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Pencil Shavings | Tessa Blair

Photo credit: Bobby Jones

The random man in the car next to me is looking my direction, a look of confusion and concern on his face. I don’t stop though. You can’t just stop singing at the climax of “Defying Gravity.” Besides, why should he care if I’m belting broadway tunes in my car on the way to school?

After almost 13 consecutive years of choral performances, musical rehearsals, and line memorizations, performing arts isn’t a habit that is easy to break.

When I graduated from high school, my biggest fear was that I would be leaving the performing arts behind. Performing was a part of me, it was a defining characteristic of who I was. Without theatre, who would I be?

My first semester of college began. I decided I would hold off on auditioning for a musical or play or choir; I wanted to get settled into college before piling my work plate too high. “Next semester, I’ll find something,” I told myself.

Four and a half semesters have gone by and the closest I’ve gotten to being on stage is one choir rehearsal with a choir where the next youngest person besides me was 30 years older, and a course titled Theater Practices, Politics, and Social Justice in which there were eight students.

My high school fear has come true. Although, it isn’t as bad as I expected it would be.

While I would still love to be in an other musical and my search for a performing arts community has not ended, these four and a half semesters have not been at all wasted.

I’ve found community in the University Honors and Leadership program (UHL), the business school, and this wonderful newspaper. I have met some amazing people who I might not have met otherwise. Though I don’t get to express myself onstage, I get to express myself to all of CU Denver through these 350 words every week.

I was scared to find out who I would be without the performing arts, but it turns out there was nothing to be afraid of. There will always be a part of me dedicated to the performing arts, however. And until I find a bigger stage to join, I still get to put on a performance for any car lucky enough to stop next to me at a red light.

Tessa Blair
Tessa Blair

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