Comin' down the world turned over...




"World Turned Over" 
Springdale High School Studio Players
Senior Class Children's Play
Autumn 2000




I've been feeling nostalgic lately. So I scoured the Internet for copies of my high school yearbooks. I was able to locate a blank copy of my Senior year. It came in and I was looking through it with my daughter. I showed her my senior photo, showed her my teachers and was flipping through it when she pointed out this photo. No one was tagged in it. The description was very vague. But Sami noticed me sitting in the lower corner and asked about it. 

My mind drew a blank. I recognized a few of the faces. I recognized the theatre it was taken in. But I didn't remember why I was dressed up, the show or really anything. The title of the play sounded familiar. I knew that the senior class always put on a children's play as part of their graduation requirements for theater. But I couldn't remember why I was in it. I was always a backstage person. Usually working in tech. So I posted the photo to Facebook, and tagged those I could identify. 

My friends, Theresa (seated next to me in the gingham dress)  and Kyndl (dressed in black standing it the back) started posting about it, and the memories slowly started trickling back. 

I was 17 and when this photo was taken, four or five months postpartum and I was in the midst of one of the darkest years of my life.  I was lost and lonely. This was the first time I had to perform around children after placing my baby for adoption. I was terrified. My friend was the one that did the casting and directing. I was desperate to be backstage away for the small children and begged her not to put me on stage. But alas, she cast me as Golidlocks. (Im pretty sure because I was the only curly headed blonde ;) Most definitely not based on my acting skills )

The premise of the show, was the tornado from The Wizard of Oz hits the town and all of the Storybook characters forget their stories and get mixed up in other stories. (I ended up in Little Bo Peep's story) the kids in the audience had to help us get back to our original stories. It truly was a terrifically written story. The children loved it. They truly believed we were our characters. I was asked be several kids if they could touch my curls and if they were real. (They totally were) Their small hands grabbing mine on stage, climbing on my lap after the show and hugging me tight was surreal. 

I leaned on these people so much that year. I would go days without sleep, I lost massive amounts of weight. I stopped eating, I trusted very little. My day started at 7am in a math class I needed to make up for the time I missed the year before when I was too sick to go to class. Math was already a terrible subject for me. But my theater friends were there. Abbie, an underclassman was in my class, she and I had worked on shows together before and she was my sunlight during those dark, cold mornings. And every time I stepped into that 7th period class, Kyndl would be singing, Amanda would smile at me, Sophia Z would always be smiling and cheerful despite her own struggles with finding herself while in a Deep South High school. Theresa would walk in, with an air of grace and peace, filling the air with an electric energy she still carries to this day, and Trey, his long limbs folded while he focused on memorizing his latest piece for tournament. 

Ray, who would drop everything and come over to just sit in his car with me while I struggled with my emotions. Who was my best friend my senior year despite being eons smarter than I will ever be. Ryan, who came over in the middle of the night with a cold Dr Pepper to keep my mind off the bad dreams, Megan, who took me out into the middle of the woods two weeks after giving birth so I could get away from the world. Kyndl who would not think anything of the fact that I was desperate to go with her for lunch, just so I wouldn't be alone. Driving around in her black Tiburon was one of my happiest memories of my senior year. 

There were others, Whose names I've yet to remember This was my family. We were all so young and going through so many different things. But in their own ways, they pulled together to pull me out of my own misery, taking on a subject we were all too young to have to handle. Theater was my escape. The friends I made working on shows and tournaments that year, the responsibilities I was given during the year is the only thing that kept me treading water from stage managing the fall play, to student director of our Miss SHS pageant. 

I cannot express how grateful I was for every single person that year.

 For the rehearsals, for the hours spent in the dark listening for cues. The laughter in the greenroom and the dressing rooms, weeks spent building sets, yelling at each other for missed lines, for late night conversations on the bus during tournaments, pushing each other to perform better, to be the best we could possibly be, for the hugs and the cheers, the roses and the applause. 


To all of my Drama and Forensics family, Thank you from the bottom of my heart. 


 
 


















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1 comment

  1. I was catching up on blog reading today. I know you posted this months ago, but I just got to it. :) I wanted to thank you for sharing your experiences. I actually only vaguely recall you being pregnant --- perhaps because I remember you as the theater gal? I am sorry you had to deal with such deep challenges at so tender an age. But I am grateful that you had such astounding friends for a support network!

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