By: Clarissa Blakely
She stands behind the curtains as she has done so many times. The crowd rustles around and slowly comes to a hush. She thinks over her lines. The music plays, the curtains draw back and she breathes in and releases stepping into the lights. Showtime.
Abby Sexton is one of the many students at Missouri Western who has dedicated their lives to entertainment in the form of plays and musicals. You may have seen Abby Sexton in plays like Into the Woods, Spring Awakening, Blithe Spirit, The 25th Annual Putnam Spelling Bee and so many more.
“At this point I’ve done more than I can count,” Sexton said.
She started doing plays and musicals during high school. Before that, she was committed to being an athlete of all kinds of sports, as her whole family had always been into sports. While her family never told her she had to do sports that is what they guided her to most. In high school she decided to explore the theatre world and has been doing it ever since. She now pursues a musical theatre degree and continues to do plays and musicals
One of the directors who has worked with Sexton in the play Blithe Spirit last year, Tee Quillin, sees her passion for theatre.
“Abby is one of the most driven, hardest working young actresses that has come through our department,” Quillin said.
Through this department Sexton has done many plays but her favorite she has done is Cabaret. Sexton, through performing this show, fell in love with it, and grew a deep passion for the emotional production.
Sexton said, “The show was just very rich in plot that it allowed everybody involved to really sink their teeth into the story. ”
Productions can be wonderful and breath-taking, but they’re sometimes tough to insert into regular life. It is amazing that Sexton is able to have a job, go to school and do these productions, often, being the lead.
“It’s really really hard. Honestly, it’s constantly adjusting and I still haven’t found the perfect balance of it,” Sexton said
People around Sexton notice this hard work. Student, Kimberly Blazer who loves theatre and has been involved with plays herself saw Spring Awakening last year.
Blazer said,“Abby was a great energy on stage and she worked really well with the rest of the cast.”
Aside from just being physical draining and time consuming, plays and musicals are often emotionally draining. The process of casting can often be a cruel process.
Sexton says, “as an actor you have to realize, going into the profession, that you’re going to be told “no” more times than you’re going to be told ‘yes.’”
The fear of rejection goes along with the fear of not finding work. It scares so many students away from pursuing a degree like this. Sexton will not let worries get in the way of her happiness and others may need the same
Sexton says, “Anybody wanting to pursue performance I would have to say you either have love it enough or you have to be crazy enough to actually go through with it.”
In the acting world a common phrase is the show will go on and for Abby Sexton, that phrase could not ring more true. Her attitude towards life and her passion shines through in every production she does. She teaches other students to go after what brings their heart joy and to not hold back in their passions. After college she plans to continue doing shows and to make hopefully make it big someday.