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Why a Career in The Arts is What I’m Meant to Do!
By Vikki DiGiovanni, age 17

As I am nearing the mid-point of my final year of high school, the question “What are you going to be when you grow up?” resonates through my brain on a daily basis. My earliest childhood memories include singing, dancing and acting. I was told that I listened to and memorized the soundtrack from Annie when I was three. In fact when my Mom took me to see the play, the lady in front of us told my Mom I really should be on stage with them. I think that was a polite way of saying “shut your kid up, because I can’t hear the actors on stage”. Apparently, I sang and recited the play from start to finish. I guess that is where my love of theatre and the arts began.

I was quite shy growing up, so my mom decided to put me into a singing program because of my love for music. At first it was great, I met a bunch of great friends, but as the years went by, the owner of the studio changed. Instead of being a warm welcoming place it turned into a place that the children were treated differently according to the amount of money they spent. I ended up hating it because I wasn’t one of the “chosen ones”, as we used to call them. I left the studio soon after. It really hit me hard. My confidence was shattered and I really felt like I wasn’t good enough.

Luckily for me, one of the teachers in my school heard from someone, that I could sing. He asked me if I would mind singing at one of the school events. I was very hesitant, but eventually I agreed to do it. The memories of my former studio were still with me, but with his guidance and encouragement, I found the ability to get past those feelings of insecurity. It wasn’t easy and believe me there were tears! But he taught me to believe in myself again. I performed at the school event and it felt amazing. Sure, I was nervous, but there was something about performing on that stage that just made me truly happy.

I was fortunate enough to have the same teacher for the next two years, and he had developed an arts based program, which was right up my alley. Sometimes I felt like the program was developed specifically for me because it was everything that I loved to do…and they were calling it “school”. It was a dream come true! Learning what I loved most in an environment that was free from judgment. It made me love the arts even more.

After many successes in this program I moved on to high school, where I currently attend an arts high school in the drama program.

And so here I am…

As I decide what to do as a career and what to study in university, I keep coming back to the same thing. …..I want to act! Whether it is on camera or on stage, I want to be an actor.

Some of my fondest memories are of musicals I have performed in. From The Wizard of Oz, Seussical, and Cinderella to The Wiz and High School Musical….I could go on!

It’s not even just about the shows themselves, it’s about the friendships I made along the way. It’s about the feeling I get when I step on that stage to sing or to perform in a musical. Or the feeling I get when I am on set filming. I can’t really describe it, but if you have ever been there, you know what I mean.

I think, in life your career should be what you love to do and I am so happy to have found that passion. So many teens my age just don’t know what they want to be or if they do, they are afraid to try. I know that success doesn’t just get handed to you, and you have to work hard to achieve what you want. I am going for it, which is more than I can say for some of my peers.

Last year, I had the honour of working with Canadian Comedy legend, Martin Short. I was in his TV special “I Martin Short Goes Home”. We had a one-day shoot for the scene I was in, and I remember the shoot going until 3am the next morning. I was completely exhausted by the time we left…but I knew that it was where I wanted to be! Something about it just fit.

I know this career choice is not going to be easy. If you really think about it, actors deal with more rejection in one year than most people deal with in a lifetime. Countless auditions, countless hours preparing for auditions, hours on set, early mornings, late nights, taking the chance that we will be criticized by many. But hey, who said life was easy!

When I tell people I am taking a year off school to focus on my acting career….I get a variety of responses.. “Oh that’s interesting” or “Oh really.” I know what they are really thinking is, “Maybe you should get a real job!”

I know it’s a long road ahead, but with the support of my family and friends, I know that this is exactly where I am meant to be. When you find your passion in life you owe it to yourself to go for it and that is what I am doing. I look forward to sharing my journey with you through my blogs on The Artistic Edge.

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To learn more about Vikki please check out her blogger profile by clicking here.