Silent Movie School Reunion
I wasn't sure I wanted to attend my twenty year school reunion, but when I received word it would be held at a silent movie theatre, and we would get the chance to participate in a silent film, I made the decision to not only attend, but give that Academy Award winning performance I've been dying to perform since I was five years old.
I received an email from Karen, the class prefect, explaining plans were underway for our reunion. This update was an invitation for graduates to be included in a silent movie that would be shown at the reunion. Over the course of a week, a professional videographer would be taping scripted segments that would be put together to tell a story starring the class of '85. Interested parties were asked to email a reply that they wanted to be included and were available during the designated film production time frame. I quickly sent my response and hoped the director would see fit to make me the star.
I phoned my two good friends from school that I still keep in touch with, and we decided that the three of us would ask for a scene together. We sent a follow up email with our request and were quickly obliged. We received the day and time for our taping and in the meantime decided to leave our husbands at home and attend the reunion without them (they were happy to miss out and stay home with the kids).
We arrived an hour early to meet the videographer and go over our “script” – it was a silent movie so the actions were far more important than the words, although we were instructed on proper enunciation so our mouths would move with gusto. It was great fun acting and the three of us really got into it. Our bit part included dressing up in corsets and full skirts and fighting over a handsome young gentleman dressed in Charlie Chaplin attire. We were confident our segment would outshine all the others and couldn't wait to see the finished product.
When we arrived at the Silent Movie Theatre, the marquee welcomed us with mention of our class starring in “High School Revisited.” We entered the lobby where there was a large poster with headshots of all the movie “stars” and a list of credits. An usher escorted us to a large outdoor area where food and drinks were being served. There were many tables and chairs set up and in one corner was a bartender. We mingled with some of our classmates and made our way to get a drink. Across the way was a baked potato bar. With drinks in hand, that's where we went next. There were two servers cutting potatoes. We got to help ourselves to a huge selection of toppings, including bacon, cheeses, mushrooms, baked beans, and more. It was delicious! While everyone ate and drank, Karen walked around and handed out programs detailing the evening's activities.
I enjoyed seeing people I hadn't seen in twenty years and it was fun learning about what everyone had been up to. Just as we all started loosening up (a couple of drinks and warm food will do that), Karen announced it was time to move into the theatre.
The theatre was beautiful. The walls were ornately decorated, the seats a red velvet and the aisle a multitude of coloured carpeting. There was a stage underneath the movie screen and huge red velvet drapes swagged with gold tasseled ropes hung on either side. We sat down toward the front of the theatre and ushers walked up and down the aisle passing out popcorn, sweets and chocolates. According to the program, we would be treated to two silent movie shorts, before viewing our masterpiece. The lights dimmed and the show began.
A huge round of applause signaled the end of the shows. The movie my class had participated in was funny, heartwarming and highly dramatic. Of course we each thought we were the best but truly, everyone did a great job. Karen brought out the videographer/director and we clapped while he took a bow. Karen declared we would all be receiving a copy of the movie to take home and that each of us who participated in the film would also receive an “Oscar” – a small plastic replica of the famous statue. Next, Karen talked about significant accomplishments by some of my classmates and thanked everyone for coming. We were invited to return to the patio area for coffee and more conversation.
My girlfriends and I were one of the last to leave. We caught up with more friends and everyone was talking about the movie. I was glad I decided to attend my reunion and would always remember it – especially because my kids love watching my silent movie and tease me by asking for my autograph.