Reflection, Gratitude, and Looking Ahead

Emily Higgins (Drood), Director Tim O'Donnell, and Katharine Jordan (Princess Puffer). At the Spotlight Awards 2009.

Emily Higgins (Drood), Director Tim O'Donnell, and Katharine Jordan (Princess Puffer). At the Spotlight Awards 2009.

My mom shared THIS VIDEO today when it showed up in her Facebook memories. It's hard to believe that it has been 8 years.

This award came at a crucial time in my life. I had spent all year going from school to school auditioning for theatre programs and I didn't get in to anywhere I auditioned. I was devastated. I had a choice between Salem State or UNH. I had decided to go to UNH but I was second guessing myself, unsure sure I made the right decision - I had the passion but maybe I didn't have what it takes to really pursue a career as an actor. I loved performing as Princess Puffer in The Mystery of Edwin Drood and it's a role I would love to play again. That role was complex and fun. I gave it my all, and every night performing made me feel happy and alive. To receive this award, this symbol of excellence in performance, this recognition of my spark, this validation of my skill, gave me the lift I needed to go to UNH with a desire to learn and grow and renewed confidence that I had the basic foundation to build on my passion and make a go at a career as an actor.

I watch the video and think of how much I have changed since that year and that moment - as a performer and a person (also I hope I don't say "um" that much anymore). I think about all the people who have taught me, nurtured me, given me opportunities, loved me, and never stopped believing in me and supporting me, and I realize how very lucky I am. I am so blessed to have teachers, friends, and especially my family by my side who have and continue to help me on this journey. I am sure there will be more moments of doubt and dread and uncertainty - that is the nature of this path and of life - but I know there will also be moments of growth and joy and triumph. I am looking forward to what Chicago has in store for me and I will always remember that no matter what, I have a phenomenal group of people in my corner.