As I sit at my desk, giving my aching feet a break from standing all day and thinking about what I’m going to write, I can’t seem to prevent myself from recounting all of my experiences as part of the drama department. Last week, I performed my last show at the Hebrew Academy, and I couldn’t have asked for a better way to end this brief, yet eye-opening journey.
I was never into acting; the thought, in the first 17 years of my life, never crossed my mind. That changed, however, when I was asked by Mrs. Berman if I would perform in last year’s play, Robin Hood. At first I laughed at the fact that she thought I would agree to this absurd proposition. The only acting I’ve ever done was elementary school plays, and even those I didn’t dare qualify as legitimate acting experiences (with the exception of my phenomenal performance in the 1st grade Siddur play). Theater just didn’t fit my personality. Or so I thought. Knowing that my best friend, Daniel Ben Avner, was also asked to be a part of Robin Hood made me think about my decision before telling Mrs. Berman “no” from the get-go. My thought process, which was shared by Daniel, was that maybe we should just do it for the fun of it. We thought that we could make it funny, and have the best first, and last, time doing theater in our lives. And so, we agreed to be a part of the play.
What started off as a good-humored decision, turned out to be an unforgettable experience. One practice in, and I immediately fell in love with acting. Evidently, it has carried on until this very moment. The privilege of being able to star as one of the two lead roles with my best friend is truly an experience I will forever cherish. Other than the fact that I lost a tremendous amount of sleep over the past few weeks, had to memorize thousands of words, and practice five days a week for hours without end, my time working on the Odd Couple will be a milestone in my life. I am grateful for Mrs. Berman for believing in me, and especially for having the patience to deal with me. The play, the Odd Couple, could not have been as successful as it was without the leadership and determination from our distinguished director.
I won’t lie, there was a point that I saw despair in her eyes, and she even admitted it. But that didn’t stop her from believing in each and every one of us, and making sure that we performed to our maximum potential. The cast, as well, consisted of an incredible group of Hebrew Academy students. Their dedication to the success of the play made this experience even more worthwhile. With an incredible array of actors, fellow cast members always sought out to help each other and ensure we received the necessary constructive criticism we deserved to hear in order to improve the play. I am deeply grateful to the entire drama department for showing me a new passion, and giving me the opportunity to perform for the last time. It’s been a great run, and I can’t wait to see what you guys have in store next year. Break a leg!
By: Danny Bister