Thursday, June 2, 2016

Young Company Senior Speech: Natalie Alteri

On Sunday, May 30, our First Stage Young Company students and their families gathered at Casablanca on the East Side for their yearly Young Company Senior Dinner. A chance to acknowledge the successes of the past year as well as congratulate seniors and wish them well in their coming adventures, the Senior Dinner also allowed some graduates the chance to speak. Here is what one student had to say:

Hi, I’m Natalie Alteri. I’ll start out by attempting to share with you both who I am and why I’m here in as few words and stories as possible. When I was 9, I only wanted two things. One was a real bell from Santa’s sleigh. The other was to be in a First Stage show. I have my mom to thank for the bell, and Jeff Frank to thank for the show. My future aspirations include being a doctor, having 0 to 1 kids, and donating money to support theater.
via Alison Pogorelc
Next year, I’ll study lots of science and Spanish at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities. When I was 12, John told Josie and I to keep Young Company in mind as we got older. What John doesn’t know is that I’ve kept those words in mind as I’ve gotten older. John had confidence in my character before I ever did. He has this way of complimenting us just by reminding us of who we are. They never fail to be what I call “Mark Twain Compliments” because he once said “I can live for two months on a good compliment.” John has a lot of love for Young Company and for the people in it; it’s this love that has become the core what we all know Young Company to be. I’m incredibly grateful for all the time I’ve spent at First Stage, time that has undeniably shaped me into a much better version of myself. But the truth is that I won’t do justice to all that time by attempting to share it in this little speech. So instead I’ll leave you with a variety of knowledge and wisdom that is important to me for one reason or another. I’ll give credit where credit is due. Enjoy.

It is a sign of self-worth and great maturity if your behavior doesn’t change much based on who’s in a room. -John Maclay

Some of the most disturbed minds with the most difficult lives have left us the most beautiful art. -Alison Pogorelc

Reputation is an idle and most false imposition, oft got without merit and lost without deserving. -Shakespeare

Don’t just talk about the importance of something, do it. Especially recycling. -Zoey Knox

You can take love and truth with you wherever you go. -Marcella Kearns

When life gives you lemons, you can’t make any lemonade, because you don’t have any sugar or water -Josie Trettin

Comparison is the thief of joy. -Theodore Roosevelt

Here is a play. It has never existed quite like this before and never will again. That is the beauty of it all. -Matt Daniels

Try never to be the smartest person in the room. And if you are, I suggest you invite smarter people … or find a different room. -Michael Dell

Only speak when silence will not do. Only move when stillness will not do. -Joshua Pohja

I could have thanked nearly everyone in the room for an exorbitant list of things, but I wouldn’t really have the words, so instead I stole some words from other people. I’d like to think it’s alright though, because we say that so much of acting is stealing, and even if I never do another play again, everything I’ll ever know about acting is indisputably part of who I am.

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