Spotlight is delighted to have PYT performer “Nikki Suzani” as our guest teen blogger this week! In this blog Nikki gives thanks to theatre and especially to PYT.
A Thanksgiving Thank You to Theatre and to PYT: by Nikki Suzani
With Thanksgiving coming up this week, I thought it was time for me to give a huge thank you to the community and mentors that I have found at Peninsula Youth Theatre (PYT).
From the friends I have done six shows with to the people I’ve only talked to a couple times, everyone at PYT is welcoming and kind to all. PYT has definitely found itself a special place in my heart.
The first time I ever did a PYT show I was a wide-eyed, very short 7th grader. Wowed by PYT’s musical “Annie” and the incredible performances within, I decided to sign up for their next musical, “Mary Poppins”.
I spent weeks before auditions scouring the internet for monologues, rehearsing and re-rehearsing my favorite song from a Broadway show “I Can’t Say No” from “Oklahoma” and hyping myself up for what I knew would be a nerve wracking experience.
And it was definitely nerve wracking. But so worth it!
Within minutes of entering the studio, I met two girls (one of which is my close friend Sarah Dorsey) and the three of us started talking immediately and we clicked. It was such a strange experience for 7th grade me to find friends so easily, as I was often shy at school and didn’t know a lot of people. Yet, by the time everyone in my audition group was there, I felt like I had nine completely new friends. Everyone was so accepting, and it was such a relief to simply be there speaking to them.
The audition process itself wasn’t nearly as scary as I expected either. The director Meg, choreographer Brian, and vocal director made a big effort to accommodate everyone throughout the process, and make the audition as fun as it could be. In fact, I even got to pretend to walk across the room as an old man in jello during the dance section!
I ended up getting cast as a “statue”, and I’m just going to say right now that that was probably my favorite role ever! The group of statues were so supportive of each other and the entire cast would help through our quick changes and makeup.
One time, there were ten people around me helping with makeup, hair, and costume during a quick change. Ten! It made me, as a newcomer, feel so excited to see a group of people that loved each other so much and always supported each other in our toughest moments.
Now, five shows later, the PYT community has never ceased to amaze me with the work they create. I’ve also been able to karaoke, go go-karting, play laser tag, see movies, and so much more with people that I met through theatre and PYT. We’ve traveled across towns and cities to hang out with those that live further away, and we always take the greatest measures to watch each other’s performances, no matter where they might be.
I’ve found a place where I belong in theatre and at PYT. A place where, no matter what’s going on at school, I have support systems and close friends that will stick by me through the toughest challenges. I mean, once you get through tech week with a friend, you can get through anything! And it’s because of all this that I can truly say from the bottom of heart that PYT is the community I am most thankful for this Thanksgiving.
Thank you to theater for taking care of me! And thank you PYT!
PYT thanks Nikki for sharing her experiences and to Nikki and to all other PYT friends, family and fans, we wish you a very Happy Thanksgiving!
Intro and closing by Barbie Koch
Photos by Nikki Suzani and Lyn Healy of Spotlight Moments Photography