For the past six months or so, I have been helping out at Meriden High School with their production of Alice in Wonderland.
Along side two beautiful and talented drama teachers, I ran through scenes with a small number of the girls during that period.
It is so amazing what sitting in the background (most the time) and watching something beautiful come together can do for you. It was honestly an amazing time.
I am so grateful for all the girls I was able to work with. Watching them grow time and time again as actors and as young ladies was wonderful to see.
I remember the first time one of the girls called me by my name. I was worried that no one would even remember who I was by the end of it.
It was at Meriden's HSC showcase. One of the girls chirped, "Hi Claire!" This small moment meant so much to me. Just the fact that the girls noticed me was something amazing.
Throughout my time in the rehearsals, I realised I had lost something. My passion for theatre and performance. Drama has been one of the things I focussed on all throughout my schooling life.
It was my outlet and was "my thing." The one thing I always enjoyed and had confidence in.
However, during year 12 I lost my passion for drama. I pretty much gave up. I put a very poor effort into the subject and couldn't seem to restore my passion for it.
In the end, Drama did not even count towards my ATAR. I had just done an average job in the subject. I was not the best, I was ordinary.
This was devastating for me. I placed part of my identity in being good at drama. So when it didn't end up counting towards this one score that defined my achievements for the end of schooling; I was gutted.
From that moment on I gave up on the romance I had with theatre and performance. Gave up on any idea of performing, directing or teaching it.
I didn't think I was good enough. I thought that I shouldn't even try to pursue anything in that area because I would fail anyway. I had failed, and I didn't have the right to make it "my thing" anymore.
I am glad I thought that way though. Because now I can honestly and confidently tell anyone who is waiting for their marks that; your HSC make does not define who you are.
Having a minor role in this schools' production made me realise that I still love everything about performance and theatre.
I love the sometimes boring and repetitive rehearsals. I love running through scenes. I love seeing the production come together at the last minute. I love the buzz before and after the show. I love theatre.
And no matter how much I tried to push it away, thinking that I wasn't good enough; theatre will always be something that drives and excites me.
I here by challenge myself to maintain my passion through the new year. To expose myself to much more dramatic literature and performance.
No matter what occupation I end up in, I will never again let a petty HSC mark distort what I truly enjoy.
I am extremely thankful to the two lovely ladies that let me help them in the small ways that I did. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to find my lost love.