The People We Never Know: Introduction

So, I wrote this piece a long time ago. It started with me and one of my roommates talking about writing our own musical. Our school was a Bible college, but was notorious for allowing plays that had questionable, sexual content fly, while Biblically-based musicals were forever grounded. Our theater team pitched Godspell every year and it was always flat out denied. How messed up is that?

So my roommate described an idea he had for a story that depicted the fictionalized, but more honest truth, of how life went on at a Bible College. I latched on and pitched it as a musical. Ideas bounced back and forth between us until we hashed out a solid story arc. I spent the next few days asking people for song titles for the score, and humming Queen inspired musical numbers to myself, trying to come up with lyrics and tunes. Here’s a quick list of that comedy gold:

Walking the Boulevard

Don’t starting dating day one

Every Major’s Terrible

Sister Hall Serenade

Avoid the Prayer Towers

Ring before Spring

Its a baseball’s throw (across campus)


and my personal favorite: Everyone’s business, but not everyone’s Business.

But alas, it was not meant to be. Musicals are hard to create, so my roommate suggested we just try writing a play. I started and he stopped me.

“Maybe a black-box performance would be better suited?”

So I started over again. Then stopped and changed it to a book, and then shortened it to a novella, and then a short story, and then eventually gave up and made it into a really really short story. But I was proud of it, despite its brevity. It was about 20 pages single-spaced, and took a week to write. It was the quickest and most enjoyable writing experience I had ever had. Words never flowed so effortlessly onto a page.

Then my roommate and I presented it to a fellow theater friend. As we described the general plot to him, he began asking some very specific questions.

“Does it have _______? And a character who does _______? And then the _______ says _______ and they ________?”

My jaw dropped. “Yeah. It does. How did you know?”

Him: “It’s already a musical. Look up Bare: A pop Opera.”

My immediate reaction: “NO!….. NO!….. NO!”

I was appalled but I still like the story I wrote. Now that I’m re-reading it, I had such a naive and simplistic mindset for the issues addressed, but I think it was a good starting point for me.


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