“Welcome Home” Chapter Two- Theatre Dreams

11 May

“January 15-16, 2008,
Caroline came over for a sleepover, and we thought of the movie plan!”
When those previous words were scribbled in my journal six years ago, I never could have begun to imagine that the two days I spoke of had started an unquenchable dream. I remember this sleepover pretty well; my friend Caroline (who I spoke of in chapter one) came over for a sleepover, in part to meet our new cockapoo puppy, Biscuit. The next morning when we were bored, we remembered that we had recorded an impromptu movie at Caroline’s house back in the summer. We suddenly became inspired to tape a new movie, only this time with a set story and script. Soon after she left my house, I began working on a script, based on a short story I had written called The Island Adventure. We practiced our lines over the phone and then taped the movie at my house one hot July day the next summer, with the help of Caroline’s mom who had gotten a nice camera for Christmas. Caroline’s mother was our camerawoman and narrator; my character was named Christy; Caroline was Christy’s mother and Christy’s best friend Ida; my younger brother Lane was a pirate and Christy’s father [two separate parts], which was an interesting experience; and then Caroline’s brother Tristan ironically enough was both the sheriff and a bandit, though in two different scenes. Even Biscuit had a part in the movie! Over all, we had a lot of fun with it and that day made me realize for the first time just how much I loved acting. Lee County Library had a summer reader’s program for us kids. Through the program, we could write a short story and it could be compiled and printed for our own use and be available for checkout in the library. Also, July 26th was presentation day. This is the time when you could read or display your story in some way in the library’s meeting room. Since our movie was based on the story I submitted (“The Island Adventure”), we decided that we would present our movie. We did just that and were rather proud of ourselves. Here is a real entry from my journal about this subject,
July 8-26
Me and Caroline taped our first movie “The Island Adventure.” We turned it into the book club and they played it in front of nearly 200 people! After that we sold some [copies of the movie] to our friends and family.”
Though playing in “The Island Adventure” movie with my dear friend had created a crazy love for acting, two years passed before I was able to do anything about it. Though Caroline and I did write and practice several more scripts, somehow they never got on film. There were times that we came close to being able to tape those movies, but someone always got sick or had something else to do. But, when you are ten years old, nothing is discouraging to the point of depression; there is some other hobby to keep oneself preoccupied and I believe these little trials were often forgotten by us both.
The next time I got to act was in June 2010 at the Stuff ‘n Nonsense theatre camp at Lee County High school. It was a circus play performed by kids ages 6-12 and taught by the Davis family. Mama had told me the day before that she would let me go and I had screamed for joy. I was really excited! In addition to getting to act again, my friend Caroline frequently participated in the Davis’ plays and I secretly hoped that she would be there. The first morning of camp I woke up, ate a pop tart, got dressed, and hopped into the car. Mama drove me two minutes down to the local high school, got me registered, and then left. I was escorted by a counselor into the large theatre auditorium, excited, but perhaps a little frightened. I had been to this building before for a couple of plays and for concerts when my Uncle Dustin used to play in the high school band. The auditorium really was huge. To this day, I have been to very few theatres that top it in size. All of the kids were seated in the front three rows. Feeling my hopes rising with every step, I scanned the crowd for my friend. My stomach sunk. Caroline had not come. Now what? I thought as the counselor left. At eleven years old, I did not have many friends and was shy about making new ones. I have to admit that I judged a bit as I looked down the aisle, trying to find someone to sit with.
She looks like she would be nice, I thought, noticing a girl sitting in the front row. She was about my age, thin, and a bit pale. She was wearing a tank top, shorts, a cool hat that looked like it came from a Michael Jackson video, and her fingernails were painted black. Her beautiful, thick, reddish brown hair was pulled over part of her face as she leaned over; her shoulder-length tresses swaying with her every movement. And the most promising observation was that she was sitting alone. She looks nice. I will ask her to sit with me if I do not think of a better plan, I thought, still feeling shy. Just as I was about to move on, she suddenly sat up and waved her hands wildly in the air toward me. I stared for a second, feeling like my feet were rooted to the ground.
“Come sit over here!” she said, patting the empty seat beside her. Caught between relief and fear, I slid down beside her. I do not remember exactly what we said; all I know is that by the end of the day, I thought her name was Kayla (I learned later on in camp that it was “Kaylyn”), she liked Hannah Montana, she did not particularly like people to think she was trying to cite Michael Jackson with her hat, she had moved around a lot in her short lifetime, she liked acting and was very good at it, and she had a medical disorder with her stomach which had caused her to fall back a grade in school. However, to me, Kaylyn did not act strange. She was like any other mischievous girl. When I say mischievous, let me say that Kaylyn never gave the directors or the counselors any problems. She was a saint in front of authority, but I soon learned from her stories that she was notorious for pranks on her friends and family. Kaylyn was good at acting. She was louder than the others when she was performing and had a more sincere personality. Being an amateur, I looked up to her as a greater performer than myself, thinking of her as a professional.
As I said before, the play that we performed was based on the circus. It was about thirty minutes long and was performed as an ensemble for the most part, with the kids split up according to their ages. Kaylyn and I got to be clowns along with the older kids. We had a couple of speaking parts a piece and danced and sang ensemble to “Funny Man” and “A Circus isn’t a Circus without a Big Parade.” Practice was fun, even though one of the directors was a little harsh. He was a bit snappy with us children, but in a way, I am glad he was sterner than I had expected. It gave me some experience with a difficult director right away, something I will surely have to encounter again if I get too far in acting.
We were all going to perform our play in the auditorium in front of our parents on the final day of camp. This day came soon enough. I had enjoyed the week immensely and did not want it to end. Plus, I had never been in front of a large crowd before. As all of the clowns stood squished together in one of the wings before the show, I began to get nervous. Some of us began to talk anxiously, whispering about how we were not sure if we could go through with this. This is when Kaylyn came to the rescue. She had not joined in with the nonsense; she had stood in the midst of us with a serious, business-like expression on her face and now she shushed us, sensing that the audience could probably overhear our cowardly squeaks. I heard the music starting up about this time and a flood of ticklish excitement began inside me. As it grew, my heart pounded in anticipation and my feet were ready to hit the stage as soon as the door opened. My excitement had overridden my fear. I realized then and there that if you want to do something badly enough, you can conquer most any dread with willpower.
The doors opened. My fellow actors and I danced and sang that day to the best of our ability. I believe we all had a good time with it, at least I know that I did. Our parents also seemed to enjoy it. We all left camp after this somewhat reluctantly. Kaylyn and I swapped phone numbers, promising to call each other again.
This almost did not happen. In the next month, I lost Kaylyn’s number. I probably would have never heard from her again had I not seen her through the large crowd at the firework celebration on Independence Day. She admitted that she had also lost my number and we swapped numbers again, taking special care not to lose them again. I knew that it was crucial to keep up with this small piece of notebook paper because our house had already sold and we would be moving in October. I know that God specially arranged this meeting for me; had I known what an awesome friend that Kaylyn would end up being to me, I would have laminated her phone number the first time and kept it in a lock up box. One does not come by a friendship like hers every day.

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One Response to ““Welcome Home” Chapter Two- Theatre Dreams”

  1. Sarah Spradlin May 12, 2014 at 8:25 AM #

    Great job as always!! 🙂 Keep writing, Brooke!! 😀

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