Friday, July 27, 2007

T.S.F.Y. (Theatre School For Youth)

This is my favorite picture of all time of me. I remember this day like it was yesterday. I'm not sure of the date, however, I could probably find out, I know it was toward the end of July. Theatre School was performing at Bryant Middle School and I was in a production called "Rocks." It was an experimental theatre piece that we did. If I do say so myself, probably the best scene/piece of the year. 1989.

Theatre School was a HUGE part of my life, most of my fondest memories of growing up are of Theatre School and the people associated with it. Theatre School is a major part of who I am today.

This particular night was a good one, I performed in "Rocks" and in my Musical Theatre number, "City Lights" from the musical "The Act." (Sorry, this is the only good link I could find) I had a solo that went VERY well.

"Oh look at the rooster, listen to the crickets, smell the hay I told her. And see the pretty little egg that the hen just laid."

I remember everyone wearing black and white with a little splash of color. I had on a white short-sleeved mock neck T- shirt, a black flared mini skirt and multi-colored polka- dot, knee high socks. patten leather shoes.

"Rocks" was a very liberating performance experience. I even remember feeling liberated during rehearsals, I was only 14! I remember thinking that this piece was unlike anything Theatre School had ever seen or done, and I loved being a part of it. I remember crying a lot while rehearsing, laughing to the point of pain while rehearsing, sitting there absolutely speechless for minutes (which seemed like hours) at a time while rehearsing all the while being so excited to perform such a profound piece to such a diverse audience. Finally the performance nights came and there was a lot of hype about "Rocks," but it didn't matter because we knew we could live up to it, we knew we had something great. I have never felt so confident on the stage in my entire life. When this picture was taken the scene was just ending, I had just told the audience, "I love you!" My fellow castmates followed by saying the same thing until all 7 of us were sitting on the front of the stage. The End. We got a standing ovation. The only one. I wish I could convey the feelings of that performance, I believe that experience is a big reason why I still love the theatre so much, even now when I do a show I think back to that night and the feelings of confidence I had, I'm not sure I have been that confident on stage since.

I have to explain something else about "Rocks." Our costumes and our "orbs." For our costume, we were suppose to wear some of our favorite things. I wore my brother Kent's old football jersey that I use to sleep in, with bright purple sweats and a pair of white socks, I was definitely the brightest dressed person, but probably the most comfortable, but at that time in my life, this attire was pretty much "Me." Everybody else wore blacks and greys. One day instead of rehearsing, we were all playing with some tennis balls, that is when the decision to incorporate them into the piece was made. Ken (our director) told us to take the tennis balls home and to decorate them how we saw fit. When we came to the rehearsal the next day, I remember feeling a little strange about how I had decorated my tennis ball, everyone else had painted them black or grey or white or a strange combo of the three, there was very little color (none really) on anybody elses. Ken ask me why I was feeling weird about it, and I told him that everyone elses were so "cool" and he told me yes and that mine was too. Then we got into a big discussion about these tennis balls and why we painted them like we did. Ken ask to see mine and then he started talking about how my tennis ball totally portrayed my personality, a smiley face and a perfect yellow bow. The he ask me why I had put a peace sign on the bottom, and I told him that there was an empty space and it just seemed to fit. Again a "Karlyn" thing to do. We decided to call our tennis balls "Orbs." I still have my orb and I see it everyday. I don't let the kidlets touch it.

1989 was a particularly good year for me at Theatre School, it was the first year that one of my brothers wasn't attending with me. Jordan was on his mission and Matthew didn't go. It was the year that Ken Harper introduced me to Experimental Theatre, my niche I think. It was the first and only year the we performed on a big stage instead of in the Babcock Theatre, I think because there was so many students that year. It was the year that I met Sean Siska, Leah Steele, Kim Anderson and....Jorge. I am still in touch with them with the exception of Jorge.

My dear friend Jorge. I have been reading my journals a lot lately (I was an avid journal writer from age 11 - 20) I mention Jorge often. I talk about how Jorge was my best friend. In fact in one entry I wrote that Jorge taught me what friendship really was, he really did. Jorge and I use to talk on the phone every Sunday night, we would take turns calling each other. Jorge took me on my very first date, we went to Market Street and shared a piece of chocolate cake. I could go on for a long time of my memories of Jorge, there are a lot of them. Memories that I am very blessed to have. I am very blessed to have known Jorge. My friend passed away in April of 2006.

Thank you Jorge for being such a great friend.


Corinne said...

Good memories Karlyn. It's so hard to loose a friend like that - I'm glad you blogged about him.

I remember that you loved the theater. Was I a sophomore when you were a senior? I am thinking so. Were you in Irene? Anyway, I also LOVE the theater and I really wish my life had some room for me to participate in some right now...I have to settle for watching it :)

Karlyn said...

Yes, I was in Irene, I was Helen! How funny remember that dreadful show!

My life doesn't really have room, just a good hubby who gets it!