Jennifer Wolcott is a full time performer at Sight and Sound Theatres, where she also serves as the Dance Captain and Associate Choreographer. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Vocal Performance from Taylor University and a Masters of Music in Opera and Musical Theatre performance from Southern Illinois University Carbondale. She has worked as a director, choreographer, and performer for other Lancaster, PA and Branson, MO based theatre companies such as Piercing Word, Servant Stage, and Forte Theatre Productions.
When Jaime asked me to write a blog, all I could think of was how unqualified I feel to be someone worth listening to. I may have experience, but who am I to write as some sort of an expert in my field…? I don’t feel like an expert. In fact, most days I feel pretty confused; confused about how I am where I am, confused about who put me in charge of things, confused at how I’m currently making a living (at ALL-let alone being able to write “Performer” on my taxes), confused about how anyone lives this life without trust in a Divine Creator of the Universe.
Let’s start with a little backstory. My name is Jennifer Wolcott and I am an actor, choreographer, director, voice coach and teacher. I’ve been on stage since I started dancing when I was three, and I’ve known that the theatre would always be my home since I did my first musical when I was eight. In school, they always tell you to pick another profession if you can picture yourself doing anything other than theatre… I couldn’t picture it, so here I am. It is as I look at my very blessed life as an actor and take a look at how I got here that the footprints of the Lord are the most apparent to me.
Although I do believe I am a talented performer and gifted leader; the Lord has been the foundation for every stepping stone and opportunity in my career. He has been paramount not only to my successes, but also for my sanity and the development of my support system (which is vital for any performer). For me, being a Christian Creative seems kind of redundant. The Lord is, at His essence, THE creator... and we are created in His image. I feel closest to the Lord when I am in the creative element; be that the rehearsal process as an actor, choreographer, or director. Although I’m thankful and blessed enough to have been booked for long runs of shows; I miss the creative element that happens during the rehearsal process when new ways to tell the story are daily and palpable.
I actually feel the same way when I teach. When I’m working with a student and they engage in a new technique or click with the material in a new way, it is a feeling that I can only imagine is a minuscule version of what God feels for us when we grow closer to Him in a new way. The self discovery it takes to learn yourself physically or emotionally to create a sound and character with which people will connect grows us closer to the Lord. Not only is it an improvement on our art, but an improvement of ourselves as a whole.
When I come back to being insecure about why and how I am where I am, I have learned to go back to who The Lord used in the Bible; unqualified person after unqualified person. Joseph was an arrogant dreamer, Moses hated speaking publicly and was a stutterer, Jonah ran in the other direction at God’s calling, and Esther was (gasp) a woman! As thankful as I am for my career and successes, the Lord is truly in charge, and I have nothing to fear or even be intimidated by as long as my journey continues to bring me closer to Him through obedience and humility.
So you also, when you have done all that you were commanded, say, ‘We are unworthy servants; we have only done what was our duty.’”