Why I Didn’t Take Junior or Senior English

29 Fort Greene Pl   Google Maps

I was just talking with a friend and realized this is a story I haven’t told (much).

I didn’t take English junior and senior year in high school. Well, not in the conventional sense.

Instead of taking English, I was an actor, a radio actor. I was a member of the NYC All-City Radio Workshop. It all took place on my high school’s ninth floor (seriously) at WNYE-FM.

WNYE was an anachronism. It was proof of a bureaucracy’s resistance to change. What we were doing was appropriate in 1952. The was 66-67-68.

It didn’t make a difference. I loved it. Voices and dialects. I mostly played kids.

Sometimes they were famous kids, like young Franklin Roosevelt or young Orville Wright. I played young Jackie Robinson. It was a long time ago. We didn’t know.

I was an endless stream of Billys and Bobbies in two act plays. We were the late 60s multimedia teacher’s helper. My grade school teacher’s played shows like “Lets Look at the News” and “Sing, Everyone Sing” in the classroom.

I played alongside professional voice actors. This was a union gig for them. The writers were pro too. I started at 16.

We operated in a large studio with a variety of old school RCA mics. It was an RCA board as well.

Pushed up against a wall in the back of the studio was a “sound effects truck.” They went out with the advent of tape! Remember tape?

Like Morse Code another totally worthless skill. Worth it.

2 Responses to “Why I Didn’t Take Junior or Senior English”

  1. Barb B says:

    Geoff, What HS is that in the picture? Not that I’m that familiar with all the HSs in NY proper. My step kids were at John Adam’s in RH Queens when I got married in ’78. I know that my step daughter started HS in Sheepshead Bay, then switched to JA’s when her dad was moved to Richmond Hills.
    Like I said in the PHC piece, watching the show on my computer, it was interesting to see how they do the sound effects now, in comparison to what I saw at Radio City in the late 1940’s. I guess one can still listen to those old programs if you have Satellite Radio. Interesting how things have evolved.

  2. Debbie Z says:

    Not a totally worthless skill. I was on my college station for 4 years (WSHU-FM) and now, I’m the voice of my company’s Auto Attendant. Ah, the fame and fortune 🙂

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