When I first joined The UC Theatre, I was soft spoken with very little experience in public speaking. Among my biggest fears as a child and teenager were the dreaded class presentations and piano recitals. I would’ve laughed in your face if you told me that one day I’d find myself on stage in front of a sold out crowd of 1,400 people, introducing our CEO and founder, David M. Mayeri, and the City of Berkeley’s mayor, Jesse Arreguin, with about 25 other stage announcements under my belt.
I’ve always been an introvert, but the wonderful team at UCT quickly made me feel comfortable enough to make a brief announcement promoting our education program and bringing out the headlining artist. Not quite having understood the gravity of what I’d gotten myself into, it hit me like a sack of bricks as soon as I walked out on stage, facing over a thousand staring faces at the point of no return. However, my initial sense of doom faded almost instantly once I gripped the microphone and the audience began to cheer. For a split second, I felt like a star. In the end, everything went smooth and no trauma was caused.
I’m grateful for the opportunity to bring out some of my favorite artists, such as Talib Kweli, and to be encouraged to come out of my shell. If it wasn’t for The UC Theatre, it probably would’ve taken me another 10 years to find my voice.