23 and Me

As a marketing professional somewhere between a young millennial and an old gen-z, one thing is for sure: I grew up in an incredible generation for arts and entertainment. I am lucky to have grown up in an evolving era of rapid change and growth, and it helped me quickly adapt to change and learn to accept it at an early age.

Being born and raised in South Florida, I have always had endless amounts of arts and entertainment surrounding me, especially in Fort Lauderdale and Miami. Although I live in Plantation, a suburb in South Florida, I am only a short drive from Florida’s versions of “Hollywood” and “Broadway.”

With that being said, my passion for theatre, stemming from arts and entertainment, emanates from having less worldly experiences. As a South Florida native, and by native, I mean living in the same house I was born in, in the same suburban city, 23 years later, I have had less experience than most regarding the world.

Yes, I live near one of the biggest cities for arts, entertainment, and culture (shoutout the 305), but that is all I have ever been surrounded by. Is that what defines me? One big city that I live on the outskirts of? How do I know myself if I have only seen a glimpse of what the world has to offer me?

For 23 years, I have had one bedroom, one backyard, one kitchen. I have come home to the same navy-blue door since I can remember, literally.

The infamous Navy Blue door

Now I am not saying this is all bad- part of me takes comfort in knowing I have been lucky enough to have that “childhood home” people write songs about (*Insert Miranda Lambert lyrics here*). Part of me also takes comfort in knowing that I can go to my neighborhood Publix and see my favorite Cashiers to make small talk with. Or walk to my local coffee shop where the Barista has my order memorized and ready to go by my arrival.

However, a BIG part of me feels as though I have missed out on meaningful life experiences from being, well, the opposite of a nomad. This is the reason the entertainment industry plays such a significant role in my life. Theatre has allowed me to feel as if I have traveled worldwide because of the realistic escape it gives you, when you slide into the fifth row and settle in for two hours of magic.

From the moment the curtain goes up to the moment it goes down, a play takes me from my seat in a small playhouse and places me in the same zip code and time zone as the play I am watching. For example, the Broadway musical Wicked has allowed me to travel to the quaint rural suburb of Kansas. In contrast, the musical Chicago has allowed me to feel as if I not only traveled to Chicago, but also lived there during the Jazz Age.

How could someone like me not be incredibly grateful for arts and entertainment, especially theatre? Allowing me to feel as though I can live an entirely different life and be someone else for the length of a play- is something I want to continue to surround myself with forever.

At 23, I guess one can say I fit somewhere along the blurred line of where the era of Millennials ends, and Generation Z begins. Still old enough to blame for the economy’s downfall, but still young enough to go viral on TikTok without getting made fun of.

Me turning 23

23 is a weird age though, some people are married and starting a family, some are still in school, some are just trying to get by.

Me? I’m still figuring out exactly who I am. But one thing I do know for sure is that I am exactly where I want to be (and can watch a play to escape if not).

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