Cher Best: It's inspiring to watch dreams being fulfilled

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Cher Best
Cher Best

Have you ever seen someone working toward a dream and gotten inspired by it? I have to say I am so excited and moved by a co-worker of mine who has finally put caution to the wind to go after her dream.

Certainly, Monique Kenny is not the first one to go after her dream. Her story really does mirror that of another moderately well-known lady who sought to challenge those who said she had foolish aspirations and should give up. She did not.

Angie Brown's father told her many times, "I know you like to sing but you got to have something to fall back on."

So she took her dad's advice and got a degree in secretarial science. Her aim was to become a singing evangelist, but then she got moved by opera. After graduation, she headed to Indiana University to study opera.

Brown went into overdrive in pursuit of her dream. Three times she competed in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. Three times she failed to make the finals.

In 1997, at age 33, the age limit for sopranos to audition, she gave it one last shot. Not only did she sign up at the last minute but she didn't even practice.

"All they could do was tell me no, and that didn't hurt my feelings anymore," she said.

This time she won.

But making it to New York was just the beginning. It took Brown three more years to become a Met understudy.

Finally, her time had come. When the featured singer in Aida fell ill, Brown earned the chance to sing the lead role.

Brown, who had prepared for 20 years, was an "overnight hit at age 40.''

Though many of you might not be familiar with the nationally known operatic soprano, Angela Brown, if you're in Augusta, under 30 and breathing, you certainly are familiar with Monique Kenny (aka Miss Monique of radio station WPRW).

She is the host middays on 107.7. What people don't know about her is that she's always had aspirations of being a playwright. She told me once that a teacher in broadcasting school told her she would never amount to anything.

Well, her play Don't Tell Daddy opens June 18 at the Imperial Theatre for not one but two shows.

I, for one, am both proud of and inspired by Monique, Angie Brown and all the people who have quiet moments of self-doubt but still manage to get through it and go after what they want.

Still, I am human, and a little part of me wants to say for her and me and all the people who have dreams, to all the people that try to dash your dreams and hate on your achievements: How ya like me now!

Playwright's debut

WHAT: Don't Tell Daddy, by Monique Kenney

WHEN: 3 and 7 p.m. June 18

WHERE: Imperial Theatre

TICKETS: $22.50 mezzanine, $26.50 orchestra; www.imperialtheatre.com


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