July 27, 2011

We were so very cool

In high school I was part of a local community teen acting group called TAG. I was a charter member of the group, so we were kind of sailing in uncharted waters. We had no older members to give us advice or steer us away from huge mistakes. Not to say we were without adult leadership. No, we had that. In spades at times. We had a few really amazing adult sponsors and a few that really wished they'd never volunteered for TAG baby sitting duty. In all fairness, a group of highly hormonal, drama driven, theater crazed teens cannot be an easy bunch to deal with.

The episode in which we really could have used some serious council occurred after our first real performance. We put on a night of 3 one act plays. If I remember correctly it was 2 fairy tales & a piece called While Shakespeare Slept. In the Shakespeare play I was cast as Rosalind from As You Like It. Anyone unfamiliar with Rosalind, she spends half her play dressed as a man.

As you might imagine, our wardrobes consisted of lots of hosiery, long flowy dresses, and other bits of gathered Renaissance Fair garb. For some reason it was decided I would wear odd greenish-brown opaque tights and a belted, tea stained peasant blouse with brown house slippers. Kind of a twisted drag version of Peter Pan. What can I say, I was 15? It was not good. But the guys, oh, they had it much worse.

We collected lots of fisherman shirt, had bubble shorts made (a select few lucked into run of the mill black slacks), and everyone had a cape of some kind. I'm pretty sure this was the first time most of the guys in our group had worn tights and mascara (at least I think it was. I know it wasn't the last). They were less than comfortable...at least during dress rehearsals. I think by closing night they had grown to like some of their costumes.

At some point during our cast party someone decided it would be a great idea for us all to show up at school the next day in full costume. As a show of solidarity (and because we were teenagers) we all jumped at the idea.

For the girls wearing dresses straight from the 70's collection at the local vintage shop wasn't much of a departure from the norm. For the rest of us, it might not have been the best idea ever. I'm really not sure how I avoided being sent home from school that day. Maybe it was the opaqueness of my tights that saved me. In reality, I looked like I was bouncing around school without pants. I did have on my gym shorts, but no one seemed to think they counted.

But even at that, I was not quite in the same league as the guys. Especially not my two guy friends who showed up no only in their bubble shorts, capes, and tights but also in full stage make-up. I will never forget the sight of the two of them running down the hall at school with their capes spread behind them singing the Batman theme at the top of their lungs.

I'm pretty sure they'll never forget the hostile stares given them by the heard of redneck teenagers hanging in the parking lot after school. I have (thankfully) forgotten most of the taunts thrown at us.

In the long run, was showing up at a southern high school in full on Renaissance Fair get up a good idea? I don't know. But it sure was unusual.


Layla said...

AMAZING. Oh, TAG. I loved improv the most.

zann said...

Ah.. that was before I came on board, and got sucked into that wonderful twisted life. Of course now that leaves me guessing which two that was but I'm pretty sure I have a fairly accurate guess.