Confessions from my third grade self

By Emiy Larkin, Managing and Online Editor

Lights up.

A big stage.

All eyes on you.

It’s the dream of many little boys and girls, including school girl Emily Larkin.

In third grade, my parents were confused when I came bouncing into the house with a flyer that read “Auditions for ‘The Tale of a Fourth Grade Nothing.’” My sister had tried theatre but had such bad stage fright she couldn’t even move, so my parents thought I would be the same way.

But, that wasn’t the case. I was 8 and as feisty as anything. I bounded into the audition and managed to get a lead part despite being nearly the youngest kid in the show, and the rest was history.

Only a few months after I made my acting debut, I first saw the movie “The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.” I was perplexed. It was magical and exciting. With my little pigtail braids and my schoolgirl jumper, I could imagine myself as Lucy. I ran around the entire house looking for some wardrobe that I could dive into that would take me to the mystical land of Narnia.

Now, more than 10 years later, I’m playing the role of Lucy in Newman’s production that opens tonight and runs through the weekend.

Though I grew older, my braids turned to curls and my jumper turned to a skirt, my desire to be Lucy has always stuck with me. I never thought that my dream would really come true until I was put on the ad hoc committee to choose the winter play at Newman, and there right in front of my eyes was “The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.” My heart leaped out of my chest.

If my younger self could see me now she would be screaming in a British accent and running around drinking tea too bitter for her taste.

Playing Lucy is absolutely surreal. It has surpassed every little expectation that I could have ever imagined as a once young girl and now as a grown woman.

Though I expected this to just be a lighthearted kids’ show, this play has transformed the way I view people in my life. The play may be the story of good versus evil, but it’s really taught me that everything is not so black and white. The greatest lesson it has taught me is to never give up on my dreams. No matter what I’m doing, I know that nothing is truly out of reach if I work hard and dream big.

Putting on the jumper and putting my hair in braids with ribbons is what did it for me. In that moment, I was that little girl I saw on the TV screen years before. I was that little girl who had the dream of stepping foot in the magical place called Narnia.

Come see “The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe” this weekend. I hope it will be as magical for you as it has been for me.

Like Lucy says, “This is only the beginning of our adventures in Narnia.”

PHOTO: EMILY LARKIN, who has dreamed of this role since she was a child, will star as Lucy in “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.” Courtesy photo, Dana Beitey