Letter to My Teenage Self: Nick Adams

(Photo by Troy Phillips & Akimitsu Sadoi, courtesy Nick Adams)

Few dancers have musical theater resumés as impressive as Nick Adams’. Originally from Erie, PA, Adams graduated from The Boston Conservatory in 2005, and just two weeks later was touring internationally with Chicago. He soon joined Chicago’s Broadway cast, and during the next four years, he performed in the Broadway revivals of A Chorus Line, Guys and Dolls and La Cage aux Folles. In 2011, Adams created one of the leading roles in the original Broadway show Priscilla, Queen of the Desert. Currently, he’s starring as Fiyero in Wicked’s national tour. —Jenny Dalzell

Dear Younger Self,

Breathe. You are so dedicated and so tightly wound that you always forget to breathe. Appreciate the power of a good sigh and let go—you don’t need to hold on to so much.

Know the day will come when you’ll get out of your small town and make something of yourself. Savor the successes, because they’ll fly by. Live in the now. Put your sights on what’s next, but never forget to simply enjoy the moment.

Don’t get so discouraged. You beat yourself up a lot (it stems from wanting to be the best), but don’t hate yourself. Be proud of your talents, and don’t be afraid of what others might think. The people who bully you will be left in your dust. Don’t ever let their words bring you down.

In the Erie Playhouse productions of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory at age 11 (photo courtesy Adams)

Don’t take your frustrations out on your teachers. It’s not their fault when you fall out of a turn—they’re only there to help and guide you. Listen to your acting and singing teachers, too. Be a sponge.

I know you’ll never lose your humility. You’ll also never forget how much you wanted your dreams to come true—and you’ll actually exceed the career goals you set for yourself. You’ll make Mom and Dad very proud. (They already are.)

Never lose your sense of confidence. It’s a beautiful thing, and it’ll take you far. Always trust your instincts, and never second-guess your gut—it’s usually right.

I love you.

Nick

P.S. Don’t fall asleep while stretching your feet under the couch. Set an alarm.

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