Each month for a year Prudential is gifting free tickets to theatre fans from across the U.S. with the Prudential Marquee Moments Broadway Ticket Giveaway, presented by Playbill. For the chance to win, entrants are answering the prompt, "Tell us about a time you seized the moment and—after asking yourself, ‘Now what?’—changed your life for the better?" in a short essay or video. Read a few of last month's most stirring responses below.
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Scott Medeiros: "Amid the pandemic, I graduated in theatre but found no stage. I asked myself, 'Now what?' Shifting careers into nonprofit leadership, I channeled my passion for social justice. I joined a nonprofit empowering young women of color financially and worked my way up to associate director. My theatre skills, from storytelling to networking, became tools. As our programs thrived, lives transformed. Today, I don't perform on stage; I help young women script their financial independence stories nationwide. It's a journey where my talents and passion merged for meaningful change."
Christy Boerm: "After 10 years in the education profession, I was burnt out and wondered if I should consider making a career change. Not willing to risk stability, I wrestled with the choice. A few weeks into my thoughts, I decided to seize the day and make a change. I am now working in a completely different industry, utilizing my skills and love for people to serve guests of all ages and lead team members to pursue excellence. My new schedule allows me flexibility to stay home more and enjoy my family. I now challenge my own kids to try new things and to not be afraid of change. You never know when a decision will lead to new opportunities and a better life."
Lydia Melka: "Two years ago, there was a terrible rainstorm in Atlanta, where I live. As I was driving home from theatre rehearsal behind my friend Chris, I watched him slightly hydroplane off the road into a ditch right beside it, still very close to our school. Chris could not afford a tow truck so we had to find another way to get his car out. At that moment I had to ask myself, 'Now what?' I rolled up my sleeves and started pushing. Eventually, more and more people from our theatre troupe started pulling over to help, until there were about 12 of us pushing the car with all of our strength. With a warrior-like grunt and collective push, we were able to finally get his car out. I always think about this story and what it taught me. We started pushing far before we knew that we had the manpower to actually succeed. Even further, our theatre family came through without a second thought. This is now my standard when describing how I picture strong and rich community—I found it in the theatre!"
Matthew Vilord: "I was dating a wonderful girl from Canada and was no longer allowed to visit her because immigration would not let me. So we met in Niagara, New York, walked across the border, hopped in a cab, got married—and that is the beginning of the past 18 years of marriage. Five kids who are all performers, two dogs who are lazy as crap, and tons of smiles each day."
Sari Moskowitz: "Back in 2019 when I was a senior in high school, I raised over $3,000 for an organization that helps special needs kids, and I ran with their team in a marathon. I never run, ever, and I was sort of nervous. I’m also a little bit shy. But I knew it was for an amazing cause. So from September through March I did fundraisers for this organization while also training for my first ever race. I reached out to my community (despite my shyness) and tried my best to be a leader to reach my goal. And only a day before the race, I reached my fundraising goal for this special organization! I couldn’t believe I was able to accomplish this, but I was so happy I did. These kids rely on this organization for all kinds of things so I was really happy to help. The next day I joined the group ready to run, both volunteers like me and also kids with special needs, some in wheelchairs or had walkers. Together, we all walked (or ran) to the finish line."
Gwen Celen: "I decided to leave a job that I felt was doing things that weren't on the up and up. I took a chance and opened my own business. I did so much better than I thought I would within the first year. I'll be going on my third year and my business is still growing. I am my own boss, I create my own hours and schedule, and I get to be there for my family, especially my kids."