Posts Tagged ‘High School’

Magical Earth Defenders Pt. 12

March 10, 2018

Magical Earth Defenders

Lennon, Natia, and Kelsey were already sitting at the lunch table when Margaret arrived. Kelsey and Lennon had brought their own lunches. Lennon had studied and planned what she should be eating and everything was just so. Kelsey had two sisters so she had what she managed to grab on her way out of the door. Natia was eating her fries from the cafeteria lunch line much like a great white or maybe a piranha. That is if piranhas could brood. Margaret walked up carrying a tray of cafeteria food. She looked a bit out of place with her clothes just so but the girls waved her over.

“Hey new kid!” Natia yelled out, loud enough that even Lennon gave her a look. “You might have made a mistake.”

“What?” Margaret asked. The usually poised young girl suddenly looked worried and an even paler shade of white. People never talked to her at her old school and now she was blowing it with the few people she knew at her new school. “What do you mean?”

“She means we usually avoid the cafeteria food if we can help it,” Kelsey said helpfully.

“Except the french fries,” Natia said, her mouth half full. The other girls rolled their eyes which made Margaret smile and calm down a bit.

“Sit down, Margaret,” Kelsey said. “I’m sure you’ll be fine.”

“At the very least, you won’t die,” Lennon said with a smile. “Most of us pack our lunches to guarantee edibility and nutrition.”

“And because it’s cheaper,” Kelsey said.

Margaret smiled and sat down. “Thank you, ladies. I’ll take that under advisement.”

“How are things going on your first day?” Kelsey asked.

“Things here are less complicated than the academy,” Margaret said. She smiled. “and more welcoming. The academics are comparable. I’ll do fine here as soon as people stop staring.”

“We’re happy to have you, Mar,” Natia said.

“So how was your talk with the Principal?” Margaret asked. “They whisked you away from us for quite some time.”

“What’s the damage, Natia?” Kelsey asked. By now, they all knew how often Natia had been skipping school and they knew the school would be displeased at the very least.

“I somehow got away without detention but I have a ton of work I have to catch up on. I have to get a tutor,” Natia said. She punctuated that last bit by grumpily dipping two fries into the ketchup before shoving them in her mouth.

“You’re lucky that you got off with just a tutor,” Lennon said. “Principal Evers can be strict. By the way -“

“I need a tutor too,” Maya said, interrupting. Nobody had noticed her walking up to the table. She sat down carefully, purposefully ignoring all of the stares she was getting. Margaret was briefly thankful not to be the center of attention before her empathy kicked in and she felt bad for Maya. She wondered how much worse the attention might be if Maya had not bespelled her tattoos away. Maya was thinking about that as well.

“Where did you come from?!” Natia cried out before Kelsey put a hand over her mouth.

“I came from the castle,” Maya said with a shrug. She had a brass plate in front of her that she was eating salad from.

“And grabbed a salad from the castle’s fridge?” Lennon asked.

“From the garden,” Maya said.

“Wow,” Kelsey said. “Good for you for eating healthy.”

Maya smiled. “Thank you. It’s the only way I survived so long on the run. At some point, I just became a vegetarian which was cheaper but hard on the run. Anyway, I don’t think I should invite a tutor over to the castle. Can I borrow space from one of you?”

“You can invite the tutor there if I’m the tutor,” Lennon said. “I can tutor both you both.”

“Don’t you already have special projects for independent study?” Kelsey asked.

“How did you know about that?” Lennon asked. She did not think taht a popular girl like Kelsey would know about that.

“I’m nosy,” Kelsey said. “I know things about people.” She shrugged with a smile.

“Well, I can still tutor them,” Lennon said with a smile. “You guys can be my new special project.”

“I’m not sure I enjoy being referred to as a special project,” Maya said.

“Yeah, watch your phrasing, Red,” Natia said.

Once again, Kelsey covered Natia’s mouth with her hand.

“Please don’t use codenames when we are in civilian gear,” Margaret said.

“I was just kidding,” Natia said. “Are those really our codenames? They’re only kind of cool.”

“We’ll have to discuss it at some point,” Maya said

“We have a lot of things to discuss,” Kelsey said. The girls all nodded in agreement. “Speaking of tutoring, we also need magic tutoring.”

“And superhero tutoring,” Natia said.

“We can do all the tutoring at the castle,” Lennon said. “It’s safer there and we won’t get interrupted.”

“Making a castle our hangout? Yes please!” Natia said with a smile.

“Just as long as you all stay out of my room,” Maya said. Natia stuck her tongue out at her which made Maya smile and almost laugh.

“We also have to keep all of this a secret,” Margaret said.

“Exactly,” Kelsey said.

“Duh,” Natia said. “Of course, that’ll be hard.”

“I have to agree,” Lennon said. “My parents seeing me walk again would make their year.”

“We’ll have to make sacrifices for this,” Kelsey said. “We’re trying to save the world.”

“You’re right,” Lennon said. “It’s definitely worth it. If we lose, extradimensional aliens take over the world. We can’t let our parents or the government interfere with that.”

“Wow,” Maya said. “I never thought that would be my life and I ran from the things for years.”

“Well you have real friends now, Maya,” Kelsey said. She looked out at the table full of former loners. “You all do.”

“I never thought that would be my life either,” Maya said.

“Me either,” Lennon said. “I was always too shy.”

“I’m too loud!” Natia said with a big grin.

“Too rich,” Margaret said.

“Well, none of you are too much for me,” Kelsey said. “We’re a team.”

“Aw, that’s so sweet blue!” Natia said and they all laughed.

The Very Bad Audition

March 5, 2018

When we are young, a lot of experiences can both open our eyes and open paths to our future.  In the end, nothing we do is really all that inconsequential.  When I entered high school at Friends School of Baltimore, I was a total geek.  Now, if you have read this blog you know that geek is a word I use with pride when I refer to myself.  I was really into comics, video games, and letting my imagination run wild.  I was getting good grades and, for the most part, I was pretty much enjoying school.  However, I was still a shy and solitary kid.  I had my friends, two of whom I had spent eighty percent of my social time with for years.  When it came to public speaking, I shriveled up in what was probably a close cousin of a panic attack.  My mother told me point blank that she was worried about whether I would be able to speak in public in the future.  However, thanks to my younger brother, she had a solution.

And so, it was that I was sitting in the auditorium, waiting for my turn to audition for Tartuffe.  On a side note, Tartuffe is an excellent satire by Moliere which is also called The Hypocrite and The Imposter.  I definitely felt like an imposter while I was sitting in the old red-cushioned steel chairs.  I had no desire to perform, I was just there to get over a fear.  I took my turn up on stage, auditioning for the part of Damis, an angry young man.  The monologue I delivered that day was intended to be angry, but I could feel my knees shaking and it must have been clear how scared I was.  Director and English teacher Tom Buck thankfully saw that I was not cut out to be an actor and passed the role onto one of my classmates.  Walking away, I realized that I did not want to act but I realized that I did not need to audition to be on the Stage Crew.

The Stage Crew met after school and on Saturdays.  They welcomed me with open arms and it was cool to hang out with sophomores, juniors, and seniors.  For the first time, I felt like I was actually in high school instead of in the fourth year of middle school.  I started to form friendships outside of my little friend group or the youth group at church.  I started to grow as a person and I realized that I had a passion for the building part of show business. When they asked who would run the lighting board for Tartuffe, I volunteered when nobody else stepped up.  I ran that lighting board for the next four years.  You got up to the board through a Spanish classroom in the rear of the auditorium, so they eventually gave me a key to that classroom.  There were definitely some awkward collections where I had to walk through Spanish or Russian classes.

I eventually became co-Head of Stage Crew and then Head of Stage Crew.  I also started to dabble in the design part of things as I eventually designed the lighting for each show.  Although I was a little distant, I felt a fellowship with the cast of the all of the shows I worked on.  Things really kicked into gear when we all put on Fiddler on the Roof and I teamed with Michael McVey as well.  By the end of my time at Friends, I had kind of become friends with Tom Buck, sadly a teacher I never had in high school.  My only regret was that I realize now that I never trained anybody to take over for me because I wanted to be the go-to guy until the end.

My experiences in Friends School Stage Crew inspired me to seek out more experiences with show business.  I got into community theater down at Fells Point Corner Theater.  I volunteered a lot of my time running sound for all sorts of shows.  Eventually, I started working for Mobtown Theater and, at the age of 16, I joined their board of directors.  Suddenly, I had all these new experiences outside of Friends School and new friends most of whom had graduated from college years earlier.  Those experiences were magical, and I felt like part of the greater theater community of Baltimore City.  It drew me away from Friends, as I spent a lot of my time in Fell’s Point rather than on campus.  I felt a little more disconnected from my classmates which I feel like I eventually remedied but I feel good that this was a positive path that Friends helped put me on.  In fact, that connection to community theater later sparked a connection to the school paper and helped reignite the love of writing that I still have today.

Of course, I then went on to major in Stage Management and minor in Sound Design in college.  I took that degree and I got a job for years and years in a regional theater in New Jersey.  All of that grew from one afternoon I spent trembling on the stage of the auditorium.  I am a little sad that that auditorium does not exist anymore as it has been completely remodeled but I am happy that the Friends students of today and tomorrow will have an excellent facility to experience what I did.  Not because they should all go off and major in theater but because going to that audition ended up accomplishing my goal.  By connecting with the people in Stage Crew, eventually being in charge, and then finding my voice in community theater, I became better at talking to people.  I felt more comfortable speaking in public and communicating my ideas.  I do not hold back like I did as a young kid.  For that, I feel very thankful.

Deathgasm (2015)

October 5, 2016

I feel that horror has always had an association with Heavy Metal music. Most of the sub-genres of heavy metal are loud, aggressive and often very dark. There is a whole laundry list of heavy metal songs that mention satan, hell and other scary and forbidden imagery. None of that really bothers me like it did when I was a kid and I thought that words held literal magic instead of the figurative magic they actually hold. So after a certain age, heavy metal was never scary. Heavy metal was enticing, energizing and exciting. It gets my motor running in the morning and can bring me to that second wind in the evening. Still, I understand the connection between horror and heavy metal. Especially the album covers of heavy metal paint a horrific picture which is now as familiar to me as Bela Lugosi in Dracula or the puppets in Puppet Master.

I made an effort to try and include more foreign horror movies this year. In that vein, this movie comes from New Zealand. I have never seen a kiwi horror film but the inclusion of heavy metal definitely drew me in. By the time that I found out it was from New Zealand, I was already on the hook and had slotted it in to watch. I mean, it also has demons and demons are one of my all-time favorite monsters. Like faeries, demons have no rules and can be just about anything when they appear in stories. That makes them dangerous and unpredictable and exciting horror villains. You do not often hear this but demons are awesome. So let us sit back for a story of heavy metal and demons.

To start, I loved the feel of this movie from the start. Not only is it into Heavy Metal but it uses comic book transitions and animation to add to its irreverent spirit. My youth was spent listening to Heavy Metal, having long hair, reading comics and watching cartoons which are all things done in this movie. Of course, except for the long hair, they are all things I still do. The whole movie has a great heavy metal spirit to it. The great thing about heavy metal is that it is not afraid to be goofy as hell while desperately trying to sound serious and cool. Stuff like Brutal Legend and bands like Steel Panther have gone even farther toward mixing comedy with metal and now this movie has also mixed in some horror. This is also a high school comedy and our heroes are guys I could have hung out with in school. I was a total geek and hanging out with metalheads, dungeon masters and stoners would not have been a stretch.

I was impressed with the special effects in the movie. They did not have the best gore effects in the business but they were clearly practical and looked really good on screen. Starting off with humor, animation and comic book style stuff makes even the cheesiest effect acceptable. Over the top blood is one of my favorite things in horror movies because it is a combination of gross, awesome and funny. It’s also done with a lot of nonchalance which makes it both scarier and funnier somehow. Speaking of nonchalance, there is a lot of boobage and some very graphic sexual material that appears but if you have seen enough metal album covers you should expect that. The movie had no actors in it that were known to me but all of them were great. In particular, Milo Cawthorne was great in the lead role and I could really empathize with him the whole way.

Overall, I loved the movie. The kiwi accents, the comedy and the horror all blended together really nicely. It almost goes without saying that the soundtrack to the movie is completely awesome but I will go ahead and say it. The movie never dragged and was always awesome, funny, scary, strangely touching or some mixture of all of the above. It is kind of the high school movie that I needed to see while I was actually in high school but it means a lot more now. Also, kudos for having an action girl main character who is pretty fun and cool even if she is kind of a cliche. I definitely recommend this one.


Adventures of a MathBrat

Random Things I Find Energy To Blog About

Boccob's Blessed Blog

A gaming blog with an emphasis on D&D 5e

Wolfenoot

No Hate Only Snootboops

As Told By Carly

The Ramblings of a Geek Girl

kalpanaawrites

poetry, fiction, essays

Beyond the Flow

A Survivor's Philosophy of Life

Silvia Writes

Life is a story. Might as well write it.

An Artist’s Path

Art, Poetry, Spirituality & Whimsy

The Bloggess

Bizarre thoughts from author Jenny Lawson - Like Mother Teresa, only better.

Silence Killed The Dinosaurs

Comics, Stories, Dinosaurs, Cats

Damyanti Biswas

For lovers of reading, writing, travel, humanity

An Empire of Stories

Where fiction comes to life

DMing with Charisma

Stories, Reviews and Opinions!

%d bloggers like this: