“Love is Magic”: An Étoile Original by Annie Honebrink

I stand in the wings, preparing for my entrance. I don’t think my heart has stopped fluttering since I first read my name next to “Marie” on the cast sheet. I am nineteen years old. I run onto the stage, the nerves staying behind in the wings. The audience, stage, and bosses’ eyes disappear, and I am transported into a new world. I am Marie.

That night my eyes well up because there is too much inside of me. My heart is still pounding with the rush from being Marie—how it felt to let the music take over—to sing with my soul. I cry because I am so full and my heart is flying. I cry because not everyone has the opportunity to experience one of those moments where time stops and you are a part of the sky—and I did experience it. I cry in fear that I will never experience it again. My nineteen year old future is blurry and insecure. Art is a give and take, and despite the glorious gifts you receive from giving all of yourself—the curtain does close, and there is no guarantee it will rise again.

For the next seven years I look into the eyes of my Nutcracker Prince and around at the imaginary world of snow and Magic, and I am that little girl again—playing make-believe, living in a dream world. It is a gift—a frozen moment of perfect innocence and purity. It is a sweet reminder that light and goodness still exist. Love can win. And magic is real.

Love is Magic initially appeared in The Brown-Forman Nutcracker’s issue of Étoile in December 2018.