Saturday night Piers performed in his last high school production, playing the god of death in the musical “Once on This Island.” It was a very ambitious show for these kids to put on, full of large-scale dance scenes that clearly required many hours of careful choreography. And I call them kids because they are, after all, children – but watching the New Players perform is always an amazement at how professional these adolescents are. They are so good, so serious – and yet so young – that it’s actually intimidating. And I find myself laughing to ward off the fear.
Piers was wonderful, but in typical style, he didn’t think so. He said his voice was off, that he wasn’t focused, etc. And I have to agree that I liked “Into the Woods” much more, which I saw him perform this winter. But that was really because I liked the story more. “Into the Woods” was more developed in my opinion, and the music was better. I couldn’t point to any songs in “Once on This Island” that I really liked. But that was ok, because I was really just there for Piers.
It’s really cool to see all these kids after a show: they are all so high on adrenalin, and they’re always on their way to the cast party. Many audience members form a sort of gauntlet outside the dressing rooms and wait for their family members to come out, and then the place turns into a madhouse while everyone hugs, cries, laughs and snaps photos. Some choose to wait outside because it really is just too much.
Now Piers is headed to Carnegie Mellon University, where he has been admitted into the prestigious voice program. My sources tell me that they only accept eight students into the program each year. This is high vindication for Piers, who took a lot of shit off Mom and Dad for his bad grades throughout his career. While he struggled to keep up his French scores, he was busy attending rehearsals till 11pm every night and performing 3 or 4 shows a year, plus directing others, taking voice lessons, and even mentoring younger singers. All that and he held down a job in town (well, most of the time… hahaha for those in the know).
All the while he told the ‘rents: don’t worry, I’ll graduate, I’ll get into college. And now he’s in one of the best damn schools in the country. Way to go, Bory!
Mom and I are actually driving him out there in another week, which I’m sort of looking forward to, except for the 14 horus of driving and the 2 nights away from Xianyi. But it will be cool to see where he’s going to be. The drive back promises to be tragic as Mom tries and fails to hold it together after seeing her last child off into the world. God bless her.
Congratulations, Piers, for being AWESOME!