Thursday, December 3, 2009

Lyndon: Solving a Mystery


May, 2009

Whenever someone missed a rehearsal, Lyndon, our dedicated stage manager, stepped in. He'd jump out of his seat and leap into the part. It could be an "ocean maker" or it could be Orsino; didn't matter. Lyndon was always ready and willing.

This made me even more curious about his peculiar decision not to audition this year after having been a success as Friar Laurence in "Romeo and Juliet" last year.

Whenever Lyndon helped out in rehearsal, I could see his eagerness to be up there with the actors and it puzzled me.

Lyndon lives with his mom. The two of them make up a small family. His dad would occasionally drop by to pick him up after school, and on those days Lyndon was tense and hurried.

Lyndon's teacher is a large, full-voiced fellow and a couple of times I heard him ream the boy out. On those occasions, I found a way to be in proximity to Lyndon. I wanted to protect him. I had a sense that his relationship with men was a tricky one.

One lunch hour, Lyndon's teacher shouted at him across the quad, "You can just forget about Shakespeare Club!"

When the teacher had disappeared, I saw Lyndon's tear-filled eyes. On further investigation I learned of a mishandled situation between Lyndon and the sometimes-troublesome Geneva.

"I didn't say that...I didn't." Lyndon tried to hold back sobs.

"Okay, let's solve it. Go apologize to Geneva and it'll disappear."

I took a moment with Geneva as well. I knew her well enough to know that in her anger, she could make stuff up. To be sure, I was butting in on the whole affair, but it bugged me when his teacher threatened to yank Lyndon out of Shakespeare Club.

One day I caught up with Lyndon on campus with the intention of solving the mystery of his not auditioning. Thus far, he shrugged off my queries with, "I dunno...just didn't feel like it."

"Hey, Lyndon, I'm already starting to think about who might be a good stage manager next year after you've gone to middle school. I'll probably never get anyone as responsible as you, but I wondered if I could send over a couple of candidates to talk to you about it. Maybe you could tell them what the job is all about."

"Sure, Ms. Ryane," he responded in his affable Lyndon way.

"Lyndon, why didn't you audition as an actor this year?"

He looked to the dirt and twisted his foot.

"I liked doing Friar Laurence so much. That was so great."

"I know. That's why I can't figure it out."

He looked up at me with his clear brown eyes.

"I thought if I tried out this year that I would get a small...you know, like little part...because I had that big part last year and...I didn't want to something not as good."

"Oh Lyndon, that would never have happened. I don't work that way."

I touched his shoulder.

"Are you disappointed?"

"Yeah."

"What part would you have wanted do you think?"

"Orsino."

"Yup, I can see that. You'd have been a good Orsino."

We let a few seconds pass and scanned the field, where other kids screamed and played.

"Lyndon, this is important: Don't do that to yourself again. Always shoot for the stars because I'm telling you the truth, Lyndon: You're going to be fine. You're going to have a great big successful life. You have everything it takes inside you, I can see it. When bad days happen, remember that we had this conversation because I promise you....You're going to be just fine."

CHILDREN'S WRITES: A Journal Entry
My goals:

1. Be a successful actor
2. Live to be 90.
3. Get a scholarship to U.S.C.
4. Get a house at the age of 23.
5. Get married at the age of 40.
6. Live war free.

Friar Laurence

He is very smart. He plants and he makes potions. He wants to help. He doesn't want Romeo and Juliet to commit sucide. Friar Laurence is kind've like me. He is like me in a way because we both like to help. I think Friar Laurence doesn't like to be selfish. !
—Lyndon, 4th grade (Year Three)



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