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The Wrangler

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    The Benefits of Being in A Musical in High School

    Jennalyn Urquico
    (from left to right) Cosette McCulloch, Addyson Shoup, Evani Gulati, Jennalyn Urquico (me), and Sam Davis smiling with teary eyes after our closing show of Grease at Yorba Linda Spotlight as “Sandy” and “The Pink Ladies.”

    High school is such an essential era in a teenager’s life. It shapes who you are in terms of your work ethic, but most importantly, it significantly affects your well-being. Having a supportive, loving group of friends is more important than ever in this phase of life. 


    Being in high school can be challenging for a lot of different reasons. It can be not easy to find your niche, a place where you can unapologetically be yourself. However, I have found my group of people, and I would go so far as to say my second family, in the rehearsal spaces of a musical. 


    Having a group of people, you can entirely rely on, and trust is important in any phase of your life. Especially in high school, however, having people you can trust and love with your whole heart is so important.


    I have been in musical theatre since I was six years old. I have been in 17 plays since then, and I cannot even begin to describe the special bond formed between the cast members during the rehearsal process. Being in a cast is equivalent to that of having a second family. It gives you such a sound support system. 


    This past winter, I played “Sandy” in the musical Grease at Yorba Linda Spotlight, and I can say with absolute certainty that being in this musical was one of the best experiences of my life. I made lasting friendships and now have friends that I consider family. I made such lifelong bonds with my fellow “Pink Ladies,” especially with this girl named Evani, who played Rizzo. She and I became so close that I consider her one of my best friends, even though we only met about three months ago. I also became incredibly close with my “Sandy” double in the other cast, Sierra. She is in college, so she became like a big sister to me; she was always there to guide me, listen to me rant, and hug me whenever I needed it. These particular bonds saved me during the first months of my junior year. Without these precious rehearsal times spent with my cast (who essentially became my second family), I think the overwhelming pressure of grades would have gotten to me. 


    Being in a musical is beneficial, as it creates lasting friendships. Nothing is quite like spending time with your cast at rehearsals multiple times a week to open and close a show with them. You get to see all the hard work and dedication put into the rehearsal process when the show is on. And even though you may not see your “second family” once the show closes, you all have a bond that will last you a lifetime.  


    YLHS student Sam Davis (12) played “Marty” in Grease at Yorba Linda Spotlight and loved her experience in the musical. She cherishes the bonds made in the show, saying, “During a show, you get super close with your cast mates because you hang out all the time and go through 10-hour days together.” Sh” believes being in a musical is so beneficial to high school students because it “can “bring people out of their shell,” and she also comments that “being in a musical brings you together with an amazing group of people that you never knew you needed in the first place.” The YLHS student, Addyson Shoup (11), played “Jan” in “Grease at Yorba Linda Spotlight and has a lot to say about how meaningful it is to be in a show. She commented that “making friends has been a tough thing for [her]; however, through theatre, […] [she] has made friendships with people [she] would have never thought I would have things in common with.” Sh” also shares that musical theatre helps high schoolers improve their social skills and confidence.

    “Making friends has been a really difficult thing for me; however through theatre, […] I have made friendships with people I would have never thought I would have things in common with.”

    — Addyson Shoup (11)

    Lastly, I asked YLHS freshman Jack Spillane (9), who played “Eugene” in Grease at Yorba Linda Spotlight, why he believes musical theatre is so beneficial to the average high school student. He started by saying that he has gained confidence from theatre and continues to say that he “developed incredibly close friendships with everyone in the cast of Grease,” adding that Grease rehearsals were “the one thing that [he looked] forward to every week.”


    If you ever feel alone, like you need a group of people you can unapologetically be yourself with, musical theatre is an excellent option in high school. Being in theatre has given me the confidence and happiness I need during this critical era. But most importantly, theatre has given me and my friends a second home and a loving family.

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    About the Contributor
    Jennalyn Urquico, Photojournalist
    Jennalyn Urquico is a junior at Yorba Linda High School. Jennalyn is a very passionate writer who loves to paint stories through words. She has an identical twin sister, a little sister, and loving parents. At YLHS, Jennalyn is the vice president of the club Impacting My Peers As a Christian Teen (IMPACT) and the historian of the Mustang Theatre Company. Jennalyn is also part of Yorba Linda’s Girls National Charity League. She is involved in musical theater at YLHS and has loved singing for as long as she can remember. She loves to read and hang out with her family and friends in her free time. She is so excited to be writing for The Wrangler this year and hopes to write some inspiring and exciting stories for everyone to read!

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