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My Swan Song

Catherine Reid's final contribution to TMU looks back on her educational path and forward to what's next in store. logo

Catherine Reid

Sometimes when you write, you start from the end and work back. For some reason that ending phrase just comes to you first. And what came to mind for me was "thank you." Now let me work my way back. Growing up, I wanted to be a fashion designer, a chef, a neurosurgeon, until I stepped onstage for the first time. Then I wanted to be a professional performer. Unfortunately, it's not so easy to convince a left-brained physician mother and a practical lawyer father that the topsy turvy world of Broadway is a stable career. I couldn't really convince myself of that either. As a result, I stumbled into journalism. It was mainly a whim. I knew that I wanted to help people, and I knew that I wanted to do it through telling stories. Why not on paper or camera instead of on stage? The fall quarter of freshman year convinced me of one thing: I was in love with journalism. But theater was missing. I was so overwhelmed to come from my tiny pond of Springfield community theater to the Northwestern theater scene. There I became a tiny, tiny fish. But TheaterMania's TMU program helped me reconnect with theater and made me so much happier the rest of freshman year. Each week, I was able to write a post raving about my favorite things in musical theater. Those posts got me fired up again about theater, and I went to auditions. I was able to participate in two wonderful productions in the spring. I am sad to say that this will be my final post for TheaterMania's TMU program. I have had an absolutely fabulous time writing for this website, but it is time for me to move on. I'll be working with Northwestern News Network, my campus news station, and I will be busy with my sorority, Alpha Phi, this fall. In the winter I am moving to Washington, D.C. to participate in a journalism program. I'll be living in the city with one of my best friends, my sister. And of course, I am going to try to fit theater in there somewhere as well! So, to conclude my TheaterMania career, let me say thank you. Thank you to TheaterMania for trusting me to post my at times eccentric opinions on your site and for awarding me Best Blogger this year. Thank you to the other students contributing for posting brilliant pieces that have inspired and entertained me. And thank you to every single person who ever looked at my posts. I am humbled by the response I've received from you all. I'd like to end with a couple things. First, I want to reiterate why I do theater. It is the most amazing opportunity to be on stage because you have the power to influence people. Your performance can directly correlate to a struggle that someone is having or can simply help them to escape from their troubles for a while. It is, quite simply, magic. I know that theater has helped me in both ways. Next, I'd like to leave you with some lyrics from my favorite composer, Stephen Sondheim. They're from one of my favorite Sondheim shows, Anyone Can Whistle. Although it was not a huge commercial success, this musical is huge to me. To foil the schemes of a corrupt mayor, Nurse Fay Apple lets patients from her mental institute loose on the town. When a doctor comes in to determine who is sane and who is not, he can't figure it out. No one can. In life, sometimes the craziest people are the most sane. I hope these lyrics inspire you as they inspired me.

"Make just a ripple. Come on, be brave. This time a ripple, Next time a wave. Sometimes you have to start small. Climbing the tiniest wall. Maybe you're going to fall, But it's better than not starting at all."

Time for us all to go make some waves.


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