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.
Danni Johnson: "When I turned 38, I was a banking executive who had dedicated the better half of her life to her career. Despite this, I had held onto the quiet dream of starting a family. This seemed ridiculous given the fact that I had no partner to do this with, and no time in the day to give myself, let alone a child. But I knew if I didn't start now, I would regret it for the rest of my life. I quit my job and found another one with better work-life balance, but after a year of going through different options, I was ready to give up. That is until I met Sam, a seven-year-old boy. I become his foster parent through a NYC program and grew to love him. I become his adoptive mother in 2014, and now he's a junior in high school. Years later, I'm so glad to have met that little boy and feel so honored to call him my son.
Alexander Graiser: "I am currently a registered nurse. I always try to find the good or silver lining every day in life. Approximately a year ago, I was having a not-so-great day at work. But I also had the pleasure of taking care of a six-year-old girl who was the representation of happiness, kindness, and innocence. During my lunch break on that shift, I decided to go outside with a bucket and fill it up with snow that was falling. I brought it back inside, and surprised the six-year-old patient with snow. This was a big deal for her, since she had a compromised immune system and could not go outside. We had so much fun playing and having snowball fights. I didn't have to do that; I could have just taken my lunch break. Instead, I made this memory that I frequently look back on and only think how happy the patient was. I often think that we both needed some unexpected joy that day. Playing in the snow and feeling like a kid again (I speak for both the patient and myself) was the medicine we needed that day."
Sarah Brandenburg: "I got laid off from a job and decided to use the time to meet with a career counselor and take American Sign Language classes, and doing that made me realize I wanted to go back to school to become a sign language interpreter! Best decision ever!"
Jen Raj: "When 9/11 happened, I was doing my residency in a level one trauma center in Brooklyn. Initially I had a hard time coming to grips with the situation. As the days went by, I was filled with a need to contribute to the safety and security of our people and our country. Two years later, I had joined the US Army where I had the pride and honor of serving for 13 years. And those were the best days of my life. My life will never be the same again."
Liza Roth: "I live alone, and while I love my life, at times I can feel very lonely. I asked myself, 'What can I do to make my life better and feel fulfilled?' A few months later, my new cavapoo puppy Penny arrived in New York, and my life was forever changed. She is the best thing that has ever happened to me. She makes me feel fulfilled, and she also loves when I sing Broadway tunes to her! Her favorite is Wicked."
Jeffrey Brunermer: "I was working in a dingy kitchen in Pennsylvania when I decided to chase my dreams and quit. I signed up for the Peace Corps, and found myself in Sierra Leone for the next two years. I built classrooms, taught kids, and fell in love with West Africa!"