(Brownsville Recreation Center)
Saskea: I’m Saskea Olton and my sons Daniel and Aaron are participating in the Tempest. Our family lives in Brooklyn, though we are originally from Guyana, South America. When I was younger, my family first migrated to Florida. I already knew my husband, who then migrated from Guyana directly to New York, so I moved to New York with him. The boys were born in Brooklyn—East New York, Brooklyn.
Their grandmother goes to the gym at Brownsville and she saw a flyer for the Tempest and she asked us if we were interested in getting them involved. So the day that they had auditions she took them, they got cast, and that’s basically how they got into the show. They’ve never really done anything artistic before. One of the main things for me getting them into this, is to really expand them socially and culturally; to get them to become more positive, assertive, and confident. I feel this opportunity will help them with public speaking latter on, and help them be able to interact with different people. The little one, Aaron, seems to like to spotlight. He likes to act and sing and dance, so this is perfect for him.
Daniel: I’m eight years old and I’m in the 2nd grade, going into the 3rd. My favorite subject is Math and I really like basketball. For my audition, I said the poem “The Owl and the Pussycat”:
The owl and the pussycat went to sea in a beautiful pea-green boat.
They took some honey and plenty of money
And wrapped up in a five pound note.
The owl looked up to the moon above and sang to his small guitar:
Oh lovely pussy, oh pussy my love, what a lovely pussy you are…
Aaron: I’m six years old and I’m going into the 2nd grade. I like to do science and reading. I said the poem “My Teacher took my iPod” for my audition:
My teacher took my iPod. She said they had a rule;
I couldn’t bring it into class or even to the school.
She said she would return it; I’d have it back that day.
But then she tried my headphones on and gave a click on Play.
She looked a little startled, but after just a while
She made sure we were occupied and cracked a wicked smile…
Saskea: They are really enjoying rehearsals and have been practicing a lot at home. I like the idea of standing back and seeing what they are going to do, how they are going to interact. I try not to be overly involved with them so that they can get their independence. If I see something is happening then I’ll step in, but other than that I’m trying to give them their independence in rehearsals. They know their dances and they’re very excited about everything. Their grandma has them practicing every night. I’m very anxious to see the performance and interested in seeing what it’s going be like. I’m excited about it!