By Alexxis Briviesca
It’s remarkable how a show can change you. Sure, every show seems to fulfill an artist’s starving belly in different ways- whether it is intellectually, personally, or emotionally. I always try to treat each show I am in as if it is my last, and make it a goal of mine to become close to the cast I am a part of. However, due to some past negative experiences, there were times that passion that I sought out to share with those around me was often dim or non-existent; not only in the environment, but also in my heart. The bubbly Alexxis everyone knows today felt lifeless and drained a year ago, searching for that “thing” to rejuvenate her love for the theatre, and herself.
Fangirl changed my entire life. Yes, I know how cliché that sounds. But genuinely, I don’t know how else to describe it. It not only filled me in a room with positive people, all aching to create life, and share their heart with those around them, it brought me to understand what it means to be an actor. An artist. A team player. Emily and Jaren as our gracious directors, from day 1 established an environment in which we were free to play, laugh, relate, and most importantly, believe in ourselves. And that, more than anything, was what I needed: someone to throw me up on a stage and go “have it!” with complete trust in my ability, and what I could bring to a character. And boy, was that character a dream come true. A quirky, adorable, driven “fangirl” who pushed me outside my comfort box, and helped me to see the girl I wanted to become. It was like having my own personal cheerleader every time I put on my superhero socks with capes on them, (like come on, I got to wear socks with capes! Thanks Megan). To top everything off, I was surrounded with endless support. The love I experienced the moment I walked onstage opening night by the Brelby clan; Manda, our brilliant playwright along with her supportive family, and my lovely friends, is a memory I cherish to this day. It was then I knew Brelby was a place I wanted to be. It was then I found the fire for my craft again, and figured out that maybe, just maybe, I am capable of a lot more than I think I am.
After the show was done, I remember how worried I was that I would lose contact with my beautiful cast and creative team. And looking back at it now, I can’t help but be baffled by how silly I was. Now, I cannot imagine my life without lovely texts from Nicole as she lives it up in California; constant support from my “rival” Nicky and my “Sara”, Karla; “Lola” moments with Devon; Shelby, my fearless role model and mentor; Jessie, a woman I admire endlessly, who just helped me assistant direct an empowering show filled with love and possibility; Bertha, the sweetest ASM I have ever grown to know; and Megan; my big sister. My right hand gal. Someone who always has me, and will never let me fall. If that doesn’t speak for how precious Fangirl was, I don’t know what will.
Like all feminists plays, the show not only spoke for the empowerment of women, it spoke for the empowerment of humanity as a whole. It helped us cheer for the underdog, and relate to the Queen Bee. Above all else, it allowed us to find pride in what makes us different, and allow us to believe in our own personal magic, without fear of judgment, or self-doubt. I am more than proud to call myself a “fangirl”, and I thank Brelby for giving me a welcome gift into their home as “nerdastic” as this experience.