Young Americans 50th Anniversary

18 Apr

I moved out to California 13 years ago and it was all for this group The Young Americans, or the YA’s as we like to call it.

I can remember being in 6th grade the first time I had the YA experience. This amazing cast of people came to my school and for three days we laughed, played and learned songs, dances, comedy & staging. At the end of those three days all of us kids, along with our friends and families, piled into the Fruenthal Theater in downtown Muskegon, MI, to watch the YA cast perform an amazing show.

Just so everyone knows, I have been a little “singer/dancer/actress” pretty much my whole life. It was my way of expressing myself. So naturally I was absolutely glued to my seat and just watching in awe. Then it was my turn… Act 2 was with us, the “town kids” as they called us… so I got up on that stage, hit every mark, danced the best I could and sang my solo as proud as can be. It was from that moment on that I was determined to be a Young American.

I spent my whole junior high and high school career in the arts, learning and pushing myself to be the best just so I would be excepted into the Young Americans… My life was kind of like Rachel Barry’s life from Glee. My senior year I did what every other kid was doing… writing my essay’s and applying to college’s and because I was so focused musical theater, I was preparing songs and dances to audition into some of the top performing college’s in the US, BUT I just knew that I wanted to be a Young American. So it’s spring of my senior year and the YA’s come out to do their 3 day tour in my home town again. I got my chance to audition… and I did it! I was accepted into being a YOUNG AMERICAN.

Strait after I returned from my senior trip in the summer , with little to no money and not much planning, I kissed my parents (who were scared to death for me) goodbye and I headed out here to Southern California to start my new life as a Young American… and here I still am 13 years later. Young Americans changed my life. The things I learned, and what I got to do on tours really shaped me.

The Young American’s was founded by Milton Anderson in 1962. So this past weekend so many of us “old” Young Americans came together to celebrate the 50th anniversary and it’s founder (our second father). Every decade came together to perform their own “mini show”. It was so much fun! Catching up with old friends, shedding tears of joy and admiration as we watched the decades before us perform, and just looking back on this amazing group was just the highlight of my summer … and so far, of my year!

Here are some pics of this amazing experience!!! (as well as 1 picture from 2000 fall tour… wow we look so young!)

 

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