My Time at “Camp Operetta”

HEY, do you like TheOdd1sout or Domics or RubberNinja or Egoraptor/Arin Hanson or most importantly… mmmmany laughs? ᵃⁿᵈ ᵐᵉ Then hey, you should go to and check that out! James, Dom, Ross and Arin They’re all gonna be doing the comedy and drawing and improv games and I’m gonna be there too… So if that sounds like a fun time, you should go to Check out what cities we’re going to, what the dates are and they’ll see you there. and so will I 🙂 My mom put me in a lot of extracurricular activities when I was growing up, like I’ve mentioned before, and one I haven’t talked about yet was the summer camp called “Camp Operetta”. When I was the ripe age of eight, my mom decided I wasn’t enough of a versatile super-child yet, and it was time for me to dip my toes into the showbiz puddle that is musical theater. I did piano and stuff, but I’ve never been interested in the Performing Arts. So, when my mom asked me if I wanted to do this “Camp Operetta” thing during the summer, I was like… ”Okay.” ”Wait, what is this?” Look, I just agreed with anything my parents told me as a kid! I didn’t know I could actually have an opinion! I’m assuming that most of you don’t know what “Camp Operetta” is because I Googled it… and got no results. To be fair, it was a one-off indie camp one of the local elementary schools just did. so… Basically “Camp Operetta” was for young artsy theater kids and would start off by sitting in a group and reading a picture book. Then everyone works together to rewrite it into a musical play to perform in front of the parents at the end of the camp Teacher: “And then what should the tiger say?” Random Kid 1: ”𝕞𝕒𝕜𝕖 𝕙𝕚𝕞 𝕤𝕒𝕪 𝕥𝕙𝕖 𝕗 𝕨𝕠𝕣𝕕” Then we all get assigned roles for the play, “write the music”, and make the costumes and set. It was actually really fun and I looked forward to it a lot! Also when I say write music, I mean the teachers tell us how to play nursery songs on xylophones and those colored plastic tubes. We weren’t dropping fire in 4th grade. The first year I did “Camp Operetta”, the book we were supposed to theater-ize was… I can’t remember. I just know it was about a bunch of animals in the jungle, and I wanted to land the role of cheetah, because I thought cheetahs were cool, and obviously, I’m the best cheetah out of all of you losers! She wasn’t the main character, but I’ve never been a “main character” kind of guy. I’m the “I can’t cope with #1 spots because the expectation, spotlight, and stress is enough to break me” kind of guy. So that’s why I’m always happy to sit at, like, #2 in most things. It proves, “Hey, I’m talented and hard-working enough to land an important and high up role, without complete judgement and pressure of being at the top with everyone waiting for you to mess something up.” A bit of a… depressing life hack for you guys. Spoiler alert: I nailed the audition and reeled myself in the role of cheetah. The catch was there were too many kids in the camp for the amount of characters in the play. So what the teachers decided we’d do was assign two people per character, then halfway through the play switch out casts. The girl who landed Cheetah 2 was this one girl who I don’t remember the name of, but I thought she was super cool because she only had one arm. It’s a good thing the teachers didn’t care that the two kids who shared a role didn’t have to look similar, Because they’d either have to dye her hair dark brown and make her look Asian somehow, or chop one of my arms off. We made masks out of paper plates, painted a jungle scenery on big sheets of paper for the background. I think the costumes were made of paper too… Look, they didn’t have much money. I remember one day I decided I wanted to bring my favorite stuffed animal to camp with me and show them off to the other kids. It was this stuffed mouse I got at a book store I named Raoole spelled R-A-O-O-L-E, because that was 8 year old me trying my best. I brought out Raoole during lunch/break time, and we all started playing with him. We stood in a big circle and tossed him hot potato style to each other, and after a few minutes of this, I went to go use the bathroom real quick. Raoole has always been really special to me because he was the first purchase I made completely on my own without my parents’ permission. At the end of the school year, if you read enough books and took a little test to prove you read it, you’d get to go on a field trip to a book store. And I, being the bookworm I am, barely scraped in by reading the bare minimum amount of books to make it. In a desperate attempt to make the cut in time I even requested a bunch of random book tests in some miracle I’d guess enough answers to pass and get points for. It was pathetic, and it worked. “Hell yeah suckers, I totally earned this trip! WOOO–!” The purpose of the trip was for kids to get excited about reading and buy some books they’d read over summer break. So I walked around the bookstore, looked at the books that people were talking about, skimmed the new releases, and then bought a mouse, because I don’t like reading. And I was really excited about it because it was my first 100% own personal choice. I didn’t have to go: “Mommy, can I get this?” I made my own decision… with their money. Since that field trip I took Raoole everywhere and he’s always been my favorite stuffed animal and super special to me. Random Kid 2: “Hey, we ripped his foot off.” So in the literal 2 minutes I was gone taking a pee, the kids got so rambunctious that they ripped Raoole’s foot off and all the fricking beans were spilling all out the gash hole! What the frick!? You BARBARIANS!!! I immediately put Raoole back in my bag, upside down so no more beans spilled out, but I wasn’t really that upset about it. For some sixth-sense reason while I was in the bathroom, I actually thought to myself: “They’re gonna rip him open somehow.” and they did. I was cool and we were all able to joke about it. The beans that spilled out looked like little eggs, so we were like: “Oh, he’s laying eggs, oooh.” After camp my mom was able to stitch him back up too, so he’s all good. Look, here he is. Doing good B) Anyway, we kept working on the play, finished getting the show set up, practiced our lines, and after a couple of weeks we were ready to perform in front of the parents. And I think it went really well, I honestly don’t remember anything about it, but my parents are sending video taped footage they took of it, so here’s some of that. *children in cast singing* Ha, ha ha ha ha ha! You are ugly! Ha, ha ha ha ha ha ha–! But that’s not the end of “Camp Operetta”. I went again next year and this time we did a play on the Rainbow Fish. The story of a special fish with shiny, rainbow scales and no one wanted to hang out with him because he wouldn’t give them what makes him special. and the only way he felt like he could be happy was to give away his special-ness to the fish who only wanted to leech off his beauty. Setting aside the controversial morals of the book, we got to work turning it into a play. There weren’t as many kids this year so we didn’t need to share roles. I ended up again with a semi-main character… the seahorse. Now hardcore rainbow fish fans are probably saying: “Wait, there’s no seahorse in that story…” and you’re right. As a group of kids, we decided to completely create a new character in the story because, we liked sea horses… And that was the cohesive moral story about acceptance and loneliness… Random Kid 3: “Can we add a sea horse?” Random Kid 1: “make him say the f-word!” During the music learning part of the play, the teachers asked us who could play the piano, because they wanted to assign someone the role of playing the Under the Sea melody from the Little Mermaid without botching it up. I, along with three other kids raised our hands, and we were taken to the piano to do a little musical audition. The other kids took turns playing Mary had a Little Lamb and Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, and I quickly realized I was overqualified for this part. When it was my turn to play, I sat down and played Pachelbel’s Canon I memorized from my piano recital, like a showoff. That was the one time I realized I was the Asian kid in a scenario. I got the part. The night of the play, we got into our costumes. Mine was made out of a towel with the bottom rolled up to look like a seahorse tail. I thought the costume was actually really cool, but a problem arose when I was in the middle of my final lines in the performance. I had a solo part where I was supposed to build hype for the ending of the play, then raise my arms up at the end to deliver the lines that induce the big finale. But as I was saying my lines and getting ready to raise my arms up, I realized the bracelet I was wearing was caught on one of the towel strings. (rip) I started freaking out because this was the big finishing move for my character. It said in the script: “Seahorse raises both arms, blah blah blah blah blah.” This was the big moment and it’s gonna be ruined because my costume is a towel. I was wiggling my wrist in all directions, and trying to get my arm free as time was ticking down quickly. Finally, I delivered the last line… and could only raise up one arm. Like Cheetah 2. I remember feeling really stupid because no one raises one arm to do anything but ask to use the bathroom… or be flamboyant. I felt like I ruined the big moment but talking to my parents afterwards, they said they didn’t notice, and looking back it was probably a much bigger deal in my 9 year old head than it actually was. I still feel like that was one of my biggest failures in life though. See, that’s exactly why I don’t like main roles in anything. A prime example of self-fulfilling prophecy. and that was my time in “Camp Operetta”. No, I didn’t do it a third year, because they didn’t have enough money or participants, so they had to shut it down. I told you they didn’t have much money. You will be forever missed, “Camp Operetta”, you made my summers more fun, and my Raoole’s foot all janky. Who knows if I would’ve became a theater kid if “Camp Opperetta” never shut down? But either way, I’m not doing any of that stuff now. I do drawings behind a screen. I mentioned it already, but just a reminder that there’s still a few tickets left to see James, Dom, Ross, Arin and me frantically trying to draw and be funny at Scribble Showdown. They’re selling out fast so cop a tic if you really wanna see it. You can go to to see which cities we’re going to, and on which dates. We hope to see you there and I’m excited to win every show. Just you wait… Thanks for watching the video. This is a warning: Don’t trust anyone with your Rooales, they can and will rip their foot off, and stay away from bracelets when your shirt is a towel. Bye bye! ᕕ( ᐛ )ᕗ


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