An Open Letter to My Old High School Drama Club
Anthony J. Piccione
- OnStage New York Columnist
To the Drama Club that I was a member of in high school,
It’s hard to believe it has been five years since I left you. A little part of me still remembers the last curtain call for the last show I ever did with you.
What’s even harder for me to believe is how far I’ve come, and how much I’ve done since then. I’ve graduated from college, where I got a degree in the same subject that you first got me into. I’ve slowly transitioned from acting to playwriting. Now, I’m living in New York City, in the hopes of following some of the very same dreams that you first made me think were possible.
When I look back on it all, it seems like a sharp contrast.
It’s hard to believe that from 2008 to 2016, I’ve gone from being an angsty, miserable, pseudo goth kid who joined Drama Club just because he wanted to try and break out of his shell a little bit, to feeling confident enough to go out there and try to thrive in the greatest city in the world. Yet, in all this time, I feel like I haven’t really given you all the credit that you deserve.
It’s true that because you didn’t have the funding or resources that you deserved, we couldn’t always put on shows that were as big and exciting as we might have liked. That’s probably why I also tried to do as much community theatre in Connecticut as I could, to be honest. It’s also true that I probably didn’t do a good job, at the time, of expressing the impact that you’ve had on me and my life.
That’s why I wanted to write this. Lately, I’ve been doing a lot of self-reflection, and have given a lot of thought to the past eight years of my life, what it all means, and how I ever got to this place, in the first place. So now, I wanted to try my best to express my gratitude to the Drama Club that ended up helping me discover my passion for theatre, and ultimately made me who I am today.
Whether you know it or not, I am in a better state of mind, and am in a better place in my life, because of the path that my first audition back in the fall of 2008 ultimately put me on. I hope someday, perhaps my hometown’s school district will give you more of the funding that you deserve. (I could also say that about many other theatre programs across the country.) I hope more people go on to explore their passion and follow their dreams, because of you. Finally, I hope you know how much of an impact you’ve already had on yours truly.
This column was written by Anthony J. Piccione: Playwright, producer, screenwriter, actor, poet and essayist based in New York City.
To learn more about Mr. Piccione and his work, please visit his personal blog at www.anthonyjpiccione.tumblr.com. Also, be sure to like him on Facebook (www.facebook.com/AnthonyJPiccione.OfficialPage), follow him on Twitter (@A_J_Piccione) and view his work on the New Play Exchange (www.newplayexchange.org/users/903/anthony-j-piccione).
Photo by: @AshleyWiedbusch