Angry, confused, disenchanted, and well totally befuddled doesn’t even come close to describing how I am feeling. I don’t know maybe I failed to clarify what it is that Straight Up and On Pointe is about. That is the only explanation that makes sense to me at the moment. So please let me try and break it down, so there will no longer be any question as to what we are and what we hope to accomplish.
Straight Up and On Pointe is not a musical theater company, we are a social issue performing arts company for teens about teens. We will not be putting on your typical high school musical. The issues we take on would never be allowed to be performed on a high school stage. We are not a theater company and will not be performing high school plays. We are not a dance studio, but we will dance, we will sing, more likely than not, not what you would expect to see at your typical recital.
I was recently met with a local high school director. I was there to tour their stage, at the end of the meeting, I offered the director several flyers to hand out to the students. I was left speechless when the director took one flyer out before handing the rest back to me, with the explanation that their students would not be interested in participating in my company. The director went on to explain that their students aren’t the type of kids that my studio is looking for.
EXCUSE ME! STRAIGHT UP AND ON POINTE IS LOOKING FOR TEENS, ALL TEENS, ANY TEEN THAT HAS THE DESIRE TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE, TO EDUCATE, TO GIVE BACK TO THE COMMUNITY AND POSSIBLY SAVE A LIFE.
All teens regardless of their social or economic background have the same fears, hopes, and dreams. When their school is put on lockdown, they all sit in the classroom terrified, waiting for the door to burst out and the bullets to ring out. Their economic status doesn’t spare them the harsh reality of the world around. Teens from all walks of life have the same risk factors, such as.
- TEEN SUICIDE.
- DATE RAPE OR PHYSICAL ABUSE.
- DRUG AND ALCOHOL
- BODY IMAGE, BULIMIA, AND
- PEER PRESSURE.
These are just a few, no teen is immune. So for a high school theater director to look at me and say that their kids would have no interest, in being a part of something that is bigger than themselves, and that they are not interested in helping to educate and possibly save lives, I have no choice but to say
“yo, high school theater director shame on you. That decision is not yours to make, it is theirs. Straight Up and On Pointe is not your competition, but an extension to showcasing the power in a teens voice, when given a platform to stand on and let it ring out.”
I understand that Straight Up and On Pointe may not be for every teen, but I know there are many teens out there that would love to be a part of this company if they only knew about us. So I am imploring anyone that feels we are something your teen may be interested in becoming a part of, please spread the word and let them know.