Friday, October 22, 2004

All Kidding Aside

As I sit here listening to my High School alma mater's football game on the radio—You heard me right, the high school football game is broadcast live on the radio—it makes me think. Although I have turned into a pretty big guy (not tall), I was small, bordering on puny, when I was in High School. When I graduated in 1986, I was only 5'6" and weighed about 130 pounds. Since then, I've grown 4 inches in height and several in girth.

Anyway, I didn't have the build to be a football player. I tried. I played in 7th grade when I was 4'8" and 60 pounds. I even started in the secondary. I didn't like hitting people. Think Deion Sanders. However, I had a good excuse. Every time I hit someone, I got a splitting headache. Let me tell you the story. When we were supposed to go to the Field House for equipment check out, we got there a little late. When I approached the Coach to get my helmet, he took a look at my tiny frame and handed me a helmet sized 6 1/2.

Allow me to digress for a moment. I have a large head (some would say I also have a big head, but that's a whole other discussion). I currently wear a size 7 3/4 hat.

Back to 1980. The Coach gave me bigger helmets going up in 1/8 increments. When he got to 6 7/8, I was finally able to get it over my ears, but it was still way too tight. Coach told me that was the biggest helmet he had left, so I had no choice. The bottom line is that I played an entire season with a helmet that was 2 or 3 sizes too small. It gave me a headache just to wear it. Hitting someone made the pain just about unbearable.

My only claim to fame in my football career is that in our intra-squad Red-White game, I tackled the Quarterback. That Quarterback was none other than Jamie Foxx (that wasn't his name back then). I don't remember speaking to Jamie since we graduated from High School. He missed out 10-year reunion because he was shooting a movie. Maybe he'll make it back for the 20-year.

When I figured out that athletics wasn't going to be my thing, I turned my focus to band and drama. Theatre is still one of the most important things in my life. I've been in 20 plays and musicals ranging from Macbeth to The Odd Couple and Sound of Music to Little Shop of Horrors. That last one was the show I just closed recently. I was the voice of the plant, Audrey II. After one performance, an audience member told me she was surprised to discover I wasn't black. I had tried to do the voice as a combination of Elvis and Barry White. I guess I pulled it off fairly well.

Over the years, theatre has provided a much needed creative outlet and emotional release for me. It's exhilirating to step out in front of an audience and just let the character take over. I'm sure I'll have more to say on here about my theatre experince as this blog grows. I'm not sure when I'll be able to do another show because of the part-time teaching I'm doing now.

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