Thursday, November 8, 2007

Talent Shortage on Guam?

Before the curtain was drawn, all I could hear from my seat was the mumbling of theater students' complaints of having to see the play for extra credit or something like that. I was there to treat myself on my birthday plus it was opening night. I couldn't miss it. I was one of the few people in the audience who was there voluntarily. How strange...after it all it was Shel Silverstein. Who doesn't enjoy Shel Silverstein? C'mon..."The Giving Tree"?! "Killed By a Coconut"?! Okay, what about "A Boy Named Sue" by Johnny Cash? (Yes he wrote that, too.) Well, the younguns didn't seem to care. At least not yet.

As the curtain draws, the moaning UOG theater students respectfully calm to a soft hush. The first skit was a great performance and the entire show excelled as it continued. By the time the "Wash and Dry" skit wrapped, the same moany/groany students were cheering with applause, laughter and whistles which lasted throughout the rest of the production - from "No Skronking" to "Rosa's Eulogy". Even I was amazed by the players' acting skills. I was most shocked by Professor Jim Seymour's talents showcased in "The Lifeboat is Sinking" skit (which happened to be my favorite along with "All Cotton" and "Do Not Feed the Animal").

The Evening's Highlight
I first met Professor Seymour when Don and I were first recruiting cast members for Shiro's Head in one of his Drama classes. I remember that day. All but one of the students looked as if they were taking the drama course just to get the "easy units". They all just sat around, blank-faced. Based on what I saw from Prof. Seymour's performance, believe me when I say that Guam's talent should be gauged by Professor Seymour's excellent performance in the skit. His flawless comedic timing, his delivery and confidence on stage set the bar for others to emulate.

By the final bow, the entire theater audience was all smiles, applause and even more cheers. It made me think...for such a small island with such raw talent, why aren't there more productions? Whether theater plays, television media or even webisodes? Guam is the place that has the most do-it-yourselfers I've ever seen per capita. DIY mechanics, musicians, shopkeepers, carpenters - you name it - they got it. Heck, I'm a DIY filmmaker. So why not ban together and create an industry? Some would say it's because Guam is too small. I say it's because no one has taken the lead. Yet.