I was a senior at the University of Cincinnati’s College Conservatory of Music. I was months away from graduating with a BFA in musical theater, and Paul Blake (the artistic director of the Muny in St. Louis) came to our school to workshop a new musical he was putting together. After that experience I desperately wanted to work at the Muny, a 12,000 seat outdoor amphitheater. The best shot I had for getting hired there was to be a “local,” so a group of fellow students and I flew to St. Louis on our own, auditioned for their upcoming season and got cast in the ensemble! We all got our Equity cards that summer. I did Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, South Pacific and The Wizard of Oz.
That fall, I moved to New York City. I remember being very proud that when I moved, I did so with my Equity card in hand, officially a professional actor. Having that card meant I could go to more auditions, get better contracts and be a part of a community. Having that card meant that when I booked a job, I knew I had a community of leaders behind me looking out for my well-being. I’m very proud to say I’m still a part of the Actors’ Equity community and we are going strong!