Guest blog by Parker Byun
In the Columbia community of theatre, participants come from a multitude of different backgrounds with a wide range of interests. When I step out of the acting world, I often do not realize that being a part of this community really makes me stand out!
I am now in my fourth and final year at the University of South Carolina, and my major is Geography with a Physical Geography track – this is the study of the physical earth, including landform and climate patterns. I plan to work in the field of weather and climate, and yes…this includes being a meteorologist! This past summer, I was a volunteer intern at the National Weather Service of Columbia, and I found it incredibly fascinating to learn the “behind the scenes” work for forecasting. Furthermore, it gave me a better understand and appreciation for the environment around us. I will never look at the weather segments on the news the same again.
While I was developing an unpredictable interest in Geography my first year of college, I KNEW I wanted to continue to work the stage. I demonstrated a mere interest for the stage when I accomplished my first play at eight years old, Don’t Drink the Water by Woody Allen, which some friends of ours put together. I portrayed the role of Kilroy—the tiniest Kilroy ever to be conveyed! A few years pass, and I begin chorus in middle school and high school theatre at Spring Valley High School where I began working with Allison McNeely. I participated in my first Town Theatre show in the Summer/Fall of 2012 where I was cast in The Music Man (directed by Shannon Scruggs). I felt at home with Town Theatre.
With this in mind, talking with my peers, supervisors and professors, the question is always asked, “What do you do for fun?” The answer is simple, I love performing! This answer seems to throw people off in one of two ways: either they never would have guessed I had any interest in the performing arts, or they never knew I would major in Geography because I exude a love for performing! Because the two do not correlate, the joke always comes up that I should be a dancing, singing meteorologist on live TV! To be honest, the gig doesn’t seem half bad!
Singin’ in the Rain is my eleventh show at Town Theatre and I could not imagine a better group of people to share the stage with. I reiterate the variety of the cast. There are some who have never done a show before, and some who have done shows for years. Nonetheless, when everyone is working hard, you would never guess this was the case! Everyone has had the ability to learn from each other and cooperatively work together to put on a memorable experience.
What particularly stands out about this show is that it deals with both weather and performing! (So why wouldn’t I absolutely love this show?) The Singin’ in the Rain aspect demonstrates that no matter how unfortunate a situation can be, or how you think you have hit rock bottom, you can always make joy and bring joy into a situation!
So, in spirit of the weather man who performs on stage, you can expect there to be singing, dancing and scattered showers throughout each performance! “Come on with the rain, I’ve a smile on my face, because believe me, you will leave this show feeling positive and refreshed!”