Monday, December 18, 2017 03:20

Cast Blog: Pretty Pony

Pretty PonyHey there! Pretty Pony here and it’s time I tell you lovely folks a bit about myself and my experiences with the JCCP. I discovered Rocky when I was 15. A close friend of mine showed me the movie one night and a few weeks later we ventured to the JCCP’s old home, The Oaks. I loved everything about it. We started going to every show and bringing friends. We even went as far to sneak out of our semi dance early to catch a show (seriously why lock a bunch of kids in a school until 11:30pm?), and I celebrated my 18th birthday with a Rocky at the Hollywood.

I moved to college in Ohio. I caught some shows in Cincinnati. It was still a lot of fun, but I missed the JCCP, The Hollywood, and Pittsburgh. All throughout high school I was that kid that couldn’t wait to move far away. I never thought I would miss the city or anything about it except for my pets, but I was wrong. I didn’t realize how much Rocky meant to me until I was away from it. I came back home after a semester and resumed my trips to the Hollywood. Part of me wanted to join cast, but the other part of me was scared. You see I was a weird kid growing up. I didn’t have many friends and I really didn’t fit in anywhere. I would talk to people, but I wasn’t close to anyone. I was pretty much a loner, save for a couple friends. I had also had a really rough time while away at college. I had not made a single friend at the school, and it was pretty clear some of the girls on my floor only hung out with me because they felt bad for me. This really hit my confidence hard and made me realize I had some social anxiety. I was content to just be an audience member for now.

That changed in August 2014. 5 years after experiencing Rocky for the first time. I decided I was sick of being timid and auditioned for cast. Since coming back from college all of my old friends and I had grown apart. Most of them moved away to attend college, and I lost contact with the few that stayed. It seemed like I was always the one to start the conversation and make plans. I thought I was annoying them so eventually I would text them less and less and eventually stopped. I figured if they wanted to talk to me they would. Spoiler alert 99% of them didn’t, so I would spend my days working, doing class work, riding my horse, and playing Sims. The only time I really went out was to go to Rocky. I finally mustered up the guts to join cast. I sent an email and set everything up.

The day of the meeting that I was invited to I was so nervous. I almost emailed them and said something came up, but then I realized; this was an opportunity to branch out and meet new people. Before the meeting people were actually talking to me and seemed interested to hold a conversation. I will spare the details because frankly I was so nervous they are kind of blurry, but I was welcomed into the JCCP family with open arms. My first few shows were pretty nerve-wracking, and the first time I played Janet I thought the spot light would hit me and I would forget everything and just fall over. The other members of the cast were super patient and didn’t mind my million and ten questions, which is what I tend to do when I am nervous. I will never forget how happy I was after that show. Yeah, I messed up a few times, but the audience still enjoyed it and I had a blast.

Now, almost a year after joining cast, I can say this was one of the best decisions I have made. I am a part of group that is family. The support from the cast and our audience is amazing. Hearing someone cheer after a floorshow routine, or having someone compliment you on something can make you feel awesome about yourself and can really help boost your self-confidence. Joining the JCCP has also gotten me to experience Pittsburgh in a whole new way, and has taught me some new things as well. I have

gotten a lot better at parallel parking, I don’t get lost around the city as much, and I finally figured out the T. I also get to hang out with a pretty great group of people pretty often.

I am still pretty shy and awkward sometimes, especially during the dance party, but I am very slowly working on coming around and trying to become less socially awkward. In some ways I still feel like that weird, not so attractive, loser I was in high school, but then I remember with the help of my JCCP family that I am pretty cool person. So, if you see me milling around don’t be afraid to come say hi. I promise I’m not mean and I don’t bite.

Overall, joining the JCCP was my way of trying to branch out and make new friends that I would actually fit in with for once. It also gave me a chance to get out of my house and do more, and majorly boosted my self-confidence. The JCCP has been so great, and I don’t think I can put into words how happy I am to have a group of people that are so wonderful and accepting in my life.

Much love,

Pretty Pony

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