I'm walking down the line That divides me somewhere in my mind On the border line Of the edge and where I walk alone
I have so many great memories from the Fall of 2005 -- the semester where I made my dreams come true, met some wonderful people, and generally had the best time of my undergraduate collegiate career
In part II the focus is on Shanice and Darius, two of my former co-actors, and two of the most interesting people I met in college...
Shanice, Darius and I shared some great times. Besides Dan, Jen and Scott... from the cast Darius and Shanice I got along with the best. The three of us hung out a lot whenever I wasn't spending my time with Dan, Jen and Scott. Darius, Shanice and I would just sit back and chill during our breaks, talking about whatever and laughing at nothing. It was a strange bond in the sense that I felt we knew each other from a past life.... similar to how I felt with Steph (fromSpring FEVER). The rapport and chemistry was naturally there from day one
One time we were on the road traveling to a local elementary school. Our task was to perform a play about the life and times of one, Martin Luther King, Jr. We didn't take one of those crappy buses, rather we rode in style -- a real nice, sleek charter bus. On that very bus ride I half-jokingly told Shanice what a nice couple she and Darius would make. She looked at me like I was crazy, NUT-HOUSE crazy
Shanice called me Stevie all the time. Never Steve, never Steven. It was always Stevie. I always found it sickeningly adorable how she'd say STEVIE, be it spiteful or playful; and this time, it was a bit of both
"Darius and I are just great friends. Nothing more, nothing less..."
"Stevie! I'm serious. I hate to risk losing that... you know"
But as that Fall 2005 semester went on, sure enough she fell for him. And of course, she placed every ounce of blame squarely at my feet, saying that I'd "planted the seed." But did they ever hook up?
I'll never forget the night Shanice and Darius got in a big argument, and I landed smack in the middle of it. One late night after rehearsal, Shanice insisted on driving me to my car. Darius sat shotgun, and before I knew it they were arguing. I'd never seen them fight like this before. I couldn't get out of there fast enough. I kept hoping she'd get to my car sooner rather than later!
They both asked yours truly to make the final call. Who was right, him or her? Oh LORD
Darius, God Bless his heart coz deep down he's a terrific guy, but... dude's a freakin' pimp. Straight up. He is one of the biggest 'mack daddies' I've ever met. The argument stemmed from last weekend's party. Some easy flirt came along and my man Darius took her ass home... leaving Shanice at the party all by herself. MMmmm. Ouch
I didn't want to do Darius like that, but I knew he was more in the wrong here, although I could see his point of view
"Well... I probably would have stayed with you Shanice...."
"THANK YOU STEVIE"
"... But... at the same time... I ain't gonna lie, it depends on the moment and how hot the girl is..."
"THAT'S WHAT I'M TALKIN' BOUT BROTHER"
Of course, I should never have said that, you see
"Are YOU SAYING.... that you would have left me too, if that were you?"
"UH... I- I-.... now I didn't say --"
"STEVIE OF ALL PEOPLE, YOU!? I CAN'T BELIEVE THIS!! WHEN YOU REALLY CARE ABOUT SOMEONE YOU DON'T LEAVE THEM HIGH AND DRY FOR SOME CHEAP-ASS FLOOZY!"
Oh sweet Lord have Mercy. I remember sort of putting my head down, not wanting to make eye contact! And then in the MIDDLE of her tirade, as we entered the parking garage she lowered her voice
"I MEAN, I DON'T CARE HOW HOT SHE IS, OR HOW 'RIGHT' THE MOMENT MAY FEEL, YOU JUST DON'T -- Stevie, which floor you at?"
"Uh, the very top"
"NO MATTER HOW RIGHT YOU THINK THE MOMENT IS..."
I was so *GLAD* when Shanice finally reached the top floor. As they drove off I could see AND hear them still going at it. What a night...
DRESSING ROOM MADNESS
Growing up I've always wanted to be on a sport team, or in a school play. The thought of coming together as one to create a greater whole has always appealed to me. September 2005 I finally made the 'big time' and got to live out my dream. It was everything I expected, and more
There were six guys. Our dressing room was modest. We all got along great, except for Brian and Pierre, who had their flareups in the past. But Darius, Dan, Scott and I helped keep things peaceful and harmonious. We cracked jokes at one another, talked about the girls and my favorite part... before each show we would sing random songs to psych ourselves up
At that time, Green Day's "Boulevard of Broken Dreams" was THE song... and it was the one that started the madness
I walk a lonely road The only one that I have ever known Don't know where it goes But it's home to me and I walk alone
My shadow's the only one that walks beside me My shallow heart's the only thing that's beating Sometimes I wish someone out there will find me 'Til then I walk alone
Ah-ah, Ah-ah, Ah-ah, Aaah-ah
My favorite song we sang was Eye of the Tiger by Survivor. Dan brought in his CD player one night so we would have the instrumental blaring in the background as we sang
Risin' up, back on the street Took my time, took my chances Went the distance Now I'm back on my feet Just a man and his will to survive
So many times, it happened too fast You trade your passion for glory Don't lose your grip on the dreams of the past You must fight just to keep them alive
It's the eye of the tiger It's the thrill of the fight Risin' up to the challenge Of our rival And the last known survivor Stalks his prey in the night And his fortune must always be Eyeeeeeee of the tiger
On a few nights after our song sessions we'd literally charge out of the dressing room like a tribe of warriors... it was such a high. And of course, the girls would come out and laugh saying"YOU GUYS ARE CRAZY! WE COULD HEAR Y'ALL FROM OVER HERE!"
Each guy brought something different to the motley crew that was the guys' dressing room. But it was Darius who made it the most fun with his phenomenal passion for life
The night before our play opened, we had our final dress rehearsal. Of all the cast (12 actors) Shanice, Darius and I were usually the first 3 to get dressed. That night was no different. The 3 of us met up in the dark hallway outside our dressing rooms
We walked past the backstage area and entered the dimly-lit theatre. We were the only ones there. It was surreal standing there that evening. Goosebumps literally formed on my arms. We sat on the side of the stage near the wings (see the X). The lights were so dim I could barely make out the back row. It was a magical moment words cannot do justice. The kind of magical, peaceful moment we all too rarely get to relish in our lifetime... and if we did, the world would be a better place
So there we were -- just me, Shanice and D, decked out in our costumes. Sitting on the stage admiring the serenity and living the moment up. We were laughing and having a good time. But then, Darius got all serious and told me something so out of the blue -- and sincere -- that I'd never forget
"Steve, you would make a great family man, bro"
"YEAH! I see it too, D." Shanice smiled at me. "Stevie you know you'd make a great family man!"
It was heartfelt, and heartwarming. The kind of compliment you never forget. After that, neither one of us said another word. We sat there in the quiet darkness of the vast theatre, taking in the ambience and looking out at the hundreds of empty seats.... each one of us lost in our own thoughts, hopes and dreams
And as I looked out at the empty seats, chills ran up and down my spine as if someone took electrical wires and brushed 'em across the back of my neck. In less than 24 hours, those VERY SAME seats would be filled with family. Friends. Cute college girls. Classmates. Colleagues. Professors from all departments. The lights will shine bright. And my life long dream of being in a University production... will finally come to pass
DOING ONE FOR THE COMMUNITY
My favorite Shanice memory stems from a special play we put on for a bunch of senior members in our community. A six-person show; among them: me, Shanice, Dan and Jen. The guys played high school jocks, the gals high school Shakespeare-loving book worms. One scene I had with Shanice was simply a riot. We played a modern day Romeo & Juliet in this scene
Juliet [Shanice]: But how the heck did you get in here? You know my dad will kill you if he sees you!
Romeo [Me]: I don't give a crap bout YO' DAD! COZ BABY *grab her, hold on tight, slight pause* I LOOOOOOOOOVE YOU!
The old folks laughed so hard I thought a few might croak then and there!
After the show, the old folks treated us to lunch and many of them came over to thank us for coming here today and giving them a good show. It was nice doing such a feel-good altruistic act for the old timers... there was no charter bus. The six of us went in two cars. Our director/coordinator gave us the option. It was during FINALS week, December 2005, so the fact that enough of us wanted to do the show... really spoke volumes
It was a beautiful day... being there with Dan, Jen, Shanice... putting on this show for our community's senior members. Jen and Dan had already hooked up by this point, but no one in the cast knew it except for me. I remember the sly glances they gave each other at lunch that day! They served us plate after plate as though we were rock stars. Shanice said at one point, "Aw look how you taking a sip outta that Stevie, it so cute" and I'd just roll my eyes at her. The old-timers came up to pat us on the back and shake our hand. We didn't make "theatre history" that afternoon, but we sure did brighten the day for a few folks, and that's just as rewarding as putting on a great show for 300
It was simply a magical semester; one that saw my best times at college. I'll always look back on those days with a real deep fondness, and whenever I do, I can't help but somehow think of those two crazy cats.... Shanice and Darius