From Jenny: A Theatre Beginnings Question

Why did you sign up for drama freshman year (rather than some other elective)?

Because I did theatre in middle school. I was part of the very first theatre program there, and we had no money. Mrs. Benza gave us her money, but I don’t remember what department she was head of… maybe special ed. or something? The head of the program’s name was Mrs. McCrea, and I loved her as an English teacher, so when she told us she was starting a theatre class as a new elective, I jumped for it. I forged my mom’s signature on the permission form; I vaguely remember it was because I had forgotten to give it to her to sign and it was the day to turn them in. This is how badly I wanted to do it.

Our costumes were sheets that we had to bring from home that we stapled together in the bathroom across the hall. Mrs. McCrea’s classroom was the old Shop classroom (which I took a Shop class in 6th grade and didn’t like much, so it was surreal to do theatre in there) and we did our production in there.

We did A Midsummer Night’s Dream both semesters. We used one of the backrooms with some of the shop supplies still in it for our props room and we stapled black plastic bags to the ceiling for our stage. I was Helena that first semester. I remember Beth ran tech and that he had a trashcan with rolls of colored butcher paper sticking out of it for our tree. It was our main piece of set.

I enjoyed it so much I did it the next semester, too, and this time I was Stage Manager/Props master. Mrs. McCrea even let me block a scene or two. I remember trying to get everyone to shut up backstage. The actors sat on the sunny side facing the windows and the techies sat on the darkest side with all the set. The actors were extremely noisy and didn’t listen to me because I didn’t know how to exert authority, so often I’d just ignore the actors and go sit with the techies, and thank them profusely for being so quiet. Our props room was full of old shop stuff like boxes of screws and stuff, and it was freezing cold because we’d opened the back door to let some air in backstage; some things never change. All the backstages I’ve ever been in have been hot.

One of the reasons I went to Del Norte is because I’d heard the theatre program was so good. This gave me very good reason to curse Mrs. M.L. and to curse the fact that she didn’t cast me in Midsummer. Ne’ertheless, this one experience is what got me hooked.

And because both hayley_beth24 and isaidello did so, I suppose I too will dive off the cliff with the rest of the herd:

Say something to this entry and:
1. I’ll respond with something random I like about you.
2. I’ll tell you what song/movie reminds me of you.
3. I’ll name something we should do together.
4. I’ll say something that only makes sense to you and me (or just me).
5. I’ll tell you my first/clearest memory of you.
6. I’ll leave you a quote that is somehow appropriate to you.
7. I’ll ask you something that I’ve always wondered about you.


About The Original Kate

Along with artistic tendencies, Kate enjoys unusual people and is constantly striving for some sort of nonconformity. Kate offers a perspective that is thoughtful but well-written and full of images within the words. Other tidbits that might intrigue: she has very long auburn hair, and, you guessed it, her favorite color is orange.

Posted on November 16, 2006, in From Rabid-Mormon Land Known As Utah and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. Wow, that inspired quite a response. Thank you, darling!
    What is is about theatres always being hot in some parts and freezing in others, making it impossible to be comfortable? Bah!

    • I not do know.
      1. I’ve always enjoyed your appearance. I don’t know exactly why, and I’ve spent many a moment trying to grasp why; it’s something about your rosy skin, the twinkle in your eye, the spring in your step, and the pliable bronze that is your hair. It’s sparked lots of inspiration in song and poem and story. Don’t be surprised if you show up in many of my works, somehow.
      2. I’ve found bits of the serendipity that surrounds you in the movie Off The Map. And no, I’ve never listened to Jewel. I continue to associate her with soul/hip-hopish stuff, though I can’t place any specific song or memory with it.
      3. We should go ice-skating. It’s something I’ve only found in Utah; I don’t ever remember even having an ice rink in NM, and I’m absolutely horrible at it…
      4. I suddenly have the memory of watching Greg bounce through the crowd of Graduates in high-tops and turning and saying something witty to you about him. But I don’t remember what it was.
      5. I remember glancing at you behind me several times in Edmund’s class and hoping fervently that you’d like me.
      6. “Life is partly what you make it, and partly what is made by the friends whom we choose.”
      7. Why did you consciously choose to be a virgin all those years ago? Mine was for religious reasons, but you’ve never subscribed to specific religion, in all these years I’ve known you.

      • Well, it certainly wasn’t for religious reasons. I think it was a combination of a lot of things.
        Number one, I know that I am incredibly sentimental. I wanted my first time to be special. I wanted it to be safe. I wanted it to be with someone I could trust to take care of me in case I freaked out or hurt or something.
        Number two, I wasn’t emotionally ready for a long time. I didn’t feel like I was mature enough to handle the whole experience with the kind of sophistication that I wanted. That sounds ridiculous (“sophistication”), but I very much wanted to go into it with no reservations whatsoever, feeling confident and sure. I guess I wanted to lose my viriginity without acting like an inexperienced virgin.
        Number three, I was terrified of getting pregnant. I knew how contraception worked and I knew that if I was careful, nothing would happen. But I also know that it only requires one moment of screwing up to make a huge mistake. And there was no way I was becoming a statistic.
        Looking back on it, it was a far less sentimental decision than I thought it was, and much more of a practical one. Emotional baggage is messy, and I wanted to make sure that I wouldn’t have something like that hanging over my head. And I guess it worked out because I don’t regret anything about my first time, or about any time after.

  2. That was quite an interesting insight that I really didn’t know about you. Interestingly enough, my theater experience started almost exactly the same way, minus the woodshop. Junior high theater was probably the best of my life. Sadly, my theater experience came to a close my freshman year in college. However, I do miss it occasionally. BTW, sorry I really haven’t had much contact with you, but I do keep up reading your LJ.

    • Good to know you’re still alive, though. I totally understand: Life and all it’s stresses, and life’s not all that exciting sometimes…
      Thanks. And because you responded…
      1. I love your hair. It’s so smooth and flaxen. It reminde me of my little brother’s hair before he hit puberty.
      2. Oh, lots of stuff. Let’s see… Pride and Prejudice because of E2, Stacey’s Mom because of my roommate (who apparantly is pregnant of has had per first child; I can’t remember),, and rap and R&B in general because that’s what was always floating from your apartment.
      3. We should go shopping together, just in a mall. It’d be fun. And I don’t have enough girlfriends around to go shopping with me.
      4. Errrr… Jens bought me ___. Look!
      5. I remember seeing you sitting on a couch in the common area before I actually knew who you were or where you lived. And when I knew who you were, it was only because Stacey had befriended you for the time and you were therefore in our apartment.
      6. “Whenever I date a guy, I think, is this the man I want my children to spend their weekends with?” ~Rita Rudner
      7. I don’t know much about your family other than you don’t like a parent, but I don’t even remember which one it was. Will you tell me about your family?

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