Friday, March 17, 2006

Blown out by the Rock School

Last Sunday afternoon, I came up to work for a few minutes after being out of town for the week. My first sights of the TBPAC campus made me question if I was in the right spot or not - the lawn facing the river was covered with approximately 400 people in folding butterfly chairs, on blankets, walking small leashed dogs and sitting in the grass. Boats had dropped anchor in the Hillsborough River and a stage was erected on the Riverwalk itself facing The Center. UT students returning from what looked to be various athletic practices mixed with parents and Rock School groupies and also patrons from the Little Women matinee behind the Blowout in Morsani Hall.

Seventeen bands played that day, all from the Patel Conservatory's Rock School classes. A co-worker rubbed it in that I'd just missed an 8-10 year-old belting out the AC/DC lyrics "lock up your girlfriends, lock up your wives" from their hit TNT, and another duo of rock-stars-in-the-making performing Soul Man a la the Blues Brothers - suits, shades, porkpie hats and all.

Conservatory Director of Administration Susan Alexander commented that the level of showmanship continues to come up with each and every Rock School Blowout, and even TBPAC Production Manager Mike Chamoun lamented that he needed to find a way to work the Blowout next time instead of the Broadway show playing in Morsani as it looked like Rock School was having all the real fun. I suggested to both that I believe pyrotechnics are in order for the next Blowout, which I hear will be in July. There's even talk of getting a tent or some other form of shade up - we'll certainly need it by then.

Slowly but surely, I think they're whittling away at my defenses and despite how busy a schedule I keep - Rock School is looking like more and more fun. Don't they say most actors want to be rock stars and most rock stars aspire to act? Well, I guess I just did if they don't. Hey, registration for the Summer Session is already under way ...

- David J.

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