Raised with Morals

Haley Beecher 2018

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The project: In this satirical performance piece, Ms. Beecher is accepting an award for being a person with class and upstanding morals. As she shares a series of embarrassing stories from her childhood, however, a decidedly different reality emerges. “All the stories from the show are completely true,” she explains in the program notes, “which makes the show even more unbearably funny, to a point where you don’t know whether to laugh or look around to see what others are doing.”

Notable quote: “I’m really open about myself and I’m not really embarrassed to show mistakes I’ve made or failures—I think it’s funny. What I wanted to get out of it was that you can find humor in embarrassing moments and failures, and you shouldn’t be afraid to not be morally in check all the time.”

Her biggest challenge as a scholar: “Making it precise and not rambling on, because when I write I tend to write too much and it gets chunky and boring toward the end. So the challenge was cutting it down and making sure everything that was in there was needed, everything was purposeful. And that was really hard for me, because this was the first time I’ve written a piece and performed it by myself.”

Surprising discovery: “Originally, coming into the class, I had an idea about what I was going to do. It was basically the opposite of this. I had written a one-act show about domestic abuse, and it was very dark and dramatic, and this is so humorous and fun and entertaining. I realized that, as much as I have an appreciation for the dramatic and the dark stuff, and I love writing about it, I think that I perform better in comedy. In real life I’m just a really comedic humorous person, so I think it transfers to my performances.”

Tip for future scholars: “Make sure you are really passionate about your project, because if you are not, it’s going to be a struggle. You get to pick whatever you want, so pick something you really like. And make sure you are on task. Williston Scholars doesn’t have many due dates: it’s basically dress rehearsal, performance. You don’t have homework per se. But make sure you are on top of your work, especially if you are a junior or senior. For the most part I was on track but there were some days when I was like, oh, I don’t really have any homework, and toward the end I was in a little bit of a panic because I was so nervous about everything. I think if I spaced things out more, I would have avoided that.”