It is Brelby tradition to dedicate the month of November to giving a platform for our artists to share their stories. This month our annual Blogathon theme returns to its roots with a visit back to the topic of “My Brelby Story.” We’ve grown a great deal over the past few years, and many of our original bloggers have moved on to new careers, new lives, new challenges, and new cities. Enjoy this year’s series with 30 Days of Blogs.
In talking about my Brelby story I must take you back quite a few years. My first experience with Brelby was actually through another theatre company. This was something like 4-5 years ago. The company I was working with was doing a touring production of Seussical Jr. and Brelby was one of our stops (this was when Brelby was in the old space). I remember thinking how cool the company seemed and being impressed with what they accomplished in their space. I vividly remember talking to an owner (Brian) after our performance about ways to get involved and volunteer as I felt it was a place I could really see myself in and wanted to be involved in.
Well, I didn’t follow through at that time. But I firmly believe things happen for a reason and when they are supposed to. Cut to a few years later and I was working on a production where a cast member’s sister was directing A Midsummer Night’s Dream at Brelby and needed a few more actors. Coincidentally enough I had planned on attending the original auditions but had gotten sick so of course I jumped at the second chance to audition. I was lucky enough to be cast and was so excited to have finally made it back to Brelby. And while I sometimes struggled with not knowing anyone in the cast I was thrilled to just be there.
Right after that auditions happened for Spin. This was the show where I really felt like I’d truly belonged at Brelby. Being a last-minute casting in Midsummer gave me pause as a performer as I wasn’t sure if I really belonged or if I was just needed to fill the role. However, getting cast in Spin had the opposite effect. I felt a new pride in myself and a new confidence I hadn’t felt in a long time, especially as I was just beginning to return to acting after taking a long break, having worked tech and working as an acting coach for the 8 previous years.
During Spin I felt such a sense of belonging and encouragement and support. I had always struggled to find a place I felt safe enough in to really get out of my comfort zone and try new things. Brelby was and is that place for me. In the last year I’ve designed Sound, the scariest design element to me, I have gotten to take on two roles that were completely out of my typical casting but I really wanted to challenge myself with and I have gotten to strengthen my existing skills. The thing I am most proud of however is the fact that I found the confidence in myself that I had always wanted but had never achieved. And that I owe to the amazing people who have been with me on this journey over my last two years at Brelby.
My most valued relationships have been formed through Brelby. I have two amazing role models to look up to in Brian and Shelby, who are such inspirations to all of us. I have amazing friends who helped me become the person I am today. All of these people have laughed with me, cried with me, celebrated with me and supported me (and in some cases vacationed with me!). Friends who are not actually friends, but who are family. I truly call this amazing group of people my family and I’m so proud to be a part of it.
Brelby has given me what I so desperately wanted: a place to create, a place to take chances and most importantly a place to belong. Thanks to Brelby I have grown and changed so much for the better, both professionally and personally. Brelby woke me up and gave me a new life, a revitalized happiness.
Thank you to my Brelby family for making me the person I always dreamed of being. I love you all!