Here is a follow-up from Sarah regarding the decision she made about her name, in light of our online poll that asked readers to vote on their preference: "Sarah Antalek" or "Sarah Michael Hughes."
When I read the results a few weeks back [Back Stage, Oct. 25, 2007], I was disappointed, but then I felt relief and joy. I'd been racking my brain about Antalek, since it is such a unique name. And you—along with 57 percent of the readers—confirmed the wisdom of opting for it. But in the end, as you said, I have to go with what feels most comfortable, which for me is Sarah Michael Hughes.
It's funny, because for so many years I've completely owned the name Antalek, and suddenly it no longer feels natural to me. When someone asks my name, "Sarah Michael Hughes" automatically comes out. I feel like I've transitioned into a different person—and not just because of marriage. From age, experience, auditioning, training, seeing shows, and simply reading more, I've developed myself and—for lack of a better expression—rounded out. I don't even physically look the same as I did a few years ago. It seems appropriate right now to detach myself from my former self and adopt this new me, whom I really like.
As I mentioned above, I experienced disappointment at seeing Antalek win—and of course I knew it would—since my preference had been Michael Hughes all along. But then I was relieved to see these great comments from other readers about my preference. I'd felt all this time that Hughes doesn't stand out as well, so it was really nice to know that it did stand out to 43 percent of readers.
I'm taking your advice: I'm certainly "going with that feeling."
Thank you to you and everyone who weighed in,
Sarah Michael Hughes
New York, N.Y.