It was Tuesday and I was both excited and anxious. I didn't know how people would respond to my play, including the actors. I'm
not much of a writer, but I do want to improve on my writing, so I wondered if people would like my play or not. We all gathered in one area including the actors and the guests watching the plays. After a pair of plays were performed, the people who wrote it talked about it and Tamila asked each of them questions about their play as well as the one that their partner wrote about them.
Then it was my turn. My partner's play was first. It was amazing. It was so funny, I nearly died laughing. And the funny thing is that everything that happened in the play actually happened to me in real life! My play came next and it was really cool to hear it read out loud.
The next set of performances was the next day. I think they were better than the day before! The first set was touching and dramatic, the second and third ones were hilarious. Then the performances were finally over. On Thursday we all met up and talked about our whole experience: about the performances, the program itself, our perspective on different things, etc. Afterwards the elders invited us and the instructors to a Mexican restaurant nearby. Four out of the 7 kids couldn't go, but the other 3, including myself, were able to. We had a good time. It was Happy Hour, so you know what that means! Alcoholic beverages!....for the adults. Us kids enjoyed the amazing food that was there. We talked all throughout the dinner. I said goodbye to everyone and left to go home. I will really miss everyone. This was a really enjoyable experience and I will always remember it. I'm planning on staying in touch with everyone and I can't wait for the reunion this spring.
This past week at Mind the Gap we shared our plays. We tried guessing which play belongs to whom. Mine was pretty predictable since the perspective of my partner was mentioned. Afterwards we were paired up with our permanant partners. I was paired up with Marcy. We interviewed each other before and we got along perfectly. We had a lot in common. So we spent the next 50 minutes or so talking. She mentions that she sees dead people. Yes, dead people. It was weird. Afterwards Tamila, one of our instructors, told us that we had to walk around the neighborhood and talk. Simple enough. We walked for a while and talked about everything. I mentioned how I was a fugitive last summer (long story). We gathered together after 20 minutes and Tamila told all of us that we had to bring an item that has a story behind it. I didn't know what I would bring. I guess I'll think things over.
Today was the last day to interview our partners and get any ideas so we could write our 10-minute play. When we started our conversation we had to bring an item. Big ol' responsible me forgot! But I had my Ipod and that had a story behind it. Marcy brought a small stuffed cat from when she was younger. It was almost as old as she was. She told me her story behind the cat
and one conversation led to another and poof! Forty minutes sped by. We had a break and then Tamila told us to think for a minute. We had to ask 1 question: only 1. I asked how will you react if she lost her stuffed animal. She didn't know how she'd react. After the next 40 minutes were up, we had a photographer take a group photo. We all went to the table and talked about the requirements for the play. It has to be 10 minutes long and have a certain format. We said our goodbyes and I started my play once I got home.
In Mind the Gap we had 2 guests who were observing. We started to share our work. People started to cast characters for their play. It was really cool to hear everyone's acting. All of their acting was really good which makes the story of each play come to life. We didn't have enough time to share all of our plays so during our break my partner from before and I shared ours. We got new partners and we did the same routine over again. This is necessary so that we can get to know as many of the elders as possible and so that we can choose who we want for our permanant partner.
The next session we all shared our work. I was never much of an actor but I was pretty suprised when people asked if I could act out certain parts. Since this took so much of our time, we each only had 4 minutes to interview our new partner. Afterwards, they told us to list certain words, phrases and settings. We then had to choose 1 of each and make it into a story. What I wrote was completely insane. When we finished, they told us that next week we had to guess who our partners will be based on what we wrote.
The following week in Mind the Gap, we continued sharing our interviews. Since I didn't have the chance to interview my partner the week before, I interviewed him this time. I asked him to tell me any memorable story. When he finished, they called us back so I could repeat it back to them. I repeated about 75% of the story but forgot the rest since I had to repeat everything from memory. Afterwards, we did some writing exercizes to get the blood in our brain flowing. We had to make lists or different things like names of cheeses and things that are round. We then listed all of the people we know or have met and places in the world.We had to choose 3 people and 3 places and have our partner talk to us about those things.This was to prepare us for the monologues we will write about our new partners that we will interview. The monologue had to be in the With my new partner, I told her more about my friend from Arizona, whom I mentioned before. My partner told me about her friend who died and told me more about him and how they met. I'm still not sure how I will approach this monologue, but I'm sure I will manage somehow.
In the next session some people shared their monologues. Each and every one of them was amazing! The elders, and even some of the teens' writing was really good. I didn't hear my partners monologue so during the break I asked her to read it. It was
really good. It sounded just like my friend. Once the break finished, we started talking about dialogue. We started to write some more lists such as lists of people or things mentioned at Mind the Gap and places where there's grass to start brainstorming for the dialogue. After that they told us to choose 2 people or things and one place and make them talk to each other. We had the option of choosing which one has a bag with something in it, and which one ate breakfast. I chose my dead hamster as the character with the bag. The character that I chose that ate breakfast was Nisa, a friend in the program. I also got to choose what was in the bag and what Nisa ate. We had to write a dialogue between them. Weird yes, but when I shared my dialogue she said it might work!
In the new interview, my partner asked me "what's the worst thing you done in life". I didn't do much, so I mentioned several things I did when I was in 1st grade, the time I played dead to scare my evil 3-year old cousin and a weird roleplaying game I had with my friends to kidnap the president (don't ask!). I asked her more about her parking ticket curse that she mad mentioned earlier. She mentioned that she always get parking tickets, always! She said it's not her fault that the cops do this even if her Muni-meter has time left. And then, it was over. Time goes by too fast when you're having fun.
This is Yenifer, and I just started going to a workshop that's called Mind the Gap. So far, We had to bring an object that's really important to you and that you know the best. It also needs to have a story behind it. I chose a band-aid, which is a long story. I met a lot of elderly people and they're not as bad as I thought they were going to be. They are funny and know how to connect with teenagers. The only thing we did so far is trying to get to know one another and we also did a lot of talking. I had fun and I liked it because they were so warm and I was not scared to share; I asked a lot of questions. I am grateful for this opportunity. Now I don't have to be bored all summer long ( :