“In Their Own Words”
by Caitlyn Reid (2017 Anthony Belluci Scholarship Award Recipient)
Growing up, my dad always wanted me to be on a team, playing a sport and being social. Baseball, softball and cheerleading were teams I were part of but not teams I stuck with. I was on the team but it wasn’t a team that made you feel like you had a second family.
When I was 10, I found my second family when I auditioned for the Andrean Players production of Annie, directed by Paul Canestro- my uncle who had a strong passion for the arts as well. His whole life was spent singing at different events and always a part of different productions. When he got me into musical theatre- I never turned back.
When I was 14, I was in a production of Peter Pan with the Andrean Players. This time it was being directed by Andrew Koslosky and Kevin Wallace- two people who furthered my love for musical theatre and made me feel at home when on stage. This is when the musical theatre game changed in my eyes- this was some serious stuff. I was taught that leaving my all on stage after a number was a good empty feeling, the butterflies in your stomach mean you care, standing ovations are an indescribable feeling and Kevin Wallace taught me to have as much sass as humanly possible when on stage.
The summer of 2015 was one of my favorite summers as a teenager thus far. I joined the Josephine Foundation and they highlighted my true potential as a performer. I found another theatre family. I met people I consider my best friends now, 3 years later.
Summer of 2017, the summer before I started college, I received the Anthony Belluci Scholarship award- A scholarship awarded to a teenager in education and musical theatre, who helps keep Mr. Belluci’s mission of helping people around you alive. Coming out of high school, I was constantly paranoid about doing well in college and finances in general. This scholarship award lightened the mood of all of this in general and made me realize I must have been doing something right.
Winning this award was such an honor and only stretched my love for musical theatre wider than I knew it could have gone. Being a part of a production family is a decision I’m so happy I was introduced to and something I will forever be thankful for.