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Have you ever had such a good time doing something while you keep doing what you love that you almost forget how you got to that one place? That's how it was for me, and it's all thanks to my high school drama teacher at the time, Daniel. He definitely pointed me in the direction of the summer camp that I would go to except at the time, I knew I'd be 17 years old when it started since he told me about it when I was 16.
2011... A crazy time for me in high school. I was crushing on someone who had absolutely no interest in me, was going through a few phases that thankfully never stuck, and was at a point where I felt like my determination in acting got to shine brighter than usual. The first play we did auditions for with Daniel was The Brothers Grimm Spectaculathon. To be honest, I wasn't too excited for it because I've already done a Brothers Grimm play back in ninth grade but when I read a small portion of the script, it was the same thing as before but done differently. I ended up being cast as one of the two narrators, I saw them as the odd couple. One was loud and energetic while the other was reserved but wasn't afraid to keep the other narrator in line. I had too much fun with that role, I lost my voice for at least two weeks.
Then we did another play, The Bold, The Young, and The Murdered which was a comedy, but it was also a murder mystery that takes place at a set of a soap opera. It was another fun one with Daniel because the play was a unique experience since there were a few soap opera scenes and when I was a kid, I watched soap operas a lot so I already knew what to do. I played a guy who was insecure and awkward yet he was smart as well but in the soap opera scenes, I played a different character. He was confident and passionate, plus he was tough. Even the costume I had to wear was different because I wore a motorcycle jacket with boots, a tank top, and some jeans. By the end of it, Daniel and I had such a fun time working together, we ended up doing a summer camp together for Hairspray. He was an instructor while I was one of the students.
So camp comes and I'm nervous but ready so by that time, I turned 17 but little did I know, a storm was coming with me. First day and we already have to dance, I knew I wasn't that good of a dancer so I wanted to loosen up on my moves as a warm-up and did some fancy footwork that didn't look so fancy to me and right off the bat, someone told me I have really nice footwork. I couldn't believe it, I'm surrounded by people that are maybe classically trained in acting, singing, and dancing but I'm a nobody, who had no formal training whatsoever. I'm mostly self-taught.
When the auditions came and went for Hairspray, I got the role of Seaweed and it was awesome! I ended up learning the dance moves, memorizing my lines, and trying to sing. I can't sing but I can dance like my life depends on it. Anyway, what made camp awesome wasn't the play itself, it was the people. I walked in not knowing how things were going to be. We did more than rehearse for the play. We watched Singin' In The Rain and learned the songs from the movie along with how to tap dance, watched a stage production of Peter Pan and learned stage combat, and watched Cats and learned some of the dances from that as well.
When the days of camp were coming to a close and opening night was coming, this is usually the best part of being in a play. We were getting closer as a cast and ready to go so we ended up celebrating camp with pizza and after that, we performed for the whole camp before opening the same night!
After performing for the camp, we hung out before having to go back for call time. So we split into groups, some people stayed, some people went to restaurants or stores or even just to walk. I was with a group that just went everywhere and it was definitely a fun time because you have to go with people you can goof off with because it makes the adventure more fun than it already is. When it was over, it was time to go back and get ready.
By the time those curtains opened in front of a live audience, my performance was terrible but I did get a lot of praise for my dancing. I don't want to bring up my singing, I just knew I was awful but my acting could've been a lot better. Two things are for sure though, if I had a chance to play Seaweed again, I'd do it in a heartbeat and that none of this would've happened if Daniel hadn't told me about this because I would've just had another summer that wasn't going to be too memorable so doing this was a crazy way to end the summer and start my senior year of high school.