I Heart the Arts

B&B cast

The cast of Calvary Christian Academy’s production of “Beauty and the Beast”

I have been thinking a lot about the arts lately – probably because, at our school, we just finished a fantastic production of “Beauty and the Beast”. And in thinking about the arts, I have realized just what an incredible impact the arts had on my education, on shaping who I am. I was involved in plays, in choir, in drama as far back as I can remember. Whether in church, school, or community theaters, I had the amazing privilege of growing up surrounded by people for whom the arts were valued. And, therefore, I felt valued.

I wasn’t really a “well-rounded” kid. Not that my parents didn’t try — they did. I spent a season in soccer only to make one goal: for the other team. I played one season of softball and in all my at-bats, the closest I ever came to hitting the ball was when I tipped it and the ball went flying backward. I was in dance for a few years. Until my teacher got fed up with me trying to tap in my toe shoes. And trip over my laces. And “standing like a wet noodle.” I took piano for a while, too. But I am not coordinated (see above examples), so I never could make my left hand do something different from my right hand. School wasn’t my thing. I hated math and just barely tolerated all the other subjects. I graduated high school with a 3.3, and  that was just fine with me.

But I loved performing. I loved singing and acting. I loved being on stage. I even loved being backstage. I ran lights, sound, worked as stage manager, ticket collector, anything they’d let me do. I spent more time at my town’s community theater than I ever did at school. And I loved every minute of it.

This is me (age 17) as the Wicked Stepmother in "Snow White"

This is me (age 17) as the Wicked Stepmother in “Snow White”

And what benefit did I gain from that? I learned to love stories. I learned to work with others. I learned that speaking in front of large groups isn’t that scary. As I grew in my relationship with God, I learned humility, the importance of putting others before myself, the necessity of working as a team. I learned that God gave me the talent that I have, and I can feel His pleasure when I use it.

I am sure I would be a very different person today if it weren’t for the arts. I would feel like a failure – someone who strikes out at home plate, who can’t make a goal, who can’t play piano, who can’t understand theorums. There could have been a lot of “can’ts” in my life. There were! But I wasn’t bothered by them because I had plenty of opportunities to do things I “can.”

That is why I teach arts’ classes, why I volunteer with the arts in church and in the community, why I value the arts. Because the arts are valuable, and they are fun; they are God-given abilities that can be used to help make our churches, schools, and communities better, brighter, and more exciting.

1 Comment

  1. Lilian
    Mar 19, 2016

    I love watching performances, but I’ve only ever been in a few church ones as a kid. But I have recently developed a love for Broadway and acting, so I’m starting to pursue that! I signed up for a musical theatre intensive this summer to learn more and hopefully this fall I can audition for a play. I’m already 16, so I know I’m a little old to just now start, but better late than never!

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