I have started another chapter. Yesterday was my first day teaching theater at an after school program in the school district that I went to as a kid. I had already had a couple of meetings with the coordinator so I knew what a great program they had. In visiting the school for the first time several weeks ago, I was struck by all of the smiling faces. These people are doing the job that they were meant to do. This school and these kids are so lucky to have them.
My “club” had an allowance of 10 kids. Only two had signed up by the first day and one of them forgot and went home. It was just this sweet little girl with a beautiful smile and twinkling eyes. A theater class can be pretty intimate anyway, but with it just being the two of us, we learned a lot about each other. Though I planned and hour and a half of exercises, with just the two of us, we blew through them pretty quickly. So I just started asking her questions. As you can tell from the stuff I write, I love to hear people’s stories. Observational writing is my bag. This little pip has quite a story to tell. She claims to have stage fright. I told her how brave she is to join this club. That we will work to change her stage fright into stage butterflies. I shared that all of the emotions that she has felt in our hour long meeting can be used on stage. That even if her character is sad about something she hasn’t experienced herself, she can use her own sadness to tell the story.
As we were pulling ourselves off the stage, she said, “if no one comes do I have to go home?” She meant if no one else joined the club. I said, ” I promise, if you come I will be here, even if it’s just the two of us.”
I am doing this job as a volunteer, but when she smiled, I won the lottery.