Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 12th grade September 2001

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I stare at the lights. Anticipation consumes me. I sit, restlessly waiting for the lights to go down, like lying in bed at night waiting for my eyes to finally close as I drift away into a sea of dreams. As the lights fade and the play begins, I set sail through that sea on a journey of self-discovery. Writers and composers meticulously meld reverie and reality, ambition and adversity, passion and pain, all to construct my vessel. The exemplary orchestration of words, music, and actions guides me through my voyage. Dreams unlock the secrets of my mind. Leading me through an exploration of my thoughts, theater unlocks the secrets of my soul. I reminisce, reflecting upon my childhood experiences in the theatrical world. A world where a myriad of mystical marvels, myths, and melodies reign, molding me into the person I am.

I grew up amongst the imaginative spectacle of shows.

Other children went to the park while visiting their fathers. Working with mine, I experienced revolutions, love affairs, and Never-Never Land. Theater creates a special bond between my father and me. A commonality, despite our distance, that would not exist otherwise. My dad manages the Denver Performing Arts Complex. Under his management, I watched the Buell Theater transform from a construction site into one of the highest grossing theaters in the nation. The most illustrious Broadway musicals now make Denver an imperative stop on the touring schedule. I take great pride in Denver's theatrical achievements. However, these achievements comprise only one facet of theater's impact on me.

Each play I experience teaches me something about life. I connect with musicals. The musical enthusiasm engulfs my soul. The lyrical wisdom articulates my thoughts. "Theater is a complexity of words, movements, and gestures that convey a vision of the world inexpressible in any other way" (Eugene Ionesoco). Moreover, on stage and off, theater teaches the importance of passion. The passion of the performers for their job emanates from their performances and their personalities. Their happiness exists because they love what they do. I lead my life in that manner. I chose to live passionately, confronting what creates discontent.

Finally, theater inspires me to pursue my lifelong dream of becoming a performer. It laid the foundation for my speech success, which will hopefully transform into trial triumphs. My stage will be the courtroom. I am an aspiring district attorney. I know that to be successful I must passionately represent truth and justice. I must make the jury do more than listen to my description of the crime; they must experience it. Through calculated combinations of gestures, intonation, and words, theater teaches me the skill of enabling people to experience stories.

That's my play: beginning, middle, and end.

The lights come back up. I have completed another journey through the complexities of my mind. Watching the patrons vacate the theater, I wonder "“ did they explore their sea of dreams or"¦.was it just a good show?