Raymond Blanchard: Theater & Theater Productions- Crosby High School

November 3, 2017

Many people assume that Theater is just memorizing piles and piles of the script, trying out costumes, and blocking. That what I was thinking of when I got into Theater Production in eleventh grade that is mostly for kids that are in plays after school for the sixth period. As I came into the Black Box, which is a room with black paint and looking like a box, I sat into one of the chairs and waited till the tardy bell ringed. As soon as the bell tolled, a short and chunky man came in, and he introduced himself as Mr. Blanchard. I felt a little nervous and shy because there were kids that I knew that been in Theater longer than me and they performed their part much better than me when I was in Theater which was from seventh to eighth grade. What makes it even worse is that the students in that are class are the leading actors of Theater.

I learned that from the Fall play of “Wotcha! Gotcha!” I got the role of Dr. John Watson (who was the brother of Dr. John Watson and companion of Shamrock Holmes, Irish cousin of Sherlock Holmes) and I am in several scenes which I was excited about. There was one day when I was with several people that were in the scene I was, we performed, and after we performed, he told us to “animate” or to be more like the cartoons. When I went to Mr.Blanchard for advice on my character because one the first day of rehearsal, I wasn’t able to go there because of a family issue, he told me that who I was. So, with a discussion of my classmates, we were able to have animation and move around the stage rather than stand and read monotone from the script. Also, we had to move around like robots in Chuck E Cheese. As several passes, through several tiresome hours of going in and out of the stage and practice with a British accent, the performances came on. At the first show, I was nervous because of the doubts that troubled my mind ever since audition, what if I failed to impress myself and others around me? As the actor goes to their stations and the sounds of footsteps come on, it was my time to shine. Through the show, there were a few laughs, and it was a tough crowd. After that first show of performance, there was a show for the kindergartens and the pre-kindergarten of the school district that I go to, so it was short and the kids just loved me. They giggled at my bits, and they joined me whenever I was clapping which made it creepy (like one time, I was clapping, and the kids followed my rhythm which was slow) for some of the actors. That play was the one I enjoyed the most because I was able to use to creative juice that was in my mind that makes the play better.

After the fall play, I got into the Renaissance Play. My role was Brighella, who is the apprentice of the Baker. Mr.Blanchard had the idea that stressful times can sometimes bring some of the best ideas for the show while the actors must work together as a team so that there is relationship building, making the play better, and conjure up even more ideas. When I read the script, I was quite interested in my part, which I thought of making like a friend to the Baker that is tired from all the romance that the Baker goes through and listen to his crying when he was having a break with his lover. Although there were only two or three weeks to rehearse, I worked hard to achieve what I wanted, and that is a great show that might win first place of the show. When the day of the performance at the Renaissance came, all the actors were giddy and were ready to win first place. However, to make a long story short, we didn't win a place, but Mr.Blanchard said that it's the journey that matters most, not the prize.

Mr.Blanchard is also the one who takes care of the community pep-rallies of the High School, so without him, where would the celebration of Homecoming and recognition to the sports be taken care of by? He also cares for not only the High School, but he also cared for a Catholic school that his son goes to that he is the director of the Christmas play of the school, even though he isn’t part of that school. When Hurricane Harvey struck, many teachers in my school lost much of their money due to replacing insulation and getting rid of furniture that got wet from the hurricane.  Mr.Blanchard had a great idea that helped the teachers that lost much of their home, and that was making t-shirts that have the Texas state as a word cloud. It cost 10 dollars, and it was purchased by many people that were enough to help the teachers that lost everything.

Mr.Blanchard is one of the best teachers I ever had. I wanted to be a teacher, and Mr.Blanchard is my role model of becoming one because of the patience that he has for the students, the mind-blowing creativity that he has, and for preparing every student that is in his team of actors to be ready for college and life. He was like a dad to me, and I always enjoyed working with him, and with the actors and theatrical technicians. He is what the heart of Theater is about, creativity and dedication. So that is why I nominate Mr. Raymond Blanchard for Teacher of the Year because of the commitment he has for the community, his love of teaching, and making the students become their best selves.

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