Our Youngharts Ambassador Kirra Johnson sat down to respond to some of the questions and messages that have been flooding in via Instagram and Facebook.
Hello beautiful Youngharts!
We've been getting a lot of great life questions on our social media pages - , which makes me as excited as a Kirra on Christmas day. A lot of these questions revolve around musical theatre as a general topic (shout out to @_hollyclark27 and @l_james_a for starting the topic!) and so I thought I would give you my personal experience on how I started out, how I keep the passion alive, and why musical theatre/performing will always reserve a huge place in my heart.
When I was at the ripe old age of 12, I thought that becoming an Olympian for swimming was my destiny in life. I trained for 4 hours a day, 5-6 days a week. I had a set career choice that was once fuelled with passion and drive. For years It had been that way, but as I got older, I slowly felt myself losing my determination for waking up at 5am every morning (crazy, right?!). As you all have probably experienced, or maybe are yet to experience one day, losing your passion is a scary, confusing part of your journey in life, and it can make you feel very lost and disappointed in yourself. This is exactly what I felt. It made me happier to slowly fade away from swimming, but it made me sad to feel this way at all. I had to wonder what had happened to all of that passion, how could I just lose it? I then realised that it had been redirected to a different path. I had done my first musical that year, WEST SIDE STORY, and it completely changed my life. Being on stage had hit me with an abundance of happiness and passion. My heart was over flowing with joy, and my soul was on fire with drive. Swimming had dwindled away, because my heart was already walking down another path, or more so, strutting down that fabulous path that was obviously lined with those Broadway light bulbs you see on the movies.
If this has happened to you, or is happening to you now, whether it be with sport, a hobby, friends, or even performing, my best advice for you is, let it be. Let it happen, and let it help mould you into the person you are supposed to be. Don’t fight something that makes you happier, and don’t force yourself back into the arms of something that is only pushing you away.
Following your dreams is the healthiest choice you can make for your soul and for your happiness.
Chasing your dreams doesn’t always mean that you catch them, but it always means you have a heck of a good time trying. Your dream or goal might have a pretty snazzy looking destination, but the joy comes from the journey. And whether you are always on the journey, or you make it to the destination, you have accomplished the most successful task of all, and that is the task of following your heart, and choosing to acknowledge what makes you happy, and what doesn’t.
In saying all of this however, it is okay for your passion to take a little holiday sometimes. There will always be times that your passion for something might slip away temporarily. Sometimes you have to remind yourself of why you do it. I constantly have to do this.
For musical theatre, when I am at the point of giving up, or I’ve given into a ball of my own frustration fuelled from failure or lack of improvement in myself, I like to remind myself of that little 12 year old girl in her first musical. I think back to that wave of adrenaline that moved through me the moment before I stepped out on stage for the very first time. I think of the warmth of the lights, I think of the friends that I have met that have shaped me into the person I am, I think of the failures that have pushed me further towards success. I remind myself that I am different, and that I am unique. I remind myself that I am strong, and that I am brave for choosing happiness or for not giving up on it.
On our Instagram, @jazzicalgate_prive asked a a question about getting along with people at school who don’t have the same interests as we do, my advice is to be brave and dare to take pride in what you love. Stick up for yourself and for the things that make you feel passionate. You might feel alone at school, but you have a whole network of Youngharts on your side. I was once that girl at school, and it was tough. People criticised me and made me feel like my dreams were silly. BUT! My dream would have only had been silly if I chose to give up on it because of people who like different things.
This is why performing and musical theatre is so special to me, because it has always forced me to back myself no matter what anyone else thinks. My passion has given me the power to be stronger than any form of criticism, and to know how to get back up when I have been knocked down. And trust me, I have been knocked down many times. Even though it has always felt like failure at the time, I believe that the amount of times you have fallen down is better proof of how many times you have managed to get back up again.
Why musical theatre? Because whilst it requires an enormous amount of dedication and hard work, the largest qualification you need for it, is passion. Because of it, I will never underestimate the power of passion, nor will I ever forget to thank the 12 year old me who chose to follow her heart for her passion.