An Open Letter to Being a Theater Kid

An Open Letter to Being a Theater Kid

I would like to say thank you.

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Dear Theater,

I know we haven't spoken in a while but I just want to acknowledge all you did for me and now that I am almost finished with
freshman year of college, I thought I should say thank you. I would like to say thank you. Thank you for giving me a
place where it is okay to wear black three nights in a row and the only acceptable place to scream Harry Potter
Puppet Pals ticking time bomb rap while twerking viciously. Thank you for allowing me to explore my sexuality and
"find myself". Thank you for giving me an excuse to stay out until 9 maybe 10 for the cue to cues, leaving me up until 1 am doing homework. Thank you for giving me honest friends, people who will listen to me rant about stupid shit and cheer me on,
people who have the ability to look at me from across the room and automatically know I'm dying on the inside, people
who will make fun of me out of love and not hate. Thank you for giving me a reason to see boys and girls half naked and coveredin tape. Thank you for my Telex. Thank you for dinner breaks that bridge the gap between actors and crew. Thank
you for providing an ear whenever I needed. Thank you for giving me a show about a talking, singing, human-eating plant.
The story of bringing someone back the dead, Beauty meeting and saving the Beast, unfortunately, a trippy show about a
little girl taking drugs from strangers, Peter and his star catching, Frankenstein, business and success, and Wednesday
and her messed up family.

Thank you for giving me weird friends. Thank you for giving me a home away from home. Thank you for comforting me.
Thank you for distracting me and getting me out of my house the day my depression was so bad I relapsed and thank you for giving me friends who knew I was not okay but instead of asking rhetorical questions they sat in a circle around me and
brought bubbling laughs out of me. Thank you for allowing me to see the good in High School because in all honesty, it was harder than it looked.

Thank you for letting me be myself and surrounding me with people who don't give a damn about how much I eat, or the
way I dance, or the music I listen to, or the fact that I hate sports and refuse to play, or that I don't work out. Thank you
for giving me iconic games or would you rather in the boys dressing room. Thank you for pre-show rituals. Thank you for last show screams. Thank you for first show jitters. Lastly, thank you for being you and bringing people from different groups
together to create a community. Going to college and having to figure out how to live a life that doesn't consist of tech week
and script readings, made me realize that I am a theater kid and there is no place like the balcony with the rest of
the sound crew, messing around while the show below us goes from words on a page to actions on a stage. There's just something about being apart of something so beautiful, so inclusive, so irreplaceable. So to all of my current high school
seniors in their second semester. Hold onto theater, remember it. It doesn't have to be left in High School. Those memories
you have might just be the reason why you laugh on a day where crying and sleeping were the only things you could do.
With that being said: Thank you theater, I miss you, and I love you.

From,

an awkward outsider finding where she belongs.

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A History Lesson On The 'Father of Radio,' Lee De Forest

A trip back in time to the origin behind the creator of live radio broadcasting.

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The "father of radio," the "grandfather of television," the man who created live radio broadcasting, Lee de Forest was a man who forever changed the history of radio and television. Lee de Forest was born on August 26th of 1873, in Council Bluffs, Iowa. Furthermore, he was the son of a Congregational minister who had a presidential position at Talladega College, a bankrupt school with mostly African Americans. Lucky for Lee, he fit in perfectly as part of the community. Lee's father wanted a career for him in the clergy, but Lee preferred science which led to his enrollment in the Sheffield Scientific School of Yale University in 1893. Within six years, Lee was working many jobs, making the best out of his scholarship and the best out of his allowance from his parents to later achieve his Ph.D. in 1899 in physics.

Around 1899, electricity started to be an interest to Lee, specifically electromagnetic- wave propagation."De Forest's doctoral dissertation on the "Reflection of Hertzian Waves from the Ends of Parallel Wires" was possibly the first doctoral thesis in the United States on the subject that was later to become known as radio" (E. Fielding, Raymond). Lee began to work at the Western Electric Company in Chicago, starting off in the telephone section and leading him to the experimental laboratory. Furthermore, working after hours granted Lee with his first invention, an electrolytic detector of Hertzian waves, which became moderately successful. In 1902, De Forest founded the De Forest Wireless Telegraph Company to allow a new medium of communication to be born and spread to the press, military, businesses, and the people. Wireless telegraphy was the route of creation De Forest took, leading him to create the "Audion" because of his dedication to this new form of communication.

The Audion was a more evolved detector; it had a stronger reception towards wireless signals than Carborundum and electrolytic detectors. Furthermore, in 1907 Lee began to take advantage of his invention by broadcasting music and speech to the people living in the New York City area. Although with his newly made invention, also came the downfalls in Lee's life. He was defrauded twice by business partners, involved in many patent lawsuits, had four unsuccessful marriages, and was indicted for mail fraud, which was later acquitted. Furthermore, Lee fell victim to many failed inventions and had a hard time trying to convey his new medium.

On the contrary, in 1910 was Lee's first broadcast of any sort of performance. Specifically, it was a live performance of opera, sung by Enrico Caruso at the Metropolitan Opera. This broadcast allowed Lee to share his new medium with the general public and to get ideas on how his creation could evolve.

Eventually, by 1912, de Forest began to have many Audion tubes to amplify high-frequency radio signals to far areas. "He fed the output from the plate of one tube through a transformer to the grid of a second, the output of the second tube's plate to the grid of a third, and so forth, which thereby allowed for an enormous amplification of a signal that was originally very weak"(E. Fielding, Raymond). The more modifications the Audion had, the better its impact on radio, as the transmitting and amplification of radio signals towards farther distances grew stronger allowing telephonic distance communication to evolve.

Through the success of his invention, Lee began to create controversy around scientists and attorneys, eventually selling patents to communication firms for further development. Moreover, the American Telephone & Telegraph Company (AT&T;) installed audions to amplify voice signals all across the United States of America, changing the development of radio.

In 1921, de Forest began producing audio and recordings for movies. He created a recording system titled "Phonofilm," which led to him starting the "De Forest Phonofilm Corporation." Although the quality of the system was mediocre, the optical recording system was shown in many theaters from 1923 to 1927. His method was put off by many film producers as they rejected his sound-on-film device, because of the evolution of film and the use of talking pictures. Ironically, producers in the past did not want to use De Forests device, because they did not believe in it, but as years passed, movies began to use De Forests method of sound recording and many are still influenced by his methods today.

Overall, Lee De Forest died with over 300 patents and has signified his spot in the history of radio and television and is one of the principal inventors of today. He allowed the ease of amplifying radio signals, coast to coast services to be created all across the world, and is credited for bringing sound to motion pictures.

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Not Everyone Is Beautiful, And That's Okay

Saying someone is not beautiful is not saying that they're undeserving of love, respect, or happiness.

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I'm sure you've heard those feel-good quotes concerning beauty and maybe even said one or two of them yourself at one point.

"You're beautiful just the way you are."

"Beauty is in the eye of the beholder."

"Everybody is beautiful."

While these quotes may temporarily boost self-esteem, they can at times be blatant lies. Not everyone is beautiful, and that's okay. Science will tell you that this is true and if you are really honest with yourself, you might admit it as well. Maybe you see it when you look in the mirror or when you look around the room. So why are we so afraid of being "ugly" or even "average?"

In a culture that puts so much emphasis on physical attraction, it's no wonder people (namely women) are striving to be "beautiful" and spending almost $4000 a year on appearance. Now, nothing is wrong with taking care of your physical self so you look and feel confident at your personal best, but is beauty really the end-all of qualities?

Out of all the traits people can possess, beauty seems to be the one everyone is entitled to. We never hear, "you're intelligent just the way you are" or "everybody is athletic." That would be ridiculous. Instead, people want to be beautiful, because beauty is like currency in today's culture. People who are beautiful are perceived as more intelligent, possessing more goodness, you name it. We long to hear the word in any form it may come in. "You're beautiful on the inside." We don't tell people they're "athletic on the inside," so why beautiful? It's time we start saying things that make sense and are true, such as "you're kind" or "you're smart" or "you're generous." These words are much more meaningful than "beautiful," since that word has lost its true value, as it's freely handed to everyone.

Although it's wonderful to be truly, physically "beautiful," might it be that we're looking in the wrong areas for validation? If everyone is beautiful, then no one is. Not everyone is physically attractive, and that's totally fine. The lack of physical beauty should not hinder someone from living a happy, fulfilling life. Beauty is like any other privilege, something that is not earned, but it's given or inherited. So yes, people who aren't beautiful might have it harder in certain areas of life. I believe you can still live your best life (and an even better life than many beautiful people) without being conventionally beautiful.

The problem with movements that tell everyone they're beautiful is that they're reinforcing the idea that beauty equates to worth. In my opinion, that is actually a very negative and disempowering message, the opposite of what these movements are masquerading as. Saying someone is not beautiful is not saying that they're undeserving of love, respect, or happiness. It's simply a casual observation, such as "she does not have brown hair." We've put so much value in beauty that we tear ourselves down if we feel ugly or don't bother being friends with someone because they don't match our standard of beauty. Our overemphasis of this trait has been detrimental to self-esteem, leaving people feeling worthless if they aren't conventionally beautiful.

I'm not going to end this post by telling you you're beautiful just the way you are. Because maybe you're not. I'm going to end this post by telling you that you may not be beautiful, but that's okay. You don't need to be beautiful to be successful, have confidence, earn respect, have friends, deserve love, find happiness, and have value and worth as a human being. I'm not going to tell you that "beauty comes from within," but I want you to know that kindness, integrity, compassion, and courage are far greater traits than beauty. You are worthy and important just the way you are, beautiful or not.

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