BYU Divine Comedy
Final Thoughts: The Stacey Harkey Addition
The following is the parting blog post from Stacey Harkey, our beloved Gretchen-adored alumni:
So let’s start this off on the right note. I don’t want you to have to wade through a whole bunch of mamby-pansy BULL CRAP, I want to be straight-up real and honest! It might get a little uncomfortable but you have my word that this is going to be a true slice of the crusty and tangy pie that is my life.
I don’t know why I’m in Divine Comedy! It logically doesn’t make any sense. Growing up I never was involved with theater or plays or even considered myself to be a funny person.
QUICK TANGENT: I tried to get involved with a high school play once but they told me there were no roles for Black people, which might explain why I sort of hate type casting.
Anyways… I never performed in plays. If you ask my siblings, I’m the serious one out of the four of us. There’s the charmingly-smart sibling, the hot sibling, the athletic sibling and then nerdy me; the serious sibling.
In High school if you would have paid a Gypsy fortune teller to show you my adult future it would have been one full of number crunching, 12 hour work days, and fantasy fiction books.
QUICK TANGENT: I’m a nerd without all the bestowed gifts of nerdiness; like intelligence, a wealthy future, or an extensive knowledge of the works of J.R.R Tolkien… that kind of stuff.
Anyways… I was never meant to be a sketch comedian… or even a social human being. I was sooo shy! I remember breaking into a frenzied, cold sweat whenever I had to carry a conversation with a stranger.
Well, it all changed for me when I decided to transfer to a different school for my senior year of high school.
I moved to a small town called Little Elm, TX. In that place I no longer had my small (like SUPER TINY) group of friends. I wanted friends badly, but everyone in this isolated, hick-school was part of a tight-nit clique. I was faced with the dilemma to either find friends or start a debilitating comic book collection in my mother’s basement.
I found myself struggling to squeeze into a mold that wasn’t me. I would lay awake at night hating myself for how much effort I put into conforming to the cultural standard and social pressure. I wasn’t happy because I was wasting superfluous amounts of time and focus stressing out over junk that was sooo menial. I hungered to be free from the chains of expectation and the weights of peer pressure.
So, I decided to change.
I started with my physical appearance. I decided that no more would I wear something based on how I felt others would like it or look at me. I forced myself to dress in a way that I wanted… which was very, very difficult at first.
I loved soccer socks so I started wearing them with shorts. It was my first experiment and as I walked into school waiting to be exiled even further into the social abyss… nothing really happened. I pushed it further and started going to school in some weird clothing-combos that I liked.
During my fashion exploration I began to seriously study the scriptures. I reached a point where I needed to know if everything I was taught about the LDS faith was true. I’ve heard whispers and rumors about Black people being cursed. After spending countless time researching the topic, all it really came down to was finding out from God himself. My study led me to learn more about who I was and my divine heritage as a son of God.
My self-confidence began to grow.
My goals of self-discovery transitioned from my clothing style to the way I acted. No more would I act out of fear of what people thought but out of my own desires.
After a month or two strange things started to happen; folks actually started wanting to be around me! I even noticed people at school copying my “weird” fashion choices. It was CRAZY! I was constantly meeting new people and making friends. I didn’t care who you were, I befriended the good, the bad, and the ugly (and at that school there was A LOT of ugly).
I learned a valuable lesson about being myself; one that everyone should discover.
From my senior year of high school through my freshman year of college and my mission I grew more confident in who I was. By the time I got back to college I was ready to try anything new. I had a handful of friends tell me to audition for Divine Comedy… the rest is history.