Summer Camp: West End Stage

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West End Stage was the most exciting program experience ever! At the start when I heard about it, I refused to go. You should know I have a big stage and people fright problem. I was so paranoid about going the days got mixed up. So it was Saturday and my program was going to start on Sunday. I was that paranoid that I though it was Sunday already. I had to wake up earlier than usual… about six o’clock because the program starts a ten. Another reason I wake up earlier is cause it takes long for me to prepare, and I want when I arrive my eyes do not look so sleepy. So every day I wake up to take a cold shower to boost up my energy and then waited for the babies to wake up as well as (aunt) Kristine. The classes start at 10.00 am and end 5.00 pm. It said in the letter that you could buy a hoody or a water bottle, but I thought it was a waste of money.

Monday – My first day

Ohhhh, I was getting more and shyer very minute I stepped closer to the building. We exited the house and headed for the tube because if we go by bus we will have to walk about 45 minutes to the building because buses do not go directly to the place. When we arrived we looked around for the building. (aunt) Kristine said she has been to this place a few times but does not really know the place properly. So we went around the place until I spotted a kid wearing some dancing clothes so we followed them expecting them to be going the same place as us. The building was a cold place and we got some brochures. Day one always gives me goosebumps. Okay so, when I was done signing myself in they told me to go to the end of the hall, and when I got there I was greeted by another person who told me to go to the bottom of the staircase where I met another person who leads to a staging area. I was in group 1 and the color yellow. I sat down and watched the host. After 30 minutes past the host said ‘Please give a round of applause to the teachers!!!!’, and at that moment the lights went down and the teachers came in. Everybody shouted ‘WHOOOO’ and stood up, and this made me feel so excited. There was music as they came and there were about 15 teachers? I don’t really know. When everything went calm again the host started to say which group goes with which teachers. So here is an explanation….

There are 4 groups and in each group there are colours,

GROUP 1 GROUP 2 GROUP 3 GROUP 4

RED ORANGE GOLD GREY
YELLOW GREEN KHAKI NAVY
CYAN BLUE PURPLE AQUA
INDIGO SILVER BLACK MAROON
btw I am a group one colour yellow. So the host would be like for example ‘Okay, everybody listens up! Yellow in Group 1 go to the acting teacher, and then Red in Group go to the singing teacher’, and the only time all the colour get together is when the show actually comes. Also, there are so many teachers because each group get different teachers but learn the same thing. So anyways lets resume……. I hope I explained properly enough for you to understand….. hehe hehe 🙂 When he finally called our names he told us to go the singing workshop first. She called out names, but one of our classmates were missing. We all sang a small song which goes like:

My dog he can do the cat can better than my cat can, but my goldfish find its very difficult.

My dog he can do the cat can better than my cat can, but my goldfish finds it very hard.

Then we repeat but it different ways like she tells us to replace the dog with ‘Woof’, the cat with ‘Meow’ and goldfish with ‘mwah mwah’.

It was so fun I was not so sure why did not want to go anymore. After a few more vocal warm – up we sang good morning Baltimore from the movie Hairspray. She said whoever wants to do a solo you sing out, and then the next day the teacher would pick who. Most of my classmates did not try. I didn’t really hear what she said so I raised my hand, and when I realised what I raised my hand for I wanted to say never mind but I would embarrass myself. I sang out loud anyways and they said I had a good voice :). After singing workshop, we went to the Wicked workshop. On the way to the next workshop, I met Halley who has become a really good friend of mine. We talked a lot and made a joke.. she was so funny and we also made other friends. So….. Have you every watched the play or the movie Wicked? So the wicked workshop is just a glimpse of what they did on the play. After all the dancing in the Wicked workshop, it was time for lunch. Oh, you would not believe how to get the food! Everybody was squishing in like an angry mob. They had a list of sandwiches, chips, juice and fruits. I barely got food I just wanted to leave the crowded so-called canteen. We sat down in a big room with all the other groups and ate lunch. After eating a satisfying yet quick lunch, we went back to the stage (where I first entered) because they said they had a surprise for us. Some kids were not yet down yet so they brought their lunch with them. The surprise was a guy named…. Sorry, I forgot it, but he performed in the play Le Miserables. We had limited questions. At the last question, one of them asked him if he could sing for us. He sang for us and it was magnificent. That was the best surprise. After the song, we went dancing class where we learned how to do a dance in the movie Hairspray. We all had to put our heads together to think which 60’s a dance we should do at the start, because of its freestyle. It was fun and tiring than the last workshop we went to was the acting workshop. He told us to…. someone went inside the room one of the people who worked here with a student and said she just arrived (she was the missing classmate) …. to fill all the space in the room and it was a fun activity. He told us to walk with purpose. He taught us a scene from the movie Hairspray and gave us scripts to memorise. After all the fun today, I went home exhausted and happy. 🙂

Tuesday – Ummm (A bit of a blur)

Tuesday was a bit of a blur I can’t really remember. We still did singing, dancing, and acting. Ok so let’s try to remember. I arrived lined up and was called to my group. I made more friends which were really fun. Everyone was really nice. In singing class, we did the same song….. Good Morning Baltimore. Okay, I am really sorry, but I just can’t specifically remember everything. In acting class, the teacher made us act out one of the scenes which were so fun! Okay, this is ending now heh hee.

Wednesday – The inspiration

Ok, you should be excited because I remember what I did this day….. hehe hehe. (aunt) Kristine dropped me off and I started my awesome day. All the groups went to the theatre place again, and there was an announcement. The host said that we are going to watch a musical called Memphis. I was surprised to hear this and texted (aunt) Kristine immediately. We had to rush the other class because we need to get to the musical soon! We first did dancing class, and then I think singing or acting hehe hehe. OH MY!! I can’t forget the play it left me totally flabbergasted. I think they brought us here to be more encouraged to do our part of the play…… better. We all ate our lunch and waited in a big room. Each person got pulled away and was brought to the coach which leads us to the show! My group and I were last. When they said ‘We will bring to the coach’ I was seriously imagining being in a seat being pulled by horses…. hehe :). On the bus or coach, I sat beside my friends and we played some games. The ride was a bit long, but I didn’t realise. We played truth or dare and some other games. We finally arrived at the theatre got our tickets and went inside. We kept swapping tickets cause we wanted to sit in another place. The lights finally died and the show started. We watched it quietly and it was the best play ever! You wouldn’t imagine!

I have a story of it here… you don’t have to read it if you don’t want to… but you would love it…. it is amazing and inspirational!!

Here is the story…. from the wiki

Message from me!: Here is the starting:

There’s a party at Delrey’s, an underground black Rock and Roll bar in 1950s Memphis (“Underground”). Huey Calhoun, a white man, arrives on the scene. The regulars begin to leave, but Huey convinces them to stay, claiming he is there for the music (“The Music of My Soul”). Later, Huey is about to be fired from his job as a stock boy at a local department store, but he makes a deal with the owner, if he can sell 5 records by playing them over the speakers, he can have a sales job. Huey plays a rock & roll hit (“Scratch My Itch”). He sells 29 records in five minutes, but the store owner fires him anyway, incensed at the type of music being played.

Huey returns to Delray’s club, and begins flirting with Felicia, Delray’s talented sister, and promises to get her on the radio (“Ain’t Nothin’ But a Kiss”). Huey then proceeds to apply for DJ jobs at various local white radio stations (“Hello My Name is Huey”). One of the owners, Mr Simmons, invites him in, saying he’ll show him what a ‘real’ DJ looks like. Huey hijacks the mic and plays another African-American rock song (“Everybody Wants to be Black on Saturday Night”).

Mr Simmons is about to have Huey thrown out, but then dozens of teenagers start calling in demanding more of Huey and his music (“That’s Not Possible”). Mr Simmons agrees to give him a two-week trial, and if he’s successful he’ll get hired full-time. After a few days Huey is told to read an advertisement for beer, but he is illiterate. Huey asks Bobby, a friend of Delray’s with a janitor position, to tell him what it says. He forgets the exact words almost immediately and begins to improvise, ending with the phrase “Hockadoo!”.

Mr Simmons again almost fires Huey, until the manager of the store advertised calls in saying that he wants Huey to do all of his advertisements, seeing as his stock sold out in minutes. Huey’s station gains immediate popularity, as does his new catch phrase, even though no one understands what it means…including Huey.

While on the radio, Huey encourages white people to go down to black churches (“Make Me Stronger”), and they begin to. Meanwhile, Delray has saved enough money to put Felicia’s voice on the record, and she travels to Huey’s house to tell him this. He is overjoyed and promises to play it the next day. Huey’s prejudiced mother, however, breaks the record, which leaves Felicia heartbroken, but Huey tells her to come down to the radio station anyway (“Colored Women”).

The next day, Huey brings in a band and backup singers to play for Felicia live. Despite her reservations, Felicia sings and becomes an instant sensation (“Someday”). Felicia and Huey’s relationship begins to grow, and Delray is becoming more and more infuriated with Huey. He warns him of the danger of what he is doing, threatening to harm Huey if anything happens to Felicia (“She’s My Sister”). Huey’s radio popularity grows more and more as white teens and black teens begin to accept each other (“Radio”). Huey and Felicia have been carrying on a secret relationship since the day she sang live on the radio.

Two years later Huey proposes to Felicia on the way to a party at Delray’s. She says no because of laws and prejudice but admits that without those obstacles she would accept. As the two share a kiss, a gang of white men pass by, spotting this. They hold Huey down as they beat Felicia with a bat. Huey manages to carry her into the club, crying out for help. Delray tries to go after Huey, for he promised to harm Huey should Felicia get hurt because of him, but Gator, a friend who has not spoken since he saw his father lynched as a child, calms him and sends out a prayer for change as Delray takes Felicia outside and gets her into the ambulance they called (“Say a Prayer”).

Message from author: After this, there is an intermission……. I was in tears, and I got a snack 😀 Resuming story!……

Time has passed, and Huey is about to open his new TV show, a rock and roll variety show featuring all black dancers (“Crazy Little Huey”). Felicia is supposed to be his first guest, but she backs out at the last minute, fearing that people will think her and Huey to be in a relationship. Huey informs Bobby that he will fill in, and after getting over some jitters, Bobby brings the house down (“Big Love”). Felicia’s popularity is also beginning to grow around Memphis, as does her relationship with Huey.

Felicia tells Huey that if they went to New York they wouldn’t have to sneak around all the time, but Huey insists that they are happy the way they are and don’t need to leave (“Love Will Stand When All Else Falls”). She has been discovered by a talent agency in New York, as has Huey’s TV show. The agency wants them both to come up to New York, although Huey has to compete with Dick Clark for the national show. They ponder the decision (“Stand Up”) and are even supported by Huey’s mother, who has changed her racist ways after seeing a black church choir (“Change Don’t Come Easy”).

Huey is told he has won the TV position if he agrees not to use black dancers. Huey refuses and proceeds to strip out of his suit on the air (“Tear Down the House”). Felicia tells Huey that she plans to go anyway, as it is her dream. In a desperate attempt to keep her, he kisses her on the air and says he loves her (“Love Will Stand/Ain’t Nothin’ But a Kiss” (Reprise)). The feed is cut, and Huey is fired on the grounds that no one would watch his show if they knew about him and Felicia, and that he wasn’t the only white person to play black music anymore. Felicia is taken away by Delray in an attempt to save her career.

Now unemployed, Huey leaves the station and ponders his relationship with Memphis, realising he couldn’t leave for any reason (“Memphis Lives in Me”). Four years later, Huey is a DJ on an obviously low budget and low rated station (he jokes that they have “exactly one listener”). Felicia walks in, about to start a national tour. She tells Huey that she is engaged to a man named Bill, but that she wants him to join her on stage one last time. He refuses, afraid that no one will remember him. She begins her performance, and halfway through the song Huey walks on stage and finishes the song with her to thunderous applause. He then proclaims “The name is Huey Calhoun. Goodnight and HOCKADOO!” (“Steal Your Rock and Roll”).

If you read this good for you, because you just got inspired….. well did you???!! After the show, all the people who were not from West End Stage left. We stayed and got a chance to ask a few questions from the main characters…. Huey and Felicia… also two of the dancers. One of my fellow West End classmates asked if they got awkward when they had to kiss, but they said they talked to each other before and they kissed a lot of other people in other shows…. I guess they are used to it?? Afterwards, we all got back to the bus and I waited for Kristine to pick me up back at the school.

Thursday – Skipping Stones

Hello…. this day was just the same as the first few days. I also seriously don’t remember, because all we did was acting dancing and singing. In singing class, we sang ‘A Million Voice’ and ‘Seasons of Love’. I auditioned for both songs hoping to get a sentence solo. So skipping to the next….., please! 🙂

Friday – Almost the day!!

Today they said that this will be the last day that we will practice. I concentrated harder. In singing class, the teacher announced that I got a sentence solo in ‘Seasons of Love’….. which was a high song. I was so excited!!! When we lined up again for lunch there was this mean girl that literally and on purpose hit me….. HARD. The girl hit me with her shoulder…. ‘HEY, IT’S NOT MY FAULT IT’S SO CROWDED!!’ I wanted to tell her….. she was in the older groups. We all went to eat outside and had a nice chat. Lunch quickly passed by and we went to the theatre place where a famous woman sang. No one was allowed to take a video, because…. well…. I didn’t know why. When I went home I had to listen to all the music we had to sing and my line in the play, because we have to memorise it. We learned extra things in singing like how we are going to enter singing ‘Good Morning Baltimore’, and how we are supposed to act in the song. It was so fun having so many friends. All my friends we getting ready for the big day too…. which was Saturday

Saturday – A day off… well except for the accommodation group

Have I told you that you people were allowed to sleep in the acting class thing?? Well, if I didn’t here it goes. You are allowed to sleep in the West End stage. Three of my really good friends was sleeping there. It includes breakfast, lunch and dinner. There is Liberty Court and Sundial Court…. she slept in Sundial Court. The courts were not literally inside the building where we act, sing and dance you have to exit the building and walk a few minutes away. So, anyways it was a free day for me. I had to shop for some black trainers because I only had coloured trainers with me. I almost bought some new pair of trousers, because they said you have to wear black trousers and I only had black leggings. I bought my shoes in Primark where most of the things are cheap because when I checked the other brands the price flew up to £150. I found a good looking trainers for £3 pounds and bought it. I returned home and continued my day off….. hehe 😛 🙂 😀 ❤

Sunday – The final day!!! 🙂 ….. So EXCITED!!!! 🙂 😀

Ooooh, today is the day!!! I am so thrilled!! 🙂 I woke up extra early because we are supposed to arrive at nine and this time, not at the far place, and instead at the Majesty’s Theatre! I was dropped off by (uncle) Anthony early in the morning at the front. Wow, that was a lot of students!! I looked for my group and stayed with them. The kids who were not accommodation came first…. which included me. When we were inside…. still in a line…. one of the West End people started to talk on a banana. I and my friend were laughing hard. He kept saying ‘I know, I know I won’t be late for dinner’ and stuff…… hehe hehe :D. We arrived early so we had time to practice. We all rehearsed a lot of times. When the other groups started to rehearse it was our time to eat some lunch. I thought that now that we were at the theatre we would not have lunch. After eating lunch, we watched the other kids which were really fun. 3.15 was the time when my group would start to act. 3.15 pm finally came and the curtains went up. I was so nervous talking in my part or singing the sentence solo, but I was enjoying so much! Time went by so fast, and the audience was happy :). I think it was a full house because when I looked I did not see any open spaces. We finished and our teachers said we did a good job :). All the older people and some in my group started to cry. As in their mascara was falling down their cheek, and their eyes and nose were red. Even the mums started to cry seeing their children cry. When we exited my friend gave me a big hug and said bye. I smiled and waved goodbye. I was not so sad….. I mean, at least, I got my friends Facebook name so I could add them. They kept on asking me if I had Instagram, but I told them I didn’t have. One of the older kids in the yellow… like me… brought come cake. I was about to leave when she said ‘Hey, Elizabeth get some cake’ she said smiling. I actually was surprised, because I didn’t know she knew my name. Anyways that was a very successful day and the cake was EXCELLENT!! 🙂 😀 ❤ 😛

P.S. You will love it!!

Thank you 🙂 I hope you enjoyed reading 🙂 😀 ❤

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