A personal perspective review by Terika Le'Dawn
"Where did my hunger go?"
Yes I said it! I had the extreme pleasure of watching "Willy Wonka, Jr." at the AR Repertory Theater on Friday, June 21. All of the youthful talent singing and dancing and acting made my eyes water as I realized that these children knew their purpose. They all are students of the summer program. The ages range from elementary to high school and they all delivered with such confidence and commitment to character! It reminded me of several experiences as a youth in the performing arts.
Those memories raised a question in my mind, "Where did my hunger go?"
I had to grow up and realize that loans, bills and life require you to make money. Even though I came from a middle-class family, they still couldn't support me forever. The money I was making from my music wasn't enough to pay for my needs. So I got a job. Then I got another job. And then another hustle. So I am "3-job-shawty" just working and working and working. My hunger for music and performance went unfed as my priorities shifted.
I have been going through the motions for years just trying to make a living for myself. I kept friendships with people who were trying to escape the same feelings of inadequacy, misdirection, and debt like I was. I entertained individuals who were not worth my focus or extra energy. I entered into a romantic relationship with someone who just couldn't continue on this journey with me. It took me many years to not only let all of that go, but to also realize that we're all doing much better for it. And that it's okay. All things work for the better in the end!
"There is no one more dangerous than a person with a purpose."
There is no one more dangerous than a person with a purpose. When I heard the Breakfast Club's positive note of the day this morning, "Stop living our lives out of habit and start living our lives with intent," it was such an "Aha" moment. I am transitioning to a place of power through self-realization. "'Cause I've got a golden ticket! I've got a golden chance to make my way" - Original Lyrics by Leslie Bricusse and Anthony Newley.
Now, I can truly say I have found a new hunger in my life. Experiences like going to see live productions such as "Willy Wonka, Jr." help to feed that hunger. Watching those children give their all to almost exhaustion and still find joy and fulfillment in it gave me life! It was a wonderfully executed presentation and it has inspired my art as I move forward in this industry.
"Feed your fire. . . Pay your passion forward."
If you are struggling to find your purpose, or new motivation for your passion(s), I encourage you to be active in your search. Don't just sit in that funk. Get up! Get out! Explore! Feed your fire with the things that interest you. Pay your passion forward. Remind yourself why you started doing what you do in the first place. After a while, you will find yourself feeling rejuvenated and able to find the joy in giving your all once again!
To everyone who is a part of the Arkansas Repertory Theater, thank you for fighting to keep the arts alive at your venue! We absolutely need the programs that you offer to young minds and undiscovered talent. I will continue to support what you do in any way that I am able to.
To anyone reading this, if you are looking for a way to make a difference in the community and help foster positive growth in our youth, please consider becoming a patron of this theater. Their next production starts September 4, 2019 featuring the rock 'n roll musical "Million Dollar Quartet." Visit www.therep.org for more information.