A long time ago, I was involved in some school and church productions (essentially the same thing since in elementary school I went to Catholic school and that’s when I was acting) and I loved them. I think acting is a lot of fun and gives you a chance to be something else. To immerse yourself in a role, to bring it to life, and to perform for others, I thought they were joyous. To this day I regret the fact that I stopped being involved in theater, but I have done plenty of other things to occupy my time. Once I moved onto my secondary education I stopped acting but my school had us go to a few different productions.
In middle school I attended A Christmas Carol, performed at the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis, and in 10th grade I attended A Midsummer’s Night Dream at Park Square Theater in St. Paul. I had fun at these performances but I must confess that at the time, I was unable to appreciate Shakespeare, in book or performance, as I didnt really enjoy the English unit that we both read and saw the play for. I’m not even sure that I could appreciate it now, though I am disappointed that I will not be in London when <Andrew Scott> performs Hamlet (Andrew Scott played Moriarty in the BBC series Sherlock). But I did have the spark for attending performances instilled through these adventures.
I haven’t made much opportunity to see other performances, as I haven’t attended any at NDSU or been to the play houses in the Twin Cities since then. I watch TV shows and movies, and think of how much fun I would have acting in those, especially when I totally connect with characters, like in The Big Bang Theory. I think that I could still enjoy being a character (maybe USA will welcome me 😉) but my life has taken me down different paths and I do not think I would have the time to commit to such an endevour.
When I got to London this summer, our tour guide mentioned that the London Theater district rivals Broadway and is more affordable. I cannot speak to the truth of this statement, but I know that I finally made time to go to some performances. I attended Wicked as I remember some of my residents chatting about last winter, and some of its music has appeared on my Spotify radio. I loved it, attending was great, the performance was stunning, and the atmosphere was something I had missed. Seeing the talent perform and interact with each other was truly amazing. After I had the opportunity to see School of Rock, a performance I do not believe I would’ve chosen for myself, but it was freakin’ awesome. After that I knew I would continue to look for opportunities to attend the theater.
I took two more opportunities to attend performances in London. I saw Aladdin, and while it didnt have the freedom of an animated movie, it was by far the best plsy I saw in London. There was great rapport and interaction with the audience as well as a well written and satirical script that I just loved. The other performance that I took the opportunity to see in London was STOMP. I remember music class in fifth grade, Mrs. Swearingen brought in the TV cart and we watched a VHS of a STOMP set. I fell in love with the way STOMP made music. Years later I purchased the DVD set online and watched some of their videos on the YouTube. I discovered that the group was actually founded in Brighton by Luke Cresswell, and when I saw that they were in London I jumped at the chance to see them.
STOMP did a wonderful performance, and I must say that having seen the videos before helped me follow the show better. Despite having watched them many times, the show was done quite well and I enjoyed it immensely. I laughed very hard and was very happy to have had the opportunity to see them. Even if I will never find myself on stage again (as far as I can tell), I am happy to continue to experience the joy of both stage and screen. I will try to make different performances both at school and in different cities, as I can and I will never stop exploring.
Martin “Mixy” McNichols
Until we meet again