Sunday, August 11, 2013

The Roaring Twenties are Much More Impactful When Experienced at 16.

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We did a Roaring Twenties play in high school.

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Most of the girls wanted to be the lead role and sing and dance and kiss the lead guy while many of the others wanted to be one of the "show girls" who danced at the club because of the costumes. I thought it was kinda short sighted on their part.

We had no idea who the lead guy was going to be.

Remember we were in a reality where the men were still heaving their chests and bouncing off one another, declaring themselves to be manly men, combining the crap out of those wheat fields and throwing steers in their spare time. None of those men were going to ever have make-up touch their face - at least not in public. THAT would happen years later when some kid discovered Grandpa's special closet and complete collection of Avon lipsticks, non flake mascara and Lee press on nails.

Once the male lead was bribed,  threatened, cast I think the girl who got the original lead, ended up having to "regretfully withdraw" from the role as her family had to go to her grandmother's funeral the week of the performances and they had a lot to plan ... not the least of which was packing Grandma's things and letting her know she was leaving. Before they got someone to take over from her the male lead had to sign an agreement that he would not eat pickled eggs or sadines for three weeks prior to the show, and he promised to bathe once a month ... and use soap.

Nope I wanted to be in charge of props, mainly the bootlegged liquor which I felt was important to create the realism of the era so we could "use this artistic opportunity to bring to light the important social issues highlighted by that period, and which should remain a concern to all of us good church going folk who despise alcohol and know that it is Satan's tool to lead the youth down a path or moral decay." (I got a standing ovation and an invite to the minister's house for Sunday dinner for that one.) My grandparents were never more proud.

Well ... they were until opening night ...

I know everyone thought we were going with apple juice for the liquor but where was the realism in that??

And besides, seeing the actual impact of alcohol on our youth is wayy more awe inspiring when they are trying to dance and remember their lines, and kiss one another, with spotlights and costumes and make-up.

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No-one is EVER going to forget that important lesson.

I was doing public service announcements long before television even thought about it.  I was doing it with a handful of people in a small school gymnasium where a guy named TED helped to lay the floor.

Do you even get the significance of that?

I did the first really impactful TED talk ... with theatre and prairie people as puppets.  And you people liked me without even knowing that.


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