Memorable Moments at DCT: Ms Laurel speaks.
by Laurel Mora
We want to thank all of you who are taking the opportunity during these challenging times to share your DCT stories with us. Laurel’s evolution at DCT is a great one. Read on…
How has your growing up in the DCT community shaped you?
Oddly enough, I don’t remember how Dallas Children’s Theater came into our family’s life. It’s one of those few things in life that has been a part of me for so long that I forgot how exactly my journey with them started. I consider DCT to be like a second home to me.
Even in my more brooding teenage years, I always knew that I was welcomed there. Now that most of my teenage angst has worn off, I can properly appreciate the impact DCT has had on my life. I started attending classes not too long after my family moved to Dallas. I was, and still am, a shy kid, but DCT was the first place where I started opening up. DCT was the first place where I exercised creative input by coming up with a villainous character for Karl Schaeffer’s Makin’ Movies class. The majority of my time outside of school was spent at DCT where I learned about everything from the costuming process to Shakespeare. In time, I did my part to give back by volunteering to usher and lead pre-show activities; things I always did with pride and joy. One teacher even helped me prepare to audition for my dream high school: Booker T Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts.
What is one specific moment from your experience at DCT that is meaningful to you?
I will always remember this one scene work class. I thought I was going to be missing for the final performance since my family was planning on traveling to Fort Lauderdale, FL that weekend. As a result, I was not assigned a final scene. Come the weekend of the final performance, I ended up staying home so I could audition for my school’s musical. The day of the performance, we found out that two of the students would not be showing up. In an instant, I went from only having a monologue to perform to suddenly having two scenes to perform. The performance went on without a hitch, and I ended up learning an important lesson as well. Like life, theater is all about rolling with the punches. Things don’t always go according to script, and you have to figure it out before the audience catches on.
What is your message to the teachers, actors, and employees who made your DCT experience memorable?
As I continued to grow older, the people at DCT continued to teach me important lessons. Once, we were all sitting in the audience chairs waiting for class to start. The teacher entered, and without a word, took a sip from his water bottle and proceeded to do a spit take in front of all of us. We all screamed in surprise before bursting into laughter.
That moment taught me that growing up doesn’t have to include giving up your inner child, and that theater doesn’t always have to be this gut-wrenching drama. Sometimes, it can be lighthearted and goofy and still send a message. These are all lessons that I carry with me even as I go to college to study playwriting in the theater capital of the world. My life would have been vastly different without DCT, and I will always be grateful for all that they have taught me.
Next week: Be on the lookout for what Laurel’s mom has to say about their family experience at DCT.
Photos courtesy of Laurel Mora