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Piece # 29 - "You call THAT acting?"...the Theater

I'm sure the first question on your mind is 'How can I have Asperger's Syndrome and love being on stage or in front of a camera'? Strangely, I wonder that myself! I'm not an actively out-going person. I like doing activities with others, but I'm not looking for a party every Friday night. There's just something about the theatre that almost seems magical. I really got hooked when I was in middle school. My parents enrolled me and my brother in an acting workshop at our local community college; from then on, I really liked acting. I didn't really get a chance to act until I got to high school because my middle school didn't have drama classes. I was fortunate to be casted in the fall play my freshman year. The play was called "A Flea in Her Ear" and I had a great time. The older members of the cast were really good to me. (By the way, my wife was dating one of the seniors in our cast at the time.) In my 2nd year I was a bartender in "Deadwood Dick", 3rd year was "Whose Life is It Anyway" as a doctor and in my final year we did "Noises Off" were I played the lead role. Thank You Marty Pope!

If I had a fatal flaw when it comes to acting, it would be singing. I can sing, but I really never had any one on one training so when the spring musical came around, the best I could do was chorus. In all my four years from: "Hello Dolly", "The Music Man", "Joseph and the Technicolor Dream Coat" and "Little Shop of Horrors"; I was the chorus - except for shop of horrors, I was the Assistant Director [My Senior Year]. I tried real hard that year to play the character Seymour because I even trained with a singing coach, but since I wasn't in choir, the choir teacher picked his own kid. I will say though, when my wife's high school did the musical "Annie", my future wife did the make-up and played in the band; that night, I was there in attendance to see the musical...little did I know...hmmmm.

I did win a very special award my senior year and I was stoked! I couldn't wait until college. In college, things took a slight turn. Other than me taking mostly art classes and meeting Jaimee, that was the change and boy did it change! I wasn't able to get back into the theater until my college years at William Jewell. I had decided that I would be a drama teacher for my life's work (HA!) and I got the opportunity to participate in plays again! I remember doing a readers theater where my cast did "How the Grinch Stole Christmas"; of course, I played the Grinch. I was in another small production, but sadly I can't remember what it was. For the first time though, I got to be a director and that was an interesting experience. There were several of us, but among them all, I had the most people in my cast. They were one-act plays, but I had several people performing in the play. "The Great Western Melodrama" was the name of the play and I distinctly remember a moment in the play were I had one of the characters sneeze exactly the way that irritated Jaimee (There was a certain way of sneezing that would drive Jaimee crazy). I wanted to have a little fun with my wife when the character did the sneeze. [It didn't work...darn.] Thank You Dr. Kim Harris!

When I started teaching, trying to direct a play was a real challenge. The very first one I directed was a series of One-Act plays. My big hit was "Wizard of Oz" with my middle school and then the biggest production of all..."James and the Giant Peach". When I came back to Kansas City, I did have more success with middle school plays. Right now I'm not currently involved in any production, school or even church. I did do some one-act shorts on stage for a church I used to attend. I did some voice commercials for a Florida college. In some ways I do miss the stage, either in front of it or behind it as a director. I know there are people out there who would give me a chance, but I have too many other obligations at the moment. As you probably have seen, I have been doing some YouTube videos, but not full blown production work. I don't know, I might get my chance again when all the other mess is out of the way. It's a strange feeling when the stage calls for you, I really feel compelled to answer.

Song of Inspiration [Check it out on iTunes!]:

Song: "Welcome to the Masquerade"

Artist: Thousand Foot Krutch

Album: Welcome To The Masquerade

Here's a live performance of the selected song...

This was a high school play that I was in called "Deadwood Dick". I played the role of the bartender. 

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