by Bill Wong ’14 –
A friendly soccer game of shirts vs. skins, that’s what we played my first day of sports at Pomfret. There was a 50% chance I would have to take off my shirt to be on the “skins” team. This would, of course, expose my front in all of its glory, which I concluded would almost certainly (a) nullify me from making the soccer team, and (b) end my social life indefinitely. I did end up being lucky that day however, as I was chosen for the “shirts” team. After that first day, I decided soccer wouldn’t be for me that term. I had played it my whole childhood, but it just wasn’t that fun anymore. And so, with limited options left, I chose to try out theater.
I almost instantly fell in love with acting at Pomfret. Mr. Lamb has amazed me from the start with his directing skills and ability to make everyday a new and exciting experience. The day I set foot on that stage, I suddenly saw a whole new world opening up to me where I could be anyone I wanted to be. Each day we start practice with warm-ups, which usually consist of things you’ve always wanted to do in public but were too afraid to admit, including hip rolling, limb shaking, screaming, and the phenomenon of replacing one’s name with a type of fruit.
Since I came to Pomfret I have been in a total of six performances. My favorite show would have to be the comedy Rumors, which we performed in Fall 2011. We had a small cast, and I managed to score a lead role alongside legendary senior Emma Perlwitz ‘12. We started practicing the play, and before long I found myself always counting down the hours until rehearsal each day. In the midst of stressful classes, it was one of the few things I could constantly really look forward to. Looking back, I can say that being a part of that was one of the most enjoyable and rewarding experiences of my life.
I think the unique thing about theater is that it is always changing; it never stays the same. You can work intensely for months and months on one play, and then it’ll all be over in a weekend. When you play a sport, each year you’re playing the same game with the same rules, but with theater once a production is finished, you have to forget about it and prepare to do a completely different production the next time. And yet, in my life I have never found a feeling more satisfying than a packed audience laughing at a line you just perfectly delivered after spending three months sculpting and perfecting that very line. And that is the magic that keeps bringing me back to acting.