by Kristen Garaffo, Hayfield Secondary School
Submitted on August 25, 2003
So this is my Cappies National Theatre entry.
I will try and make it as short as possible, because I could probably talk about the past 3 weeks for hours and hours and if I typed everything out, it would take forever, ok so here goes.
From July 12- August 4, I performed in a revue that showcased some of the most talented high school students from around the United States, I was in a play where I got to wear feathery masks and scream, cackle, and take out someones heart and throw it around, and I was in the first full production of a brand new musical making its way to the Great White Way. All at the Kennedy Center.
I was quoted in a few newspapers and had my picture in the Washington Post, I was interviewed by someone from WTOP and was on the radio, and I was interviewed for Red Apple 21 that will be showing on SchoolScene later this month, and Bill Strauss and Judy Bowns will also be showing the video footage to the School Board.
I met people from Cincinnati, Kansas City, Dallas, El Paso, Florida, and lots of kids from around here. Each and every one of them had something to offer, and the talent was incredible. We were all there for the same reason, because we all loved to perform, and we all loved theatre.
What more could I have asked for this summer?
It was an absolute amazing experience that I will never forget.
Go-Go Beach went very very well. Monday was such a crazy emotional day. John and Brent (the writer and one of the composers) came from Toronto (where its being previewed) to see our performance. I told John how excited I was when we first got there, and he said, Youre excited? Im excited!!, and he gave me a big hug. We hadnt seen him since auditions, so it was so nice to see him again, he is the coolest guy. They left when we started running the show with tech, and it made me really nervous that they would be there that night. Everyone was very nervous, and by dinner, everyone was kind of grumpy. But, it was show time. I was having trouble breathing after my hair was half done, techies were yelling at me to get on stage for a mike change, my eye lashes werent on, and I wasnt in costume. I was really nervous. When I kind of got myself together, Harriet (the director) and Jen (the choreographer) got everyone in the dressing rooms for a pep talk. As they started talking, we all realized that this was it, this was our last performance together. And soon, we were all in tears. It was so emotional, and we hadnt even started the show!
Then they called places and I turned all my emotion into energy. I was sooooo pumped up!!! During the opening number, my heart swelled with happiness. We were sold out. At The Kennedy Center. The show went so well, and I had such a wonderful time on that stage. During the 2nd act, I did my favorite scene (where I crawled out from behind the platform and found Woody and Mindy, and then threw the towel at Woody, haha), and I made my crazy costume change for the first time! Then we came to my last scene. Oh buddy, thats when it started. When we were done, the minute I was off that stage, I started crying. Im done Thats what I said, when people asked me what was wrong. It made me so sad. I was done. I cried straight through the end of the show into curtain call. People came up and hugged me and told me the nicest things that just made me cry more.
You are so talented, Kristen. No one could have played a better J.J.
The whole cast went on for the finale, except Me, Jared (Einstein) and Thomas (Sammy), since we were off in Hollywood. We were huddled in the wings singing along with them, but I was rather choking on tears. Then curtain call. Goodness, more crying. Then I went out to see my family and friends. (I love all of you.) I did a quick TV interview, then went back to the dressing rooms. They were striking the set and putting away costumes. I got my things together, and when I went to give Kate my costumes, she told me to keep my Go-Go dress. That made me so happy. I also grabbed a Popteen Magazine prop. Everyone got to keep at least 1 prop or set piece from the show, so it was almost like we weren't really striking the set, we were just moving it in pieces to our houses :)
Then cast party lasted until 4 am. I talked with John and Brent, who were ecstatic, and told me I did a wonderful job, and John also said I looked like Barbara Streisand :) Talked with Bill and Judy, who told me that this really was the finest group of teenage talent ever assembled, and that this musical was written just for this group of kids, and that no one will ever perform it better than our cast at the Kennedy Center. And then the goodbyes. I hate saying good bye. Everyone was sobbing. It was the hardest thing Ive done in a long time. My favorite goodbye moment was with Jared Hill, who was our Einstein, who lives in Missouri. I had the J.J. doll I bought and was planning on bringing it home. So I had it with me for awhile, but as Jared was leaving, I gave it to him. I told him it was my gift to him for such an awesome show, and he looked at me, and I saw tears in his eyes. Hes such a talented guy, I wont forget that moment.
Wow, Ive written way too much for trying to keep this short. So, I will leave you with the prayer Craig said before the show. It made me cry (surprise surprise):
There is magic in the theatre.
And the Theatre is magic.
Blessed are those who have the ability to create that magic.
The gift you have is a gift from God.
What you do with that gift is your gift to God.
Break a leg. Amen.
To everyone involved with the Cappies National Theater, thank you. From the bottom of my heart.
>> Go to Go-Go Beach review
>> Back to Close Harmony story