1. Organize a small troupe of dedicated grassroot thespians.
2. Open our "pilot business satellite" which will be our theater of family appreciation and cultural heritage and film production studio.
3. Build the department within our higher learning education center.
Like most children, especially of my time, I loved movies, television, books, and stories that kept me captivated from their splendid imagery, stunning characters, and memorable parables.
When I became a teenager I had the pleasure of meeting a lovely young lady of whom I enjoyed a romantic penpal affair of poetics, long distance telephone....
First Floor Floor Plans of DBO Productions' Dormitory Theater
....calls, and banter of music, art, movies, & theater, the last of which she had introduced me to.
I was intrigued by the depth of this young girl and her enveloped charisma for her craft.
A year later after being grounded by my father and stepmother -- rightfully, albeit! -- for being delinquent, I spent many hours contemplating my betterment in solitude whilst writing, reading, going to school, and learning to play the guitar.
It was during this time of my grounding when I was invited to audition for the school play, I believe as a result of one student taking note of my recent singularity during school hours due to my recent chastisement.
2nd, 3rd, & 4th Floor, Floor Plans, Dormitories, Bathrooms, Kitchen, Elevator
I was hesitant at first, but after a moment of thought I said to myself "Why not? It might be fun.."
After school, I arrived at the theater a few minutes before the audition time.
There were students figeting in their chairs, engaged in conversation with the drama instructor, and picking up stapled packets of paper from the edge of the stage.
The view was panoramic and was an inspiring sight, so many students so interested.
(This next part is paraphrased due to my fuzzy memory!)
I wasn't sure what to do so I asked the instructor which stapled packet to read from. She said in a nasally tone loud enough to float above the ocean crashes of student conversation, "Why don't you read for Joe?"
I said, "Okay," and went to the edge of the stage and grabbed a stapled packet that said "Joe" written on the front page.
I took a seat on the empty left side of the theater, and sat in my seat alone for there was not a single person whom I had made a strong enough acquaintance to be seated with.
I felt nervous and unsure as to what would happen or what to do when I got onstage. All I could think was how out of place I felt and how I wondered if the other students felt the same.
A few students read before me, and then before I was ready, "David Orta! Reading for Joe Ferone! It's your turn."
I nervously made my way to the stage, my knees shaking, butterflies going crazy in my stomach, my air getting thin, my head getting light, I could feel the blood rushing to my face and my body get hot as I entered from stage left....
The lights were bright, dozens of students respectfully and quietly gathered their attention on me as I looked down at those stapled papers; I'd never been graced with such courtesy before -- eyes settled on me with blank unexpecting stares.
"Scene!" yelled the director.
The "house lights" in the audience went out -- blank faces covered in darkness --as I stood against a row of burning hot lights and my peers awaited my performance.
I began to read the words from the shining bright script that seemed like it was on fire from the stage lights -- burning white fire -- in front of that dark auditorium.
I started just reading out loud the words written in front of me, then out of no where something inside me, a kind of energy, emerged from within and I transformed into another character.
Emotions I didn't know where there came pouring out of my soul and into the dark void behind the bright lights. I felt connected to some kind of truth that seemed to all come together in one collaborative ensemble -- the words of the script, my feelings of nervousness, the audience in the dark, the lights, everything I had been holding inside.
A moment after I spoke the last words of the monologue, my whole body remained suspended in total connection and understanding of the character I was playing, then for the first time in my life an audience cheered and applauded me for my first monologue ever performed.
Moments after this exhilirating experience, I decided that I wanted to become an actor, as a career, and for the rest of my life!
Just one month before, I had been used to partying and getting into trouble. Now I had found a new outlet that could foster my good qualities. I genuinely felt great for doing something my parents, teachers, and fellow classmates could respect & admire.
By the time I was 17 years old, I decided that one day I would definitely start my own theater.
After I had the unforgettable pleasure of performing with Aragon High School Drama, I went to the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in Hollywood, CA, did a little work in movies and television, & now here I am, still working to live that dream over 17 years later.
CEO & Executive Director
The Artistic-Civic League United