Posts Tagged ‘drama’

Gong!

Posted: November 17, 2016 in Blog
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Elementary school in the district ended at fifth grade.  Middle school, or junior high, was grades six through eight.  I was excited, and not just a little trepidatious, about moving along.  We were also allowed to put on a little celebratory show, the Fifth Grade Follies.  It was to be like a variety or talent show, though there would be no judging.  Just as when I wanted to play Romeo in Romeo & Juliet, I was eager to have a role in this.  I don’t recall whose idea it was – my teacher, my mother, myself?  But I ended up as emcee of the event.

I do recall that my mother suggested I conduct myself in a manner like Chuck Barris of The Gong Show.  I did not know much of Chuck Barris, then, except that I loved The Gong Show.  My mother coached me to come out, doing some odd clapping and changing out outrageous hats, telling crappy jokes.  I even had some assistants who’d walk by with “Boo” cards, encouraging the audience to get in on the fun.

And it was fun.  We had several different acts, many of them were just kids dressing up and dancing and lip syncing to popular songs.  A group of boys were performing to KISS, and they were a bit stoic.  I recall being in the wings during one rehearsal, just jiving and working my little butt off, and the teacher waved me out onto the stage.  I became the example for the fledgling rockers.  This lesson came back in my middle school Drama class – don’t be afraid to exaggerate movements on stage.

I was asked to join the KISS group, and though I really wanted to, I had my emcee duties to fulfill.  I felt a little protective of the goings-on, much as, I suppose, was Barris with his various television “babies”.  It proved a joy all around, and I wish we had it video recorded.

Still, I didn’t end up in a career in theater or television.  I may have been contacted by the CIA when I graduated college, but I really can’t comment on that.

Please be sure to check out my debut urban fantasy novel, Dance of the Butterfly.  It is the first in a planned series.  Thank you!

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Wherefore art thou?

Posted: November 3, 2016 in Blog
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I have always been interested in performing.  I used to draw my family’s attention with silly antics.  I even put on little variety shows where I dressed in different costumes and imitated politicians, actors, and musical acts.  One time it was Richard Nixon, another time Johnny Carson, and another Angus Young from AC/DC.  I sometimes wonder how things might be different if I had pursued drama and theater like I did writing, but that is a digression.

When I was in elementary school, I had an opportunity to perform in the play, Romeo & Juliet.  I, of course, wanted to be in it, though I think we all had to play some role, whether on or behind the stage.  I also, of course, wanted to play Romeo.

I sat with my mom, who graciously gave her time to practice lines with me.  We were actually having try-outs, and I wanted to be prepared.  When the day came, three of us wanted the role.  The teacher let us read from the book to recite our parts.  It’s silly, in retrospect, to think she wanted such young children to memorize the lines so quickly, but that is what I had done.  I said, with some boastfulness, I will admit, that I didn’t need the book.  She gave me one, anyway, but it was clear I didn’t require it.

I got the part.

It was a very fun experience, and I was so excited.  My mom even made me a costume, which ended up looking a bit more like Peter Pan, with too much yellow featured, but it worked.  As I recall, I also ended up wearing it for Halloween.  I was super excited, and I tried on the costume and tooled around the house “practicing” with my plastic rapier.  You know, since Romeo has so many sword-fighting scenes.

The funny thing is that I ended up also serving as a line coach, I suppose you’d call it.  Not everyone had studied their lines as diligently as I had.  I recall strategically turning my head at some points and whispering the beginning of Juliet’s lines to her when she’d forget.  I also stood behind the curtain when I was not on stage and did the same to others who might stumble.  I relished it.  I enjoyed knowing it so well and helping others.

I can’t say as I acted all that much, but it was a fun and great learning experience.

If you enjoy my posts, please be sure to check out my debut urban fantasy novel, Dance of the Butterfly.  It is the first in a series, and the second will be published next year.  Thank you!

Click for the print version.
Click for electronic editions.