"I want people to know that there are people who are here and that love them."
When I found out about the Pulse shooting in Orlando, I was really devastated. What is saying a prayer on Facebook for these people going to do for them?
What could I do?
I sent out this mass message on Facebook to everybody I knew that I've done theater with. I was like, “We want to put on this show. We would probably be putting it up in like three weeks. Who wants to do it?”
Everybody said yes.
I grew up in the music theater community. A lot of my friends were struggling with coming out to their parents and publicly in high school. When I went to college for theater, some of these kids were homeschooled and didn't really have an outlet. People were being sent to conversion therapy. I heard all of these things and I was just like,
I can't believe that this is happening.
I want people to know that there are people who are here and that love them.
I want people to know that they are supported and that that we're here for them. That people care.
I was working at a full-time job at a retail store as the assistant manager. I was kind of rising up very quickly.
I literally hated going to work every day.
For the first time on that Saturday [of the first show], I felt like, Wow! My life can have a purpose, even if it's not me shining in the light of me being the performer, me being the star. I don't have to be the star of the show to feel completely fulfilled.
That was very life-changing for me.