Letter from Lucy

Letter from Lucy

Dear Lyceum, 

It feels weird writing a letter; one that’s existence wasn’t ordered by a nagging teacher and isn’t composed of inconsequential truths to be precise. It feels weird writing a letter for me. 

I am not certain as to why I am writing to you nor whether I should. I cannot express myself with passion or imbed poetry into my prose half as well as those who narrate their stories within the multitude of letters you’ve already accumulated. Perhaps, it would’ve been more beneficial to apply myself to the Youth Theatre’s time capsule when I had the chance but I don’t like the idea of losing my barriers; through paper there is a stark honesty which I can display without feeling as though my privacy is being breached whilst saying my truths to a camera, without some inkling of acting, feels as if I am showing too much skin. I guess, I am writing to you because theatre is about connection and I want to connect with you in some way. 

I’ve always loved watching people perform and losing myself under the influence of a good story, whether that be a pantomime, musical, film or play. In theatre, a good story never leaves you unscathed. They reflect the life lessons that others have learned so that you are wary of them too. I like listening to your stories. So much so that I’m always longing to be part of the narrative. 

Acting means a lot to me in spite of my parents’ disapproval. It’s a chance to embrace vulnerability under the guise of pretence, display parts of ourselves we are tentative to let the world view and showcase possibility. I don’t quite view acting as becoming someone else. I view acting as a way to connect with all the people you could’ve been because it allows me, just for a brief fragment of time, to be all the people I wish I was: brave, open, selfless. 

In short, my adoration for theatre (for you) is a distinct part of me. I presume that you’d assume my next words to be centred around how I’d like to be with you again. I wish I could say, with certainty, that you are right. 

I yearn for things to revert back to exactly the way they were. I know they will not.  

Despite my Asian heritage, I have been little exposed to malice but, since my paranoia has surfaced, my prejudice whispers that it could be anywhere and everywhere. For example, though I share the common adolescent condition of unconsciously scowling when in thought, I instinctively smile at people if I accidentally catch their eye. It’s such a trivial thing but I just become that tidbit happier when strangers smile back and now I’m afraid that less people will. 

The end of the health crisis also marks the beginning of a financial one. I’ve overheard countless conversations in which my father informs my mother about the numerous countries (he claims that there are over 100) that will sue China and those civilians who their inflict brutality upon us on the streets. My mother tells him that he is too gullible in the majority of instances but, usually unbeknownst to him, she warns me of racism with piercing eyes and searches my face to ensure my absolute comprehension. Sometimes, my dad’s comments spur me on to do my own hidden research. I am from from rejoicing over my findings. 

People are dying and plummeting into poverty whilst I pray against a potential problem that I may never face. I am selfish and I won’t deny that. I won’t deny my faults. 

I’ll stop overloading you with my thoughts as I a acknowledge that I have not been the most attentive writer and your losses are real, looming threats that have to be truly overcome. I have faith in you regardless. A theatre is not simply architecture; your building, though glorious in its beauty, is merely a vessel. A theatre is its community and people; they are the ones who make you home. We are your heart and as long as we hold on to our passion, we will find a way forward or pave our own.  

Nonetheless, I wish you all the best and I hope that when all this is over, and opportunities such as work experience and apprenticeships have slammed shut their doors, you will still let me in. 


Lucy Jia

Tags: From Audience