Bright lights. A big stage. An eager audience is waiting. Sophomore Kaydee Williams closes her eyes and takes a deep breath. With only a few minutes left before her performance, she takes a second to pray and turn her nerves into excitement. Once on stage, a new facade takes over Williams and she is ready to perform. 

Williams has had an interest in musical arts and theater since she was in elementary school. One of her biggest influences in pursuing her talent was Willams' family. “When my sister was in high school, they were putting on Shrek the Musical at the high school and they were offering parts for younger students to try out,” said Willams. “I was in fourth grade at the time, and I always loved going to the musicals they would put on at the high school. My parents encouraged me to try out since my older sister was trying out. My sister ended up not trying out due to conflicts with basketball, but I made the cast, and I've loved theater and singing ever since.”

Williams has been a part of many theater productions, including lead roles in Addams Family and Mary Poppins. Williams has also been a part of all three show choirs:  Nouvelles, Femme Fatales and Belles et Beaux. Throughout her experiences in each activity, Williams said she has learned a lot about herself. “I've learned that it's important to try new things because I was really scared about trying out for things my freshman year, and I didn't feel that confident in myself. After getting a part in The Addams Family and getting a solo in the Femmes show, I became a lot more confident, and it made me realize that you should never let fear have control over the decisions you make.”

Even though Williams has been in many productions and shows, she still struggles with confidence and stage fright. Because of that, she has a way of calming herself down before she goes on stage. “For anyone who struggles with stage fright and nerves, I suggest praying or doing something relaxing to help calm you down. I find when I do breathing exercises or spend a few minutes by myself, it helps me focus and turn the nerves into excitement,” said Williams. “It's also important to realize that everyone gets nervous, and having a little nerves are actually good for you. Also, I believe it's better to try something even if you are scared, so even if I mess something up, I know the whole experience was amazing, and that one thing won't change anything in the long run.”

Although Williams has a very busy schedule during production or during show choir season, she always finds herself loving the aspect of being a part of the team and going on stage. “At this point, I'm not sure if I want to do something in that field, but I'm going to continue praying about it and see where God leads me,” said Williams. “Whatever happens though, I do know that choir and theater will always have a special place in my heart.”

Story by Sri Nattam