I was reminded of an important truth the other day. You people are fun. And by “you people,” I mean middle school drama teachers.
I’m certain of this because the other day I found myself unexpectedly in a conversation with a middle school drama mentor…and we might have been perfect strangers, but we were cracking each other up like we’d been best friends since kindergarten. He confessed to me he’s always written dramatic plays…that he tried to write comedy, but the audience’s reaction was “ew.” I shared that all the scripts I’ve ever written have been comedy…I tried to write drama, but the audience’s reaction was inevitably “Ba-ha-ha!” Then we slipped into talking about our secret lives. I told him my time as a camp cook scrambling eggs and toasting toast was merely undercover work to gather material for my next play. He told me he was only spending time as a middle school drama teacher to prepare for his sparkling career as a singer on a cruise ship. I’m not sure anyone else listening in on our conversation was entertained, but I was having a grand ol’ time. Which brings me back to my point: you middle school drama teachers are brilliant and funny and fun. And I love knowing that I work for you.
And judging from my seat in the audience, it looked like the cast was primarily focused on cracking each other up, and I loved that.
My theory is this: to work with middle schoolers, you need to be a fun person. This is just a survival skill. And if my scripts can help middle school drama teachers exercise that skill, well, my time toasting toast has not gone to waste.