Christopher Carley turned 30 last week. He has been acting for most of those 30 years on many stages.
Lots of kids dream of stages in NYC, in LA, everywhere and as a drama teacher and high school director I respected those dreams. But for me, the reality was “the moment”. I was with them to enjoy the power of theater- collaborating as a group and developing a confident public self. And then there were some who demanded more…
Chris Carely came through the door of my 8th grade classroom and made himself known immediately. He was a drama boy and I was the only one in the room who didn’t know it. I needed at least the 40 minutes of that first class.
Together Chris and I spent the next five years working together. Did Chris need me? Could he have developed his theater chops without me? Of course! But that’s the gravy for teachers, the kids who comes along with talent and passion and are willing to share the road with you.
Here’s my best memory…
Chris was a senior, playing Malvolio in 12th Night and he had to miss a rehearsal against his will, to attend his father’s birthday celebration. It was not a problem, we had lots to rehearse and Chris never missed rehearsals.
It was 9:30, I had sent the cast home and I was closing up the auditorium.
Chris raced in, “Wait!!!!! Don’t leave!!”
I was startled. “What are you doing here?”
I really wanted to get home, I could smell a freshly popped bowl of popcorn, but it was Chris.
“Can we do some work?”
Could I say no? “Sure!”
“What did I miss?” “Did you get to my yellow stockings scene?”
“Right up to your entrance. Is that what you’d like to work on?” I knew he was dying to get this scene blocked.
It was 9:30 and a high school senior was begging me to work with him. I knew I would never forget this moment.
“Let’s do it!” Just one thing, I can’t script the blocking. Will you remember?”
Step-by-step,for the next two hours we blocked the scene together. I’m sure that before Chris slept he had the scene scripted in his journal because he remembered every move and we changed very little of that first walk-through.
I knew then that Chris would never be without a public stage in his life. Just before he turned 21 he took over a role on Broadway and since then he’s had roles on TV shows and commercials and since his move to LA he’s had some movie work.
And two days after he turned 30 he got the call. Clint wants him. Updates to follow.