It’s late and I have a very busy weekend with an audition and promotional work, but I must take time to post about this.
I’ve chosen a very tough industry, with lots of rejection, humiliation, and personal vulnerability. It brutal out there. But every once in a while, something unexpected and wonderful flies in straight out of the blue. Today was one of those days.
I got a letter from the BYU Music Dance Theatre Department—where I have been accepted to begin my major study this fall—saying they had awarded me a half tuition talent scholarship! I didn’t even know they offered such a thing, so it was a complete surprise and honor!
There is another reason I am particularly grateful for this award: My parents decided long ago that they would not bankroll their children’s educations.
Now before you go all Bernie Sanders on me, let me explain. From personal experience—with college tuition and just about everything else in life—they have seen that those who work for things appreciate them more and make better use of them. While I’d love to have a money tree in my backyard, I have to admit that I see the same thing in people. I worked as a janitor at Utah COPA early mornings and afternoons to pay for much of my musical theater training, tours, etc. I’ve worked as an assistant teacher for youth classes. I’ve done odd jobs and babysitting and just about anything I was capable of. And I can promise you that when I went to those classes that I paid for, I worked hard and took it very seriously.
Years ago my dad was given an offer to join the engineering faculty at BYU as a professor. That job has the perk of providing half tuition to the professor’s children. At that time my parents decided that they would—through perk or out of pocket—make sure that we kids all had half tuition provided—and the rest would be up to us. Ultimately my dad did not accept the position, but I’ve known for years that I would be responsible for my education and I knew that I wouldn’t qualify for government assistance (because it’s based on my parents’ income).
Since I started performing professionally, I’ve save most of it for college, but it’s still a very big responsibility. I am so grateful to the MDT steering committee who selected me for this scholarship. I am very committed to the wonderful training I have the privilege of receiving and am determined that they will think the offer well spent!