The Life of a CSUS Performer
“Noosh, warm up.” During the winter sports’ season, those three words coming from my coach can send my heart racing. Those three words mean that it is my turn to get off the cold bench and get into the game. Those three words mean that, for the next 30 or so minutes before the half, every muscle in me will have to perform to the best of its ability. Those three words mean that it is my time to shine. Strategies bounce back and forth in my head and I jog towards the half line. And then, in an instant, it is Saturday night. I am standing backstage, my prop tray at hand, about to walk on and make my first entrance of the show. My heart races, as I am about to step out onto the field and perform.
The idea of the world being a stage rings true for me. In every aspect of my life, I find myself challenged to perform. I represent the unusual mix of actor and athlete. I say unusual because performance arts and athletics don’t have a tendency to overlap. For example, those performing in the musical cannot do a winter sport; the practice schedules overlap far too much. I may not do the musical, but having two years of acting class under my belt, having acted in two school plays, and having student directed a high school play in my junior year, I would say that theater is a major part of my life. Which is why I sometimes find myself torn. I consider myself an actor and an athlete. I love soccer. I have been on soccer teams since I was five and cannot imagine not playing. Crystal facilitates each students desire to perform in both arts and sports. I have found many fellow athletes in similar positions to mine; on any given afternoon, one may find students dashing across campus from dance rehearsal to singing lessons or from a soccer game to play practice. Although there is definitely some overlap, I have been lucky enough to find harmony between my two loves of acting and soccer.
I think that I love them both so much because they provide equal opportunities to perform and show my audience what I have spent so many hours working on. The butterflies I get in my stomach as I warm-up before entering a game are not unlike those I feel before going on stage. My mind races as I think to myself “this is what you have been doing in practice, this is what everyone came here to see.” Whether it be the soccer field or the stage, I mentally prepare myself to do my best and brace myself for the mistakes I am bound to make. The thought of performing both makes me nervous and excites me. I am neither an athlete nor an actor, I am both: I am a performer. I perform even through my work as a Crystal Ambassador. During open houses, I am asked to speak in front of multiple groups of parents and students. My job is to present the information I know about the school, but to also read the audience well. For example, when talking about the multipurpose field in respect to the athletic program, I have to guide my speech to the interest of the audience; I try to get them engaged excited about all the anecdotes I have to share about my school. Crystal has given me so many opportunities in which to perform and show my “audience” my best. It has helped me channel all of my anxiety before a game or performance into nervous energy, aiding me in performing at my utmost potential. I cannot imagine giving up soccer or acting, or even the “performing” I do each day in class. I take pride in the work I do, just as an actor, artist, or athlete takes pride in their performances. After all, the world is a stage, and I most definitely am a performer.