In high school, I didn't participate in organized sports. I was a drama geek, and I loved it.
I was a part of 13 productions in high school, 3 each year: Fall production, MIFA competition (state-wide theater competition), and the Spring musical, + 1 show in Edinburgh, Scotland, where our troupe participated in the International Festival Fringe - and yes, that was awesome.
I used to be fairly shy (yes, this is true), but I then started having a lot of energy I wanted to direct towards something - and theater seemed the natural route to go, especially since many of my friends were a part of it too. I really enjoyed it, though Daddy had his reasons for not being a huge fan (I will explain in more detail in a later post).
I played many roles in the productions. I started with some bit roles early on and participated in crew during other productions. It was great to be a part of the backstage team, but I really enjoyed performing a great deal (shocking, I know 😆).
But there were a lot of talented people in our troupe; I realized it may be unlikely I would ever get a large role, and I accepted this fact. I asked Daddy early on to come to the shows whether I was in it or not, but he never did. I don't know if he was able to or not, but it really hurt me regardless of the reason. Mummy came to almost every show, and I really appreciated her support.
But I wished that Daddy would come even once... and it sucked because he never did.
My senior year, I auditioned for "The Fall of the House of Usher", one of Edgar Allan Poe's famous short stories-turned-play. I felt I had a good audition, but again, there were many more talented people who were likely to get the biggest roles. I accepted this, but it still bothered me I was probably going to end my high school career with never getting a larger role in any of the shows.
The morning before school when roles were going to be posted, I went to breakfast with my good friend Max and some other friends. Max was the Stage Manager for the production and was one of the deciding factors for who was cast. He didn't say much about the show at breakfast, and I figured there wasn't much to say. But as soon as we got to school, we walked over to the casting list, and he said
"If anyone says anything to you before you see it, I'm going to be pissed."
I was confused initially, but then I quickly understood why he said that as soon as I saw the casting list. I started at the bottom since I assumed I had been given a smaller role, but I kept looking up until I finally found my name:
I was playing Ed Allan, Edgar Allan Poe's alter ego, the lead role in the show.
I was shocked. And then I screamed. And Max gave me a huge hug and told me congratulations - I had killed my audition. Lots of people congratulated me, and I was on cloud-nine for a while.
I worked so hard on the show, and of course, I told my parents about how excited and nervous I was and how it would mean the world to me if they both were able to make it. But as usual, I expected Mummy would come but Daddy wouldn't be able to.
I was nervous the night my family came, but the show was a success. Afterwards, I went down to meet my family. And I was shocked because Daddy was there.
He had seen his son perform. And he was so proud.
From a theater-standpoint, that was one of the highlights of my performing career. But from a father-son standpoint, I can't put into words how much that meant to me.