Reflecting on the ups and downs of 2023, one of my biggest dreams came true. Those are words I never thought I’d write in my lifetime. Performing on Stories from the Stage in front of a live studio audience, later aired on PBS and World Channel in June, was life-changing.

You see, I have wanted to be an actress since I was 12. My first play was called An Interlude of Deadly Silence (AIDS) at Macon Little Theatre. I was auditioning to be an understudy and was the youngest person there. I’ll never forget when the director called me onstage to read a monologue. It was at that moment that I fell in love with the stage.

I spent most of my teen years performing in community theatre, a few high school plays, and a few plays in college. I had an excellent range of performing in dramas, comedies, and musicals…a triple threat back then. I’ve never had an excellent voice for leading roles in musicals, but I could sing a solo and harmonize in a small group to an entire cast. How I wish I had more pictures of me in costume. I only have a few tangible pictures, so the bulk lives in my long-term memory.

Did I have dreams of making it big on Broadway and seeing my name in lights? You know I did! It’s still a dream, but adulting has overshadowed me. I get prickly when people say I should start auditioning since Atlanta has become the Hollywood of the South. How do they not see that I am not physically the same anymore? I’ve had and continue to have so many complications and issues post-cancer that I can’t be without health insurance and medications so I can continue existing above ground. I’m constantly grieving for my pre-cancer body that was fit, strong, and graceful. I can now pinpoint when the cancer entered my body — six months after my 34th birthday. That was the last time I looked and felt like me.

I’ve had such a fear of dipping my toe back into acting by taking classes at the Alliance Theatre and was even an extra in a Christmas movie last year — the actors’ and writer’s strike affected the distribution of it, so hoping the producers can sell it to air on Hallmark or something next year.

Now that I’ve had quite a few acting and voice-over classes under my belt, including a VO demo, it’s all I want to do, but I physically can’t, thanks to this post-cancer body that’s in pain 24/7. The fatigue never leaves me. Some days are better than others, but I always feel it. I have no choice but to work full-time to have health benefits.

I’ve never been meant to spend day in and day out sitting in a (virtual) cubicle. Getting that taste of not just being on stage or in a recording booth but truly performing different characters makes me yearn for more opportunities. I wish I could be a full-time content creator or travel the world sharing my breast cancer story and perspective with medical school students and the medical community.

My last blog post of the year is here! Thank you to everyone who has taken the time to read my posts, liked, commented...

Posted by Megsie Chase on Sunday, December 31, 2023

Honestly, who knows what’s in store for 2024. Whatever “it” is will be unconventional and likely created from scratch. The only places I’ve felt a sense of belonging are on stage or in a recording booth. I guess the 12-year-old me desperately tries to hold on to this hope.

Happy New Year, dahlings,

Warrior Megsie

This post originally appeared December 31, 2023, on Life on The Cancer Train. It is republished with permission.