A young man with dark hair wears a white tshirt and leather vest. He is holding a small, red electric guitar. The background is black with beams of light.

“I found another friend because of my first ArtStream class”

ArtStream participant David was interviewed about his experience in ArtStream’s performing arts classes on February 9, 2017. This blogpost is from his perspective, based on the interview.

I found another friend because of my first ArtStream class. It was in the Inclusive Comedy class last summer in Arlington. Ricky and I had, like, the same ideas. That’s when we found out that we clicked. When we came up with comedy duos in class, we both thought of Oscar and Felix from The Odd Couple. And eventually we got together with my other friend Jaxson to form our own comedy trio, “Comedy for Sale.”

I took ArtStream’s Broadway Song & Dance class at GMU. I loved the fact that some of us got to work on our own songs and play characters in the final sharing. I felt like the song I chose tied in with the character I picked out for myself. His name was Ethan. He was basically a shy kid who was a loner whose only friend up ‘til that point was his guitar. Before I was in Junior High, I used to be a very shy person. The character of Ethan comes naturally, but that’s not how I am anymore. Playing this shy character made me feel very closed in. It’s hard to feel that way.

Ethan performed “Summer of 69” by Bryan Adams. At the time, I was volunteering at Wolftrap. The last concert that I volunteered for was Bryan Adams. I just saw how amazing he was performing, especially “Summer of 69.” I saw how the crowd got into it and loved to sing along.

When my character Ethan performed “Summer of 69” it was liberating for him.

Now, I am taking ArtStream’s Improve Your Improv class at GMU. I think it could be helpful if I ever get onto Saturday Night Live!

Performing just allows me to feel good and to do stuff I wouldn’t normally do offstage. In the improv class, we learned never to deny. In real life, I’m very cautious, but onstage, when your scene partner comes up with an idea, you just have to go with it.

I welcomed new people to the class and I told them, “Good job” after an activity. If I support my classmates, they can go from doing a good job to doing a great job.

ArtStream has given me more confidence and made me more positive at work. I work at a giant, multi-plex movie theater, and the job comes with its fair amount of stress. I am positive when I take people’s tickets and show them to the theater. My coworkers give me a lot of positive feedback.

The comedy class and this improv class have helped me see how things can be funny . . . like working at a movie theater and having to clean up after messy theater-goers for example. Basically, talking about it like it’s a comedy routine, “You would think that we tell people to not dispose of their trash in the theater. So you would think they would listen to that because we are telling that right to their faces!

ArtStream has given me a lot more knowledge about comedy. And a lot more confidence.

– David

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