We had the chance to sit down with Carson, a cast member in Up with People from Montana, to learn more about his life before and after traveling abroad in the program.
What are some of your interests and passions?
“I really enjoy singing and performing. Being outdoors is very enjoyable to me whether it’s working, playing sports or camping with friends.”
What is your role in Up with People?
“This is my first semester traveling in the program. As far as a role, I’d consider myself as an ally and a friend to those around me. If anyone needs advice or any help, I genuinely offer it to them.”
What did your life look like before Up with People?
“I felt like I was stuck in a routine. I just graduated college and I wasn’t working the most entertaining job. I didn’t exactly know what I wanted to do with my life and the opportunity to travel came to me and I figured I should give it a shot.”
How has your experience in Up with People been so far?
“It’s changed me a lot as a human. I’ve noticed my growth and have loved being able to meet so many different people. I also have expanded my horizons when it came to my perspective on the world. I’ve been able to see through other people’s eyes, different cultures, and help people in the communities of those people.”
What can you do today that you couldn’t do a year ago?
“I can sing pop music and have the stage presence to do so. Up until now, I’ve been so used to classical music and musical theater where I had to play a different character. With this music, I’ve realized you have to be more of yourself and make the story more of your own. It’s a different experience for me to be myself on stage versus playing a character given to me.”
What advice would you give to people who are considering to join Up with People?
“I’d say to do everything possible to take advantage of this experience. Do all you can do to come here because it is honestly such a worthwhile experience. The growth in the people that I’ve traveled with is so valuable and unforgettable. We do different exercises and workshops that help make you grow so much as a human. You get to experience the world and what the people in it are like.”
What is an issue that you are passionate about?
“I care a lot about the rights for people in the LGBTQ+ community as well as the environment, and refugees. This program really opens your eyes and exposes you to a lot of different issues and topics around the world. I feel more confident in knowing what is happening around the world now than I did before coming to the program.”
What is a culture shock you’ve experienced on tour?
“Going from Mexico to Europe was a huge change to me. The food caught me by surprise since I had been so used to the spices and the lively flavors. I’m slightly missing that from Mexico. In regards to the actual culture and people here, they’re both very accepting and I’ve experience small bit of language barriers in both.”
“Here we are
And now the story’s changing
Can we hear
Beyond the words they are saying
Maybe when all sides
Can rise above the noises
We’ll listen to the voices
Of the world”
Voices © Up with People