Megan Again: Star Search Dreams
By Megan Wirts
As a very small girl I dreamt of becoming a singer. If I was awake I was singing a song.
I was a child of the 80’s and before there was American Idol or The Voice, there was Star Search. I watched that show like it was my job and I wanted to be on it so bad it made my stomach hurt. It was all I could think about. I wanted...
...to sing ‘Over The Rainbow’ on that stage and have Ed McMahon announce that I had won 4 Stars.
I would anxiously wait at the end of each episode for them to show the address that you send your home videos to then frantically write it down and hope that I got the zip code right. This was before you could pause live television, or “The Olden Days”, as my children call it. If I didn’t get it right that day, I would have to wait another week for my chance! It wasn’t as if we could look it up on the internet either.
How did we ever survive!?
I would then beg my mother to get a video camera and tape me singing so that we could send it in. I was convinced that if I just got on that show I would win, become famous and live out my dreams.
Again, this was before there were cameras on our phones and you could just upload a video onto YouTube. Video cameras were also quite expensive in the 80’s and not everyone had them. My kids think this is completely absurd. My parents never bought a video camera and I was never able to send it in, thus my dreams of being the Junior Vocalist Champion never came to fruition.
Growing up in my small town, I joined the school choir and the theatrics club. I remember standing on the stage in Grant High School and thinking to myself, ‘This is my home’. I loved it. The stage was where my heart was.
After high school I discovered LionHeart Productions our local community theater here in Grant. Thrilled to find such an incredible organization right here in my tiny little town, I auditioned for Little Women and got the part of Beth.
*Spoiler Alert* I’m pretty sure there wasn’t a dry eye in the house when sweet Beth died surrounded by her sisters. I LOVED IT!! I remember cracking one eye open as I was dying and seeing two ladies in the front row just sobbing. It was the best! I didn’t need Star Search and Ed McMahon; I was a star right here in my hometown. Even if it was in my own mind, I was happy with it.
Then life happened, I got married and had babies and took time off from the stage. I would sing with friends now and then and rock out some karaoke any chance I could. I worked as a bar that had karaoke on the weekends while putting myself through college and sang whenever the opportunity arose. I was the singing server and the tips were awesome!
It just wasn’t the same as being on the stage though. Finally, after my kids were a little older and I had a job with more normal hours I was able to get back into it. I felt at home again and content with my life. I was doing all of the things I loved and I felt like I was making a difference in my community.
Again, life happened. I had a couple of brain surgeries, now have dystonia and can no longer get on that stage the way I once did while watching others take the roles that might have been mine. I’m not going to sugarcoat it. It has killed me inside, like soul sucking pain. I have ugly cried and felt the sting of jealousy burn deep inside of me.
I am still working through those feelings and it may take a long time. Sometimes it feels silly to feel so deeply and be so sad about not being able to pretend to be a princess in a musical put on by a community theater in a tiny little town. I have heard people say, “It’s just community theater Megan, get over it.” (Yeah, I don’t talk to those people anymore, in case you are wondering.) It just isn’t that easy. I cannot just “get over it.”
I realize that I am grieving. Grieving for the life that I had and the hopes dreams that went with that life. It is a long process and there’s no way of knowing when it will be over, if ever, but I’m working on it. I am trying to find new things to fill the void in my heart where my love of performing lies. I have to find new hopes and dreams.
I am learning that I am not one to just roll over and die. Sure, I will sit in despair and wallow in sadness from time to time, but rest assured I will get through this and find my happiness.
I have tried stand-up comedy and loved it, can still rock out some karaoke and still have some killer dance moves. I even joke about being a shoo-in for something like The Voice or America’s Got Talent now because they love a good sob story.
At least I have that going for me now.
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