TIME: CCM alum and 'Dear Evan Hansen' star reflects on self worth

Ciara Alyse Harris shares what she learned about mental health during the pandemic

UC College-Conservatory of Music alumna Ciara Alyse Harris (BFA Musical Theatre, '18) shares a personal TIME magazine story about how she adjusted to life off stage when performances were cancelled during the pandemic. Read the full story.

Harris played Alana in the national tour of Dear Evan Hansen, a Tony Award-winning musical about a high school student with social anxiety who begins a journey of self-discovery and acceptance after the suicide of a classmate. Harris was in the first national tour of the musical, and performed in the show for a year until COVID shut down performances. She shares in her TIME article that she struggled with self worth during this time, and began to focus on internal reflection.

She created a podcast called Queen Made of Light to "help people find their own light in a dark time" by telling her story and letting people know they are not alone. Harris is a strong mental health advocate and invites guests to share their perspective about topics such as anxiety, relationships, being a Black woman, being an artist, and learning how to love yourself — where you are and where you are going. The podcast is available on Spotify and Apple Podcasts.

"My hope is that by unpacking limiting beliefs about our worth we can get to the freeing conclusion that we are perfectly enough exactly as we are," Harris writes in TIME. "No amount of success, or friendship, or money will prove your worth more than the way that you feel about yourself. And no amount of validation is an alternative to taking care of your mental health."

Dear Evan Hansen's national tour resumes on December 7 and Broadway performances begin on December 11. Universal Pictures releases the movie version of Dear Evan Hansen on September 24. 

Featured image at the top: Ciara Alyse Harris on tour with Dear Evan Hansen.

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Curt Whitacre | Director of Marketing/Communications | UC College-Conservatory of Music

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