Category Archives: Theater

Why I Cried

Last night I cried. Overwhelmed by emotion, I was sad, elated, confused, and oh so thankful. I have never felt so much meaning and purpose in a single moment. Just thinking about it now brings me to tears. 

Last night was closing night of Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, this year’s Spring Musical at my school. I played the part of Caleb Pontipee, one of the seven backwoods brothers who learns about etiquette and gets himself a girl. I was the dumb brother and I loved every minute of it. I was able to make people laugh with my mannerisms and then turn around and sing and dance with people that are much more skilled in those departments than I am. I put so much work into this production and now that it’s over, I’m still not sure how to think straight.

After the last curtain call, Mr. Batchelder, our amazing Director, brought the seniors up to the front of the stage and talked about us all individually. When he talked about me, it all came crashing down. A wave swept me up on the inside and forced its way out my eyes. While he was explaining it to the audience, I was imagining my theatrical career at James Madison.

My sophomore year, in drama class, I could not deliver a monologue in front of my class because I was so scared. Just the thought of performing in front of people terrified me so much that I made myself sick and stayed home from school for a week. That was the worst week of my life. I was so depressed and did not want to live. By God’s grace, my mother helped me out of the depression and Mr. Batchelder encouraged me tremendously and gave me the confidence necessary to perform in front of others. The next year, I tried out for the Impressive Clergyman in The Princess Bride, got the part, made people laugh and had an absolute blast. That year, I was a salesman/dancer/townsperson in The Music Man. Next was Sir Galahad in Monty Python and the Quest for the Holy Grail then Caleb Pontipee.

My journey rushed through my mind, paralyzing me in a state of raw emotion.

And so I cried.

I cried because I was so happy to have the oppurtunity to be in those plays.

I cried because I was so sad that it was over.

I cried because I’ll miss acting on stage with my friends.

I cried because of all the times I laughed.

I cried because of how much I’ve grown.

I cried because I was so thankful for all the encouragement.

I cried because being on stage made me feel special.

I cried because I could not hold it back.

I am crying now because this is so meaningful.

The Music Man: I Can’t Believe It’s Over

Last night was the last performance of The Music Man at James Madison Preparatory School. It was such an awesome experience. It was my first musical so now that it’s over I don’t know what to do. It’s such a weird feeling. I devoted two months of my life to the production and now all that’s left is a memory. It’s over. I feel the same now as I do every year after leaving K-Colorado or returning home from a different country or even after moving from one state to another. Another chapter in my life has been written. 

The play itself went great. Opening Night, the adrenaline was pumping but I had a sense of calm. It was kind of weird. It didn’t feel that much different than a rehearsal. I think it was because we did a full run through that day. The second night, we had the weirdest crowd ever. They were half-asleep throughout the first act but the second act they went nuts. That night, we did the Shipoopi dance perfectly. Last night, we had the best crowd ever. They loved everything. Rock Island went down perfectly and kicked off another great night. We ended the run on a surreal high.

Originally, I tried out for the part of Tommy Djilas, the main teenage boy in the show. I didn’t get it. At the time I was upset but now I couldn’t be more grateful. The roles I received were amazing. I was Salesman #1 in the Rock Island train scene. I also got small singing solos in Iowa Stubborn and Wells Fargo Wagon. I was in all the dances. I got to mess around with Constable Locke and get in a scuffle with the school board. I also had a fun line in the Finale scene. I absolutely loved all the roles I had and would not have traded them for anything. 

I can’t wait for next years musical. I really hope it doesn’t interfere with the K-CO mission trip like it has in past years. I thoroughly enjoy performing on stage. A little over a year ago, I couldn’t even get up in front of my drama class to perform a tiny monologue. Now, I am able to be in front of hundreds of people I don’t know and sing and dance and deliver lines with no fear at all. Thank you so much Father for giving me that strength.

Can’t Wait (It’s Gonna Be Awesome!)

The cast list for The Music Man was released Friday. I didn’t get Tommy, which is fine by me. I’m actually more pleased with the role I got than if I would’ve gotten the role I wanted. I’m gonna be one of the salesman in the opening Rock Island scene. It’s gonna be one of the more difficult scenes to do on stage so I’m really excited to be a part of it. Also, I get to sing and dance in almost all of the musical numbers, something I would not have been able to do as Tommy.

I’m not bitter or mad because I didn’t get the part I wanted. In fact, I’m surprisingly happy. However, some people have been brought to uncontrollable tears and have made accusations that are kind of ridiculous because of certain choices for certain roles. It’s not that I don’t feel for these people, I do. And it’s not that I agree with all of the picks, I don’t. But no matter what role you’re given, you gotta do the best you can with it. Whatever you get, knock it out of the water! Blow it out of the park! You gotta make people remember you for the role you were given.

I love theater because it creates an awesome little community where the success of the show depends on everyone involved. It requires big roles and small roles and each has to be equally spectacular for the show to be great. I am so excited to be a part of this and to be a leader on the set! This is gonna be awesome!

Here’s the Rock Island scene from the movie.

It’s That Time Of The Year Again

musicman

Next week are the tryouts for the Spring Musical. This year it’s The Music Man. Everyone is in a tizzy. Everyone wants a big role. Lots of people want the same role. Not everyone is gonna get what they want. But whatever happens, I’m super excited! The biggest reason for my excitement is that the Fall Play (The Princess Bride) went splendidly. It was my first ever theatrical production. I was the Impressive Clergyman. I was so nervous when I went on stage but apparently it didn’t come out that way (I’ve got a sweet poker face). I got some of the biggest laughs of the show.

tommyzaneeta1

I’m gonna try out for Tommy Djilas (he’s a pretty big character but does not sing, above picture). Apparently every guy in the school wants the part or so it seems. Whether I get the part or not it’s gonna be an awesome experience. The only thing I would potentially have a problem with is if characters were chosen because of previous experience, senority, or favoritism. The best actors/singers should get the part no matter what grade they are in (I realize size is a factor) or how many plays they’ve been in before or how tight they are with the big whigs. I don’t want to get a good part if I’m not the best person for it. No matter what part I get I am determined to have a great time. I just want the strength and courage to help and encourage everyone that needs it during this play season.

On Stage

clergymanpbride4Tomorrow night at 7:00pm, my school will put on a stage performance of The Princess Bride. I will be conducting the infamous wedding scene as the Impressive Clergyman (a.k.a. the dude with the crazy speech impediment). I am excited to be a part of this play because I think it’s gonna be pretty darn funny. I’m also excited because, in the past, I have been ghastly afraid of speaking in front of an audience, just ask anyone who was in my sophomore drama class. I made myself sick and missed a whole week of school because I didn’t want to do a monologue in front of the class. God’s brought me a long way from that week. Tomorrow, I will stand on that stage, deliver my lines, and hope people laugh.