The summer before my junior year in high school, I thought about how I really wanted to have a bigger part in the shows at the school, specifically in lighting. So when I heard about the musical auditions that fall I went and made sure that Mrs. Machaiek, the director, knew that I was interested in being a part of that. One night I decided that I was going to go to an early rehearsal before I really had to be there. That decision ended up steering me in the direction of continuing my education in Technical Theatre. That night she told me to run the lights for rehearsal, and it really opened my eyes to how much control you have over a show when you have the lighting console at your fingertips.
That year I ended up running the lights for both our fall musical and the spring competition piece. I also faced a new challenge that year, because we had purchased a new computerized lighting control console that nobody was trained to use. Not only did I learn how to operate the console but, as I learned some of the new features of it, I had the opportunity to teach other people those feature as well. After learning the new features, I was also able to show them off at our regional and state level competition shows. At the end of both festivals I was honored with outstanding light design awards. When I heard my name called during that award ceremony I was so surprised, the fact that not only were the other students at the festival impressed with the lighting effects for our show, but the judges were too. So this helped to really show me that this is something that I must be good at, considering these adults, who are theatre professionals, were impressed with my work.
These new theatre equipment techniques and leadership skills also opened other doors for me. That year I was able to work part time through the school as a technician for outside groups that needed to