Neo Theater Kid

Olivia Donohue, Olivia Donohue

Jill is my sister and we‰’ve never really clicked. Not because of something that an ABC family screenwriter would think of like “she likes dresses and I like dirt‰” but because we are both competitive by nature and highly judgemental people. That being said she is a dire resource to me in one respect; she is fifteen. As I grow older and further from the high school zeitgeist of what‰’s cool and what‰’s basic, she is in the ripe of her youth; fresh out of middle school and ready to do literally anything she can to distance herself from people who are that age.

If you were to look at her Instagram which she asked me to promote in this piece, you would see an interesting mix of aesthetic minimalist photos that make her appear as if she were the story behind an Urban Outfitters ad and photos of her and her friends being goofy in costumes that one can only assume are being used for high school plays. That‰’s right, I‰’m directly related to a theater kid. I‰’ve shared a house with her, and what I‰’ve found in my observations has been surprising to say the least.

Being the youngest of three and therefore having a bottomless need for attention, she began her involvement in theater very young. Her first exposure to musical theater was as a chorus member local production of Tommy in which she chose to dedicate the entire rock opera to memory. It surprises me how much she liked it considering that it has very adult themes for a 12 year old, but hey, it‰’s The Who. Other music she listened to in middle school included Lana Del Rey and Fleet Foxes, although she says that these artists were mostly meant to pass the time and help her focus while doing homework and she never really could relate to or care about the stories that were being told in the lyrics.

This surprises me because the whole reason that she began to like musicals and continues to to this day is because she enjoys the stories being told. Today, her top three musicals in no particular order are Hair, Sweeny Todd, and Dogfight: The Musical. The last of which I had never heard of, but if anyone wants to see a really sketchy bootleg of it, it‰’s very easy to find on youtube. I asked her if she liked Hamilton and she turned her nose up at me.

“No‰” she said “It‰’s just not pretty.‰Û

So at least you know I didn‰’t have to liver with that in my life all summer.

Because she knows the connotations of what “theater kid‰” is, she‰’s begun to attempt to distance herself from the notion. When I accused her of being one over the phone she was quick to insist that she hadn‰’t been in a play in almost a year, but then was very excited to talk about the musicals that she did like. It‰’s incredible, really, to see someone enjoying musical theater without being so annoying and in your face about it that it makes me want to kill myself and then them. I hope she can continue to walk the not-so-thin-it-seems line between having niche interests and being a generally pleasant person to be around most of the time.