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From Audience to Cast Member

SExT Cast Member Sara Ahmed holding the 2018 SExT National Tour Guide and her original information ticket she saved from one of the first runs of the show 4 years ago.

You know how on TV, sometimes a character will be in love with a musician or a show, and then by the end of the episode they get to go on tour with them? So unrealistic right? Well, that's what happened to me.

Let me introduce myself to you: Hi, I’m Sara Ahmed! I first saw SExT on August 27, 2014, 4 years ago. I started off as a audience member watching this show and I absolutely loved it! I laughed, cried, and felt all the #feels. When Shira came into my class in 2016 to pitch the show, trying to find new cast members, I was literally in the back of the class just excitedly freaking out like, “Oh my goodness I know who that is and I saw the show she’s talking about!!!” As soon as she left the class, I grabbed an application form and began filling it out. She even came to my last period class to pitch again and this time I went up to her to tell her I signed the form. I was surprised when she said that she remembered me from the focus group I did with her for feedback, back when I first saw the show. Fast forward 2 years later and I’ve auditioned for Shira outside the corner of my high school during my lunch period (had a truck horn interrupt me while singing for her) and joined the cast, performed for the Toronto Fringe and SummerWorks Festivals, for high schools in the GTA, for teachers across Ontario in Niagara Falls and now just performed for youth in Kapuskasing, the first stop of our National Tour! Just as an audience member 4 years ago, I thought the message being delivered was so much better than hearing a teacher talk about “sex-ed” for 3 days during our gym period. When I think about my involvement with SExT, I love that I get to act as a peer educator and educate youth on such important topics (and be apart of this awesomeness, of course). You can’t be taught to be interested and pay attention to something. If your teacher is boring you about the biology of the human reproductive system and listing all the negative consequences of unprotected sex, it’s not your fault if you’re zoning out, because same. That’s why our show does the opposite by using humour and appealing to emotions, which is one of the reasons I was so moved and felt impacted by SExT. Despite not being an OG original cast member, I’m an OG audience member who’s gotten the opportunity to live the dream of joining the cast of a show I love. Now as a SExT cast member, I love watching the audience react and get emotionally involved while we perform and educate. The best type of learning is when you don’t realize it because it’s fun. Having just done our FIRST show of our National Tour in Kapuskasing, here’s a list of some of the beautiful and sweet things some of the students and teachers said to the cast after the show, which makes everything we do so worth it: "You need to take this show everywhere." (said the principal of Kapuskasing Education Centre!!!) "If I could rate the show out of 5 stars, I’d give it a 5 out of 5." "What you have brought to this community is a unique experience." "Best show I’ve ever been to." "Best presentation the school ever had." "Thought it was going to be awkward but man it was awesome." "Please come back." "You guys are so beautiful, the play made me cry." "You guys were the first thing to make me smile in a while." "I’m going to bring a condom to every party now." (Education at its finest #SafeSexIsTheBestSex)​ You know that saying that goes, “If you really want something, go for it”? That’s exactly what I did about this show. I’m so glad and happy that I get to be a part of the SExT journey. Best decision I’ve made, hands down. Sara out.

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