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Narrative draft 1

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  • 1. Samantha Burdick<br />Dr. Disarro<br />English 103<br />September 9, 2010<br />The Jig is up Missy!<br />There is no greater feeling than the excited, nervous feeling I get before I go on stage. The rush of energy right before I walk on is so immense that I cannot help but shake, the feeling of pride and confidence when I finally step out from beneath the curtain is insurmountable. The stage is hidden in shadow, the audience apprehensive. Finally the lights go up; the show begins. <br />Ever since I was a little girl I have participated in theater productions. I have been in over twenty productions all together and every time I learn something new and exciting about the theater. Even though I enjoyed acting I did not think it was something that I would be able to do when I grew up. The theater was more of a hobby to me than a job. In the seventh grade I took a Government and Introduction to Economics class. During this class I decided that I wanted to be a lawyer when I grew up. I saw the court room as a stage. A stage where I would “act” my best to persuade “the audience”, the jury, of a story. I could not think of one bad aspect to becoming a lawyer. I had even considered becoming an agent for actors and singers. <br />Even though I aspired to become a lawyer, I did not stop participating in school theater. I was in many theatrical performances including: The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Singin’ in the Rain, Alice in Wonderland, Anything Goes, Sound of Music, and Kiss me Kate.<br />During my freshman year of high school I discovered the Civic Theater. My honors English class was reading William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet and were invited to see the show at the Civic. It was a Thursday dress rehearsal, the last one before the opening night.<br /> <br />When we arrived at the Civic Theater I was surprised to see how small it was compared to all the theaters I have performed in. The stage was down on the floor of the theater so that the audience actually felt a connection with the story. Before the show started a women named Melanie Buchanan went on stage and made an announcement. It was the usual welcome speech a director or lead actor gives before the show. Then the show began. I was amazed by the quality of the acting. It truly felt like I was a part of the show, something I have never felt in a bigger theater. The play was outstanding. Everyone became their character and played their parts with stunning perfection. That day I left the theater changed. Again I had learned something new, I missed acting. <br />In my sophomore and junior year of high school I struggled with my academics so I had little time to participate in anything the Civic had to offer. Then I found out about a summer camp that the theater held each year for children ages nine to eighteen. Here arose my chance to see what the Civic was like. The musical that summer was Guys and Dolls. I was so excited for the first day and nervous for auditions. My audition went well though I am used to being critiqued by directors. By Wednesday the play was cast. I would be playing…Benny Southstreet? I actually did not know how I was going to go about playing the part of a guy. In the end I was happy I was offered that part. Not only did it help me expand my acting experience, but it also showed me how to stand and act strongly, like my character. <br />After Guys and Dolls I started to participate in more plays at Civic. That year I was in You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown, Snow White, and Cabaret. Then one day Mel asked if I would be interested in being her assistant director for the upcoming show the Young Play Writer’s Project. I was very excited! It was something new that I had never done in the theater before. <br />The play went great, but little did I know that it had just been a test for me. I did so well that Mel asked if I would like to stage manage the summer camp production of Annie. <br />In the words of Kate Walker, “Stage managing is the hardest part of putting on a production. You have to be able to yell and be yelled at. You have to be creative and unique. But most importantly you must be a leader. You are the person that makes the show run smoothly. The director does everything they can until opening night and then all they can do is sit and watch. It is you who must see that the production succeeds.” I now understand what Kate meant when she told me that. I will never forget her words because they helped me become a better stage manager. In the end the show was a great success. We sold out all four showings before opening night. Being able to stage manage the production of Annie was one of the most influential moments of my life. Mel Buchanan truly helped me see what I really loved to do. Now, instead of going to law school I am pursuing a degree in vocal performance with a minor in theater.<br />This experience of stage managing the production of Annie definitely helped me become the person I am now. I do not think that if I had not met Mel that I would had considered theater as a career. I would had become a lawyer, stuck behind a desk doing research and paperwork. I am happy with my career choice and I know that I will enjoy my job every single day. “The stage is not merely the meeting place of all the arts, but is also the return of art to life”(Oscar Wilde).<br />Sam – <br />A couple of things – overall, I think this is a good draft and you’ve clearly establish a narrative flow to the piece; however, there are certain spots where I think you can provide the reader with some more details – really drive home the impression that some of these performances and experiences brought had upon you, how they essentially made you decide to change the course of your life. Also, other than changing your career choice, what other things did these experiences teach you? Were there certain life or social skills you picked up? Some understanding of others or the world around you? See margin comments.~D.<br />