Every now and then I go to a show with my mom, or see a musical with friends… and get a pang of longing for a life I left behind (what feels like) a long long time ago.
Friday was one of those days. While home for Easter, the high school I went to happened to doing a production of Fame, and it brought back a flood of memories.
I was a bit of a mutt in high school. Part drama geek, part science nerd… all parts quirky. And the high school I went to was the “country school.” There were two “city schools” in Charlottetown, and one “country school” about 30 minutes from town.
I didn’t mind going to the “country school” — aside from the seasonal spreading of liquid pig manure on the nearby fields — and I understand why my parents chose it. But I was ALWAYS insanely jealous of the “city schools” because they got to perform musicals at Confederation Centre of the Arts.
I was part of an acting troupe in my youth, and had done the annual Christmas show on the mainstage for a number of years in my teen-hood. I watched with bright-green envy as the kids my age from in town auditioned and starred in The West Side Story, Carousel, Beauty and the Beast… the list goes on.
But Bluefield was never included.
Then a couple of years ago the school started doing its own productions, based out of the auditorium (instead of Confed Centre). It’s not Broadway by any stretch of the imagination, but I would have given my left lung to be part of it.
Two of the people I used to perform with were part of this year’s “production team.” I did a little facebook-stalking and came across this video from the Olympics.
For those who aren’t going to bother to watch the full 2.5 hrs… I know probably about half of the people that make up the “young company” (seen at about 4:00) as they call it. It was my dream to be one of them, oh so many years ago. They used to do these amazing free shows outside Confed Centre during the summers. Just stunning hour-long musicals, normally on some obscure topic, like immigration or remembering the world wars (they were sometimes sponsored, I believe, by Veterans Affairs Canada).
It’s very weird to look through the spy-glass and see a life path I could have chosen, but didn’t. I can’t help but feel a little twinge of loss, and wonder what life would be like if I were up on that stage too. And if that would have made me a different Jackie than I am now.