MISFIT DOC: Please forgive me for missing today’s rehearsal of “A Christmas Carol”

Dear Mr. Jameson,

I know I missed rehearsal today. I am soooooooooooooooooooooo sorry. I mean it. I know I am VERY lucky to be playing Tiny Tim in this show and that a lot of other kids tried out for it. I know that you didn’t want to cast me at first and that you only did it because I begged and also because I’m a star and one day I’m gonna be on Broadway.

But maybe if you know why I had to miss rehearsal, you will forgive me.

I am writing this letter from my homeroom after school. Today I made a tiny mistake during writing time and Ms. Eshelman said that as a logical consequence for my behavior – which I will EXPLAIN – I have to write you a letter about what I did instead of rehearsing with everyone in the auditorium. Right now Ms. Eshelman is sharpening pencils and pretending to ignore me.

Here is what happened. Today Ms. Eshelman said we should write about ourselves. I did not know WHAT to write.

But then I thought I could write about “A Christmas Carol” and that time in rehearsal when I said, “God bless us, every one!” for the first time and I had on my top hat and I really felt good about myself. And I remember you said, “We don’t have to run that scene again. It was perfect just as it was.” I think it was so perfect because I have been running my lines every night at the dinner table.

So I started writing about that time in rehearsal, very quietly, all by myself. But Ms. Eshelman says we have to share with our writing partner, so when I was done, I read my story to Benjamin. And Ms. Eshelman says we have to read like we’re telling a story and not like a robot, so I got really excited and did different voices for all the characters. And then the other kids at the table started paying attention and somehow I started singing the prologue from “Hello, Dolly!” because I also have been practicing that and I am planning to stage the show in my backyard for the 2019-2020 season and then everyone in the class stopped working because maybe they heard an angel singing.

Just when I was taking another breath from my diaphragm, Ms. Eshelman got mad and turned off the lights and said, “Freeze!” And she asked me to walk down to Ms. Roberts’ office and sit.

I really like Ms. Eshelman but I think she is being very unfair. All I was doing was what she had asked and I hope you see that I was just so EXCITED about “A Christmas Carol.” Also I am COMMITTED to arts education and I feel that my classmates NEEDED to see this performance.

However, I know you are counting on me and missing rehearsals is bad for my career. So from now on, I promise to keep a lid on it and only perform songs from my repertoire during recess and lunch.

Samuel Lucas Reed

Also, I know that Tiny Tim is a lead but to secure a nomination I hope you will submit me in the supporting actor category for the Middle School Regional Theatre Awards in January!

Kerry Elson is a teacher and writer in New York City. She's contributed to McSweeney's Internet Tendency, The Belladonna, and other publications.

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