Failure A Better Teacher Than Success
I sat in tense silence, waiting for my cue to go on stage for what promised to be the most rewarding performance that would start off my performing arts career. Squinting under the stage lights I readied myself for the sound of the music to start, prepared to rise and face the thunderous applause. With the sound of my heart beating in my head, I tried to recall how I had come to be standing here this evening on this grand stage.
Nearly a year earlier I had a similar case of nervous energy as I waited to begin a much different performance. The audience consisted of friends, family and other students from my school. The setting was a dimly lit high school auditorium. I was about to perform the opening song of our high school musical Legally Blonde . After receiving my cue, I nodded confidently to my cast members to begin the song. Listening to the opening stanza on the piano, I took a deep breath and began singing. Coming in with force, I sang the first verse of my song of the piece with confidence.
I began the second verse with vigor, but soon my throat tightened. Perspiration from my head made it hard to concentrate. I struggled to maintain the tempo with the piano and quickly lost my once crisp vocals. In that moment, time seemed to stand still as my worst fears became reality: I had stumbled through the final verse of the song, finishing out of tune and out of tempo.
It was certainly the most disheartening moment of my life. I had studied and rehearsed this piece for several months. I knew every note by heart. In fact, I had performed it successfully twice before. I felt embarrassed and discouraged when the musical director looked up at me with a disappointed face after the song was over.
That evening I discussed the performance with my director and decided to take some time off from lessons to reassess my goals in doing acting and singing. Many questions came to my mind. What exactly had gone wrong? Why had I cracked under pressure? How did my performance change so quickly? Had I made a mistake foregoing my junior year to only focus all of my energies on acting and singing? Most importantly, what was my future in the performing arts?

As I straightened up my costume backstage, I get ready to go onstage to say my first line that evening I thought back on my year-long journey. This would be the last time I will be performing at my high school. My senior year depends on this last performance. My determination to make everything perfect helped me throughout this whole play. I had done my best performance. I got a standing ovation and it felt great. This dream would not have become a reality without the lessons I learned from my failed last year performance.
The importance of perseverance came home to me. My decision to continue in the performing arts demanded hours of disciplined practice and rehearsal. Had I not been resilient and decided to continue, my entire high school experience would have been drastically different. I would have missed out on many valuable experiences, great memories and deeply meaningful relationships. Rehearsal was a therapeutic exercise that allowed me to cope with the difficulties of overcoming my fear.
I also learned the value of seeking out new challenges. The opportunity to perform in the musicals and plays have presented a new challenge that led to other significant opportunities including being the vice president of my high school Thespian troupe .
So often we discover that failure is a better teacher than success! This was certainly true for me. Getting into a performing arts school is the next big challenge in my life. Though I don't know exactly where performing arts will lead me, I am confident that the lessons learned from being in the musicals and plays have both shaped and prepared me for success in my performing arts career.