In her own words –
“My name is Adlyn Carreras and I’m an artist. It took me a long time to use this word to describe myself.
Ever since I was a little girl, I have loved to perform. My mother put me in Ballet and Flamenco classes and I would do performances in the living room of my home for all my dolls. I would pretend that I was the host of my own Miss Universe pageant with my Barbies. In school, I would always be involved in anything that was happening: being the elf during a Christmas pageant, playing the part of a little girl in a production of “Annie get Your Gun” when I was in 3rd grade. In high school, taking part in all the Homecoming Skits and being part of the Dance Team, were some of the things I loved doing. I also loved sports and played volleyball, basketball, and softball. Because I played sports, I never really participated in any theater productions in school. I wanted to, but the productions were always during softball season and that always won out.
After high school, I went to Macalester College in Minnesota. At Mac, I was always involved in anything that was being performed during Hispanic/Latino Week. It occurred to me that maybe I should pursue a degree in the arts, but I thought my mother would not approve. I studied International Studies with a concentration in Latin American Literature and also had a minor in Biology because I thought I wanted to be a doctor too. I also played sports and again made that a priority.
Fast forward a few years, and I met my husband, who was (and still is) an actor in the Twin Cities. At the time, I was looking for a way to get into acting in theater. We started dating and he introduced me to people, which led to auditions. I started doing some shows, but not as many and as frequently as him. As our relationship became more serious, we started making decisions on where to live and how we would support ourselves. We had the opportunity to live in an artist co-op and, because he was a theater artist, we were accepted. I started thinking of him as the artist and I just acted for fun. And this was fine for a long time. As time went on, we got married, had two beautiful kids, bought a house, and settled into our life.
Then, as it happens, life threw us a curve ball. We were both working in the same restaurant and taking turns taking care of the children, and acting in productions. Early in January of that year, he was fired from the restaurant on a Thursday and then I was fired the following Saturday. We both lost our jobs within one week. My biggest fear happened: that I would be without a means to take care of my family. I fell into a deep depression. I was so miserable, I had to seek help. My doctor recommended an outpatient program, with the idea that if I got a job, I would have to leave. The program was 12 weeks long, Monday through Friday, 9am-1pm.
After the first couple of weeks, I received an email from the wife of a former director, telling me that the director’s mother had died. I called him and we agreed to meet. After catching up on what was happening in each of our lives, he said to me “so I’m directing this small production, rehearsal starts in a few minutes, and I want you to join me.” He hired me on the spot! For the next 5 to 6 weeks, I went to my program and then went to rehearsal. It was exactly what I needed to be lifted from my illness and it completely change my life. I spent a lot of time looking inward and assessing my life and what I wanted to accomplish. I re-discovered my love for performance, that I wanted to act and be involved with anything in theater. I realized that I am an artist and this is my calling. It took a long time and going through difficult situations to realize this simple concept. That first contract with the director, led to another opportunity stage managing a reading, which led to me managing the theater’s Gala, and then the opportunity to be the theater’s Office Manager.
I have been working at this theater for the past 6 years as Office Manager, been in many of the theater’s productions, learned how to coordinate major events, and have seen how many opportunities there are available to someone like me. I was commissioned to write my own show, which I gave a reading in the past year and continue to write. I was hired as a Teaching Artist for the local children’s theater. And, in the past year, I was offered a position to teach an acting class at Augsburg University. All these things that I only dreamed of doing and coming from a dire time in my life. I’m proud of my journey and glad that I found myself in the process. It took a long time, but here I am.
My name is Adlyn Carreras and I AM an artist.”
Participants in this project will be supporting the efforts of Dress for Success Worldwide – Central. We are all stronger together and it is my sincere hope that we will be inspired by each other’s stories. Now is the time to celebrate as well as encourage one another. Tell your story!***