Funny Thing About my Brother Is
Ole: I’ve told a lot of stories about my older brother, some of them true and some of them, not so much. The one undeniable truth I have never uttered out loud is that was it not for my older brother, I wouldn’t be here. This isn’t some sappy story about how my big brother saved my life; my life’s not that exciting, neither is this production. No, this is one man, with one desire: to figure out what the purpose of having an older sibling is. Aren’t older siblings just prototypes to the newer and better version, the younger brother or sister? I feel that they should just die away the moment the new model pops out of the baby factory. I’m just saying that without my older brother being who he was to me and doing all the things he did to and for me, I wouldn’t be here today; nor would I be able to go where ever it is I may find myself after I graduate from this place; and that isn’t necessarily a good thing. Depending on my older brother, I may not make it to the age of 30. I’m only saying this is primarily due to the fact that his decisions have always found a way to directly influence my life; sometimes for the better and sometimes, not so much.
A great example of this would be a short while after I’d graduated from St. Alban’s college. I’d just received a private school education and I haven’t got a cooking clue as to what I’m about to do with it. So, I do the one thing a boy with my kind of background, coupled with my lack of focus and dedication would do. I apply for a hotel management course at a hotel school; what can I say, it sounded easy. So I applied and got accepted, life seems great, right? Wrong! My older brother, being the considerate prick he is, makes the executive decision to sit me down and ask me, to my face,
“Olerato, I know you’d probably be good at this course, but I need to know, do you think you’d be happy doing this for the rest of your life?”
And I’m like, “of course I am. Have you seen the pay checks that these guys-“
And he’s like, “no. Think about yourself in fifty years time. What could you picture doing for the rest of your life that would make you happy?”
(Oh crap!) I am so confused! I just got into a world class university! Why this man being so deep all of a sudden? (damn it/ I don’t like this) but he’s my older brother, so I indulge him. So I think deep… real deep and it hits me. (Oh Crap!). He’s right! I won’t be happy, but what the hell am I supposed to do with this information? I’m already in and I may be lazy and unfocussed, but I’m not the drop out “type”. Plus, my parents have already put down a deposit and bought the uniform! But wait, I’m Ole damn it! So I calm down, slowly turn around and respond,
“I don’t know, acting I guess.” And he’s like,
“Great, now you have to tell mom and dad that you want to leave that course and go and study acting. Oh and you better do it soon cause registration is happening soon and you don’t want to have to pay all That money just so you can drop out later”. Now I’m really mad, because now I have to be that guy, who’s like,
“Hey mom, dad, I want to leave that course at that university and go do something artsy for the rest of my life. Yay Art!” Oddly enough, my parents were very calm and even supportive about it. Well long story short: I pull out of the hotel school and try to apply for acting courses all over the country; unfortunately, all closing dates for application are closed. So now I’m stuck at home for an entire year doing Lord knows what. So my big brother decides to make another executive decision in my life and decides to sign me up for a year long course at a place called Monnyth Arts House. It was this academy at the State Theatre, where you could study singing and acting; or dance. So I decide to specialise in dance, seeing as how I wanted to be that versatile actor. Maybe I could be in ‘Step Up 7’ someday, who knows.
So I get there and I’m hit by two events that would affect me for the rest of my life. Understand, I’m fresh out of an all boys’ school, so I’ve never met a homosexual who was out of the closet and open about it. So you can imagine how shocked I was when I walk in there and the first thing I see is gay people everywhere. I’m talking about gays to the left, gays to the right and at one point a lesbian fell from the ceiling. Don’t ask me why, maybe she was fixing a light bulb or something. Okay, maybe I’m exaggerating a bit, but you can still imagine my shock at being exposed to such things for the very first time! Thanks for preparing me for that one mom and dad! I don’t know how that would effect you, but it sure as hell altered my way of seeing the world, or at least, Sunnyside. In the midst of all this confusion the second mind altering event takes place, I meet a boy called Tshepiso and we strike up this immediate bond over the fact that we both enjoyed writing poetry. So we get into the habit of reciting our poems to one another as often as we could, in between classes.
[Tshepiso walks in almost immediately after I finish speaking and come toward me – on stage- to greet me]
[lights on stage turn a golden yellow (it’s a spot light above Tshepiso and me)]
Tshepiso: Ah, Ole! How are you bra.
Ole: Hey, Tshepiso bra! I have a new poem I think you’ll like.
Tshepiso: ah, that’s awesome. Okay, you go first, then I’ll read mine.
Ole: cool. I call this one ‘I and I’.
Take my hand and hold my heart till death comes nigh,
the story of our love told by the children of the sky.
I don’t want you as my queen, I want you as my princess forever:
Princesses are more popular, beautiful, noble and true;
Plus a princess gets the keys to the kingdom of my heart, population, you.
And thus will be the start of ‘ay n I’.
‘Ay n I’ is you and I in and out of the public eye;
But we don’t see it, we just feel it, for this love has made us blind.
In the performance of our love’s play we wouldn’t even need a cue;
for if love was a question ours would be a long interview;
it could go on and on, no ads or interludes.
I, have a mouth that has spoken the words of sinner,
so lay your lips on mine to cleanse these pagan lips
and save us from such darkness with an illuminating kiss.
Let us then kick it as ay n I.
Be my eye and I your eye,
as we step into the darkness that is love’s blind eye.
Tshepiso: wow. That was amazing bra! You like using too many big words, but otherwise that was good bra.
Ole: Could you bless me with one of yours quick?
Tshepiso: I’d love to, bra.
[I stop the scene as he starts and I’m hit by a white follow spot]
Ole: WAIT!!! Sorry, I don’t like performing the works of other poets without their permission, so we’re just gonna skip this part.
[I get back to my position (in the scene) and the lights go back to gold when- upstage, stage right]
Tshepiso: so what do you think bra?
Ole: eish, Tshepiso, bra! That was deep.
Tshepiso: you really think so?
Ole: Definitely bra! You need to work on your articulation a bit, but otherwise that was amazing bra.
Tshepiso: Tjo! I’m late for acting.
Ole: eish, and ballet is about to start! We’ll talk later ne?
Tshepiso: but of course Ole! Sharp, by brother.
Ole: sharp, sharp Tshepiso
[Tshepiso runs off the stage left (the audiences left)]
[Spot light turns back to white]
Ole: It was actually at Monnyth Arts House when I discovered that musical theatre was actually an independent art form. It was also where I heard of the Musical theatre course at T.U.T.