Friday, December 7, 2012

Spotlight on Donna Young

When Donna Young signed up for an acting class at the Patel Conservatory, she had no idea the impact it would have on her life.

At 54, Young is a medical saleswoman who had no prior acting experience. She signed up on a whim.

“It came to me out of the blue...I thought this would be a great way to meet a whole new culture of people,” said Young, of Largo.

Life had thrown Young a lot of curve balls. Her parents died when she was 18, her mother of liver cancer and her father from a disease called neurofibromatosis. Their deaths left  Young as the legal guardian of four younger siblings. Her sister died just a few years later from the same disease as her father, and another sister now struggles with the disease.

Young also went through a divorce and struggled for many years as a single mother. Having had her share of heartaches, she yearned for something that would bring her joy.

“I was looking to meet positive people, to make a positive impact on my life,” said Young.

And she found just that, and so much more in Kerry Glamsch’s acting class.

“I never felt like I was a creative type person until I got there and found out that I was,” she said. “It was journey for me of self-discovery throughout the class.”

Learning techniques of acting allowed Young to let go of her inhibitions, meet new friends and build confidence.

“We did an improv exercise where me and my partner got up in front of the class...We came up with a story, and I really enjoyed that, throwing caution to the wind and letting the story develop. And we were very funny, so I really enjoyed the reaction of the class.

That opened a door for me. I thought, Yes, I can put myself out there. I don’t have to be afraid. It taught me how to get out of my comfort zone and to let loose, to let go.”

Another surprise came for Young when she performed in the end of the session's Evening of Shorts. She discovered a love for performing.

“I got out there on that stage, and I found a home. There was nothing else going on in the world. There was just me and the person I was acting with. I gave it my all and I was very proud of it,” she said.

In performing, she could forget about the world and her everyday life, and be totally engrossed in a story and its characters. She has since gone on auditions for community theaters and even performed in an open mic night, something she never would have imagined doing before taking Glamsch’s class.

“I have never been as happy as when I was in those classes and with those people (her classmates). It was challenging, too, you have to work at it, and I like that,” she said.

“I could not have done it, been able to start to grow and come out of my shell, without Kerry. He was encouraging and inspiring. He instilled in me a love for acting and a drive to keep on pushing forward.”

For more information about the adult acting classes or other classes in dance, music and theater at the Patel Conservatory, please call 813-222-1002, or click here for our online brochure.

No comments:

Post a Comment