulting and hurtful. She looked me straight in the eye and said “Well, I’m sorry Rachel but it’s the truth. You will not compare to the kids in my acting classes. You can’t be as good as them.” I had never been so infuriated in my entire life. Her words stung and I still reflect on that conversation to this day.
Thankfully, the day came when Ms. B announced that she would be leaving us for another school and I didn’t shed a single tear. When school started back up, we had a new and young director who I will call “Ms. Q”. Ms. Q was spontaneous and cheerful, constantly lifting us up and encouraging us to be our best. In my senior year of high school, I got the role of my dreams, Lydia Lansing in Shakespeare in Hollywood. Lydia Lansing was a spunky, obnoxious actress who was trying to make it big. She was the comedic, leading-lady role I had always hoped for. While we were rehearsing in full costume during tech week, I noticed Ms. Q watching from the audience and snapping pictures of us on stage. I didn’t think anything of the pictures or wonder at all about what she was planning to do with them. Finally, the day of the first show arrived and I was beyond ecstatic and ready to perform. When we walked into the dressing room to get ready, there were little gift bags waiting for us at our tables. Inside of my gift bag was a magnet with a picture of me, as Lydia Lansing, decked out in a full-length, sparkly dress with the words “And though she be but little, she is fierce” printed on the picture. Ms. Q took the time out of tech week to take individual pictures of each member of the cast and tech crew. She made everyone magnets with their photo and an individualized Shakespeare quote that she believed resembled them the best. When I told my dad about all of this, I started to cry. This happened over a year ago and I can still get emotional about it today. Ms. Q gave me my confidence back after it had been severely damaged from two years with Ms. B.
I hope you took the time to read all of this because the message is very important. Show kindness to everyone, be encouraging and lift people up because you don’t know how badly they may need it. I know that I will meet plenty of amazing people in my life but no matter how many years pass or how many people come and go, I will always remember Ms. Q.