What’s Stopping You?

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This past summer I was watching an America’s Next Top Model marathon on the Oxygen channel and, during one of the commercial breaks, my eyes were directed to the bottom corner of the TV screen where there was an advertisement for The Glee Project.  I wasn’t quite sure what it was, but I am an avid watcher of Glee.  I was a little intrigued, but still not entirely sold on the idea.  A few seconds later the moving promotion was gone and out of my thoughts.

About twenty minutes later, the same advertisement popped up on my screen again, but this time the person selling the show was a tall looking guy with a thin frame and dreadlocks.  He had a big smile on his face and a chill vibe to his stance.  I instantly tried comparing him to other men I had seen on TV and I couldn’t.  I couldn’t recall anybody that looked like him… the dreads helped but they weren’t the only thing making him stand out.  There was something about this guy that made him unique.  I was now interested.

Within minutes, I was searching On Demand for full episodes of The Glee Project.  Once I saw what I could choose from, I realized that the season was about half way over and that the first few episodes were no longer available.  I had a lot of catching up to do if I intended on getting hooked to the show.  I started watching whatever episodes were On Demand and then I moved my investigating online where I was able to see the first episodes that weren’t on TV.

I was now up to date and a huge fan of the show.  Specifically, I became a huge supporter of Samuel Larsen, the alternative Christian that could sing like nobody else.  Yes, the guy with the dreads.  Sure, Samuel was cute, but there were a few bigger reasons why he got my vote.

First off, this kid was talented.  He could sing so well that I was honestly envious of his voice.  Plus, I found out he was a songwriter and could play the guitar, drums, and piano.  That was just impressive enough for me.

Second, he always seemed to evoke an air of optimism that is rare in the younger generation these days.  I started following him on Twitter (@MSauciana if you want to find me!) and I liked his page on Facebook and I noticed that he always spreads so much love to everyone who is willing to receive it.  I always try to be positive and it’s nice to see others doing the same.

Third, Samuel was always himself.  He was always able to own his personality.  I’m sure he’s had moments of insecurity in the past, but who doesn’t?  The point is that he left that in the past and is now determined to make the most out of his life.

Naturally, I watched every remaining episode until Ryan Murphy announced Samuel Larsen as the winner of The Glee Project.  It is incredible what passion and a positive attitude can get you.  Samuel loves performing and he loves his life, so he got the gig in the end.  When I found out he was only a year older than me, it truly inspired me to make something of myself.  If he is only 20 years old, living in Los Angeles and about to be a cast member of Glee, what is stopping me from making my own dreams come true?  Take Samuel’s story as an example of the limitless possibilities of what you can do.  As long as you have the hunger to do what you want, then you can do it all.

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About Tatiana Figueroa Ramirez

Born in Puerto Rico and raised in the mainland United States, I graduated with a B.A. in English Literature from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) and am a 2016 VONA Voices Alumna. I currently perform spoken-word in the greater Washington D.C. area and have previously performed in Philadelphia, Miami, and the Dominican Republic. Most recently, I have been published in Public Pool, Spillwords, and The Acentos Review, and Here Comes Everyone: East & West Issue.

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