My Love for Performing


Olive Ritchie, Co Assistant Editor

I don’t remember a time when performing wasn’t a part of my life. I started when I was around four, and since then, I’ve tried a bit of everything, from playing instruments to dancing to acting. Even though not everything stuck, I still enjoyed most everything I tried. Performing has always made me feel as though I was part of something bigger than myself for at least a few minutes. Although everything I’ve tried has been rewarding and challenging in its own way, I’ve learned and grown from all of these experiences.

The first thing I did was dance. I started when I was 4, and at the beginning I loved every minute of it. I did every type of dance that I could; ballet, tap, contemporary and hip hop were the ones I remember doing the most. I was never particularly good at it, but I didn’t care. I had fun going to the rehearsals, and I absolutely loved dancing onstage at the recitals. Eventually, by around sixth grade, I stopped dancing because I stopped liking it, but I still learned a lot about how to be onstage and how to stage fright. 

At the beginning of first grade, I started taking piano lessons. My motivation for practicing has fluctuated, but my love for playing never stopped. Being able to sit down and express emotion by simply tapping keys is an indescribable feeling. Since I’ve been playing for so long, I’ve done a lot of concerts. Personally, it was hard to go onstage and play by myself at first. I never really had any experience with anything like that before then, and I was nervous to go onstage. I made mistakes, but it was ultimately alright. I had fun, and I learned how to be onstage alone. I also gained a hobby that I can have for the rest of my life.

I learned a lot from piano lessons, but one thing I didn’t learn was how to play an instrument with a group. As soon as I was allowed, I started playing flute in middle school band. Obviously, it was really different from playing piano, but I jumped in head first. Since I already knew how to read music, I could focus solely on learning how to play, so I got in the groove of it quickly. I loved band, and did as much of it as I could. I did jazz band as an extracurricular, and I auditioned for all the honor bands. I learned a lot about teamwork by being in band. To be successful, I had to learn to listen to other people and adjust what I was doing to fit into a large group. I feel like it helped me learn to focus on people other than myself. It also helped deepen my love of music and performing. 

I’ve always really loved being in plays; I even enjoyed being in the silly little annual school plays. I did a bit of acting when I was younger, but I really started to get into it when I started high school. Even during middle school, I knew I wanted to join SHS’s drama club. I’ve had so much fun during the three shows I’ve done with SHS, and it has really helped me with confidence. I’ve realized that it made it easier for me to speak up for myself.

Throughout my life, performing has become an integral part of my identity. It has shaped so many aspects of my personality and how I present myself. No matter what happens in my life, I’ll be able to rely on what I’ve learned from how to perform: work hard, be confident, and have fun!