Back in January/February of 2009, my mom suggested I go seek employment at a place called Employment Connection in Downtown St. Louis. I was with it so she dropped me off and as I was attending the job training classes, a lady named Lisa Harper Chang came to talk to the group. She said if interested, there would be an opportunity for a handful of us to be able to learn how to act and even perform at the Pulitzer Arts Foundation. And we would get paid.
The program was called “Staging Old Masters.” We trained at a facility in U-City (I can’t remember the name of it) and also at Employment Connection, working on various acting techniques like diction and stuff like that.
Here’s a list of all the actors that I got a chance to bond with and now consider family: Reuben Stewart, Travis Dean, Don Hake, Samantha Thorpe, Karen Sammons, Scott, Dawn Shaw, Calvin Robinson, Wayne, Lamonte Johnson, Daryl Kimbrough, Robert Cruz, Michael, Greg Golliday, Stephen, Christy, and David.
This was one of the best jobs I’ve ever had in my life. I got to meet different people from all walks of life just trying to get their life back in order like me. I think this program helped us all out a lot and showed us the potential we had inside of us all along. We performed in front of dozens of crowds and they wrote about us in the local newspapers (so yeah, we was feeling kind of famous).
I didn’t get to finish the program because around the summer time, I accidentally gave myself food poisoning (by eating uncooked food and drinking Absolut) and they had to cut my stomach back open, which left me hospitalized for almost a month. That’s a whole ‘nother story…
But check out some of the pics and videos below.
-Farlin Ave (@farlinave)
Author: Farlin Ave
Naheem “Farlin Ave” Houston is a musician and founder of 7 Star Dreams. When not busy being an entrepreneur, he works as an entertainment news journalist for the mainstream Hip Hop station 97.9 The Beat in Dallas, TX.
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