The quality of our Theatre work at PC spread past the confines of the school. We were invited to an Alcohol Symposium on Fripp Island attended by educators and people who worked with substance abusers to present the theme of the conference in a dramatic way. They gave us the theme in advance, and I helped write it. There were five of us that went to the conference. Our skit was based on a family dealing with the crisis of young people drinking, and the parents also drinking, but not knowing where the kids got their behavior to drink. The theme was on alcohol prevention.
So, we went to this resort on Fripp Island in South Carolina. We got lost a couple of times going down there, but we made it in time for the Friday night opening. The conference went from Friday night to Sunday morning. Our presentation was very well received. The leader of the conference suggested that we sit in on the discussion groups, because he wanted us to come up with a summary skit of the conference.
The main speaker at the conference was a Canadian professor named Wilson Bryan Key. He taught media at a university in Toronto. He had written a book called "Subliminal Seduction". His theory was that advertisers place subliminal things in their ads that make you want to buy the product. For example, he showed a picture of ice cubes from a drink, and the advertisers and painted in two polar bears mating in the ice. He said that your brain saw things subconsciously that you didn't realize you were seeing, which would cause you to react in a way that the advertisers wanted you to react without knowing why. Another example was the $5 bill. Supposedly, the government etched the word "sex" in Lincoln's beard, which would make you want to like the bill more. Now, I have to say that much of his theory sounded a bit like paranoia, but some of what he said actually made sense. You might want to check out the book to see for yourself.
Anyway, this was a meeting for those people on the front lines of trying to get young people not to drink. After the conference each night, many of the participants went to the bar at the resort for drinks. They also bought liquor and drank in their rooms. These folks would put their trash cans out to be picked up, and they were full of bottles and cans. It brought to mind the old adage--Do as I say, not as I do. I know there is a school of thought that one must experience things before they can help others, but this was not so much experiencing the drinking as much as experiencing the hangover the next morning.
On Sunday morning, we presented our summary skit for the conference. It was basically the same one we did Friday night with a few changes. The resort was pretty nice. There were several things that we wanted to take as souvenirs. Towels, sheets, silverware, candle centerpieces from the restaurant, napkins glasses, whatever wasn't nailed down. We tried for the TV's, but they were screwed to the wall, and we didn't bring any screwdrivers. I got two candles, two glasses, a towel, and some silverware. I had the things wrapped in the towel. When we got back to PC, I was walking in the dorm with my loot, and I tripped on the step. I dropped my stuff on the cement floor, and the glasses and one candle broke. I was able to save one candle and the silverware. I guess that was my punishment.
On Monday, our teacher got a call from the resort. They asked about all the stuff that was missing. We denied taking anything, but they knew we had stolen the stuff. PC was not asked back the following year for the conference. Sorry, guys.