The Power Of Performing Arts By Cindy

Hello everyone! My name is Cindy Tran Nguyen and I am a senior at The Ohio State University double majoring in Theatre and Marketing and minoring in Asian American Studies. I am currently interning with Empowered & Poised, working as a student ambassador at The Fisher College of Business, and taking three summer classes.

As of right now, I am doing relatively well for myself. However, the path I took to get here was far from easy: filled with self-starvation, heartache, suicidal thoughts, and self-doubt. My experiences led me to believe I was never enough for the people around me. My parents constantly verbally (and oftentimes physically) assaulted me. Boys were only using me for my body. And my friends seemed like they were leaving left and right.

The loneliness and pain I experienced in middle and high school caused my mental health to decline, but the one thing that got me through was a love for performing arts.

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I have loved singing for as long as I can remember, but did not get the courage to audition for theatre until my sophomore year of high school. I did not audition my freshman year of high school because I was still trying to figure everything “high school” out and did not think that I could have committed enough time to the art.

Sophomore year, I bit the bullet and went for it. And lo and behold, I got casted and in a named role nonetheless! She had her own story and solo and it felt like I was living the dream. I was able to run away from all of my issues for four hours every night and just be someone else for a bit. There was no time to dwell on my personal life because theatre is a community effort.

Through high school theatre, I learned how to express myself and communicate better, establish lifelong friendships, and prove to myself that I was enough and that I was good at something. Theatre really helped me to build my confidence.

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With this in mind (and thankfully a prescription for antidepressants and mood stabilizers), I was able to carve a new path for myself in college. Theatre still is a big part of my life, so much so that I have decided to try to make a career out of it. Just this last year, I was given my first main leading lady role and I could not have been more excited! It was exhausting, grueling, and debilitating, but I would not trade any part of it.

Despite the long hours and hard work, the last three years in the theatre department at OSU have continued to give me lasting relationships, an increased sense of self despite prejudice, and the ability to be comfortable in my own skin. I truly feel I am a better person because of theatre. Even if I don’t end up making a professional career in theatre, it is not leaving my life any time soon. What started out as a hobby has become one of the most important aspects of my identity.