I don’t remember why I passed up doing the play my sophomore year, but it wasn’t smart. Maybe I felt like doing plays was beyond me. It’s hard to remember, I just know it was a bad, bad year academically. I turned 16 years old one week into my junior year and made it very clear I was going to quit school. I was absolutely determined that I was done with school and that i could do better without its childishness. After a few interventions by people who were obviously looking out for my best interests, I decided to keep going with it. I thought, hey, theater saved my life once, maybe it’ll save it again.
Auditions were coming up for Harvey, and I was going to be there for it, come hell or high water. There weren’t many people trying out that year. I felt like pretty much anyone who auditioned was going to be in the main cast or crew. So I was only mildly excited when I got the medium-sized role of Wilson, the orderly. The rehearsal process for this show was pretty slow. There was a new wing being built onto the school, and that kept any audience out until January.
No show needs that much rehearsal.
During the second dress rehearsal, I remember breaking down into laughter. It was easily the weirdest thing I had experienced up to that point. The show itself was great, but two days of performance went by real quick after 1/3 of a year rehearsing for it. The next day I woke up with zero sense of self-worth. It was like everything I worked for was gone. But luckily that didn’t last.
Beyond all those silly nuances, I can’t speak highly enough of the experience. I made some great friends, and being with so many other people like me for so long, my social skills improved dramatically. This show is special for that reason.