1. It was my final mainstage show in high school.
    I drove 20 minutes after school every day junior and senior year to Rockhurst, the all-boys high school to do theater there instead of at my own school. I auditioned for all their shows and became a sort of honorary Rockhurst boy.
  2. The show was Pirates of Penzance.
    I'm not a great singer, so I didn't get a lead. I hated the show, and my director and assistant director could tell. A lot of my friends switched it up and went to the local all-girls school to do the play there, so I only had like one friend left with me.
  3. As a costume piece, I had this giant light blue floppy hat.
    Truly, it was gigantic. All the girls had hats, but mine was three times the size of anyone else's.
  4. It was my one claim to fame in the show. I could steal any scene by being sassy in my hat.
  5. Opening night of the show, after my tearful senior speech about how important this theater program was and how great everyone was and blah blah blah, we all hugged before we had to set places.
  6. My assistant director, Daniel Hrdlicka, hugged me.
    He was a student teacher my first year, and then the journalism teacher. He just liked to help out in the theater department.
  7. He whispered in my ear:
  8. "Be fabulous and own that big hat."
  9. It was exactly what I needed to own a show that I really didn't enjoy. I had a hat and I could make the most of it.
  10. I've also found that "be fabulous" is my favorite advice to give or get in any situation. Three years later, it's still my bio on Instagram. I try my very best to live that advice every day.