How Newsies Changed My Life
Newsies is on stage! A childhood dream come true. I will never forget the hours I spent watching my Newsies VHS and the impact it had on me growing up. And since that first viewing I dreamed of one day putting it on stage. Well Disney and Paper Mill Playhouse beat me to it, but that's ok.
The movie came out the same year I started working with my hometown theater company. They held (and still do) an annual musical theater youth summer workshop. The release of Newsies and my attendance in that first summer workshop changed my life.
My interest in musical theater started when I was no more than 4 years old, and my parents took me to see local shows and touring productions that came to town. Some shows had children in the cast, and I always wondered if maybe one day I could be one of those kids. Then I saw Newsies.
It was amazing to me that kids could sing and dance like that, and doing it in a movie?! For the whole world to see?! Well, I couldn't believe it. Even at that young age (I was 7 at this point), I could recognize the accomplishment of these kids both on and off screen.
The combination of the brave characters and the accomplished young actors made me think that maybe one day I too could dream big and achieve something great. I know it sounds super cheesy, but it's the truth. I was really shy, but I loved singing and dancing. And through performance, I eventually found a voice.
There is no way to know for sure, but I believe that those two major events in the summer of 1992 (seeing Newsies and starting musical theater camp) facilitated my eventual move to New York in pursuit of this crazy career.
I doubt that the Newsies movie writing team anticipated their work to serve as inspiration for the future careers of so many young people, but by now they've surely figure it out. I know I'm not the only one with this kind of story. The outpouring of excitement and love that has grown out of the arrival of Newsies on stage is proof of that.