Thursday, March 31, 2016

Black Magic

 When I graduated from Anderson, I wanted to find a school that had a good drama department.  Not to say that Anderson didn't, but I wanted to find a department that was serious about the craft.  I looked at Lander, but I didn't want to live close to my grandmother, or she might make me stay with her.  So, I chose Presbyterian College in Clinton, SC.
 At Anderson, I was the Drama King.  I had won awards.  I had rave reviews.  I had fans.  I thought I was on top of the world.  When I came to PC, I found that I had to prove myself.  There were 16 students in the drama program, and 3 of us were named Walter.  How odd was that?  Maybe some researcher could come up with an explanation like people named Walter needed an escape and chose drama.  I don't know.  Anyway, there we were.
 The Theatre at PC was called Black Magic.  It was in a classroom building on the first floor.  Naturally, the walls of the Theatre were painted black, and it sat around 100 people.  The Theatre could be done to all sorts of configurations, but the most popular was in the round.  I had never worked that way before, and it was quite challenging.  All of the students, except me, had been at PC since Freshman year.  I transferred as a Junior. 
 The first play they did in the fall of 1974 was "Blithe Spirit".  I thought that was great, since I had just done that at AC.  I tried out for the lead, but didn't get it.  My ego was deflated.  Instead, I was named the Stage Manager.  I had no idea how to do that, but I quickly learned.  I also learned that there were 15 other students who were equally talented as me.  This was serious stuff.
 Our director was Dr. Rains.  Most people called him "D. O.", which were his first and middle initials.  At Anderson, no one would ever call Mr. Vivian--"Everett", at least not to his face.  PC was much more loose.  I was accepted almost immediately into the clan, because we were all there for the same reason--to do quality work.
 Another thing I was not used to was the cast party.  We didn't have those at Anderson.  Let's just say it was held off campus.  Enough said.  In later blogs, I will talk about the plays we did during those two years that I was at PC.  But, just to say for now that there were some great people in that group--Ev, Susan, Joe, Jerry, Pat, Walter, Walter, Budd, Pam, Karen, Larry, Gerald, Ann, Donna, Howard, Becky, Lin, and the rest who came through those doors.

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