Hey, Cyberspacers! My name is Travis, and I'm 16. For more than seven years, I've appeared in major stage productions, including on Broadway - and I wanted to take this time to share some of my experiences with you all.
As far back as I can remember - I have always wanted to perform. My love of the theatre has taken me all over the world and I've been fortunate to see most of this beautiful country, and make many new friends. But through it all I have kept my grades up in school, and kept in touch with all my old friends despite travelling thousands of miles. How? I've learned how to use my computer to help accomplish my goals and have fun.
I started performing when I was nine - appearing in Radio City Music Hall's Christmas Show in New York. Radio City is the biggest theatre in the world. It was awesome, a total blast performing there. While I was in the show, I had a tutor who worked with me as well as the other kids in the show. But it wasn't like being in regular school. The tutor could only teach us our lessons whenever we weren't rehearsing or performing.
Because of the work schedule, we had to do our schoolwork whenever
we could - either before, after or even in between shows! The schedule sometimes got hairy with up to five shows in one day. So we also had to have classes on the weekends. Now I know that most kids probably wouldn't like to go to school on weekends. But, to me, it was worth it
because I was doing what I loved to do - pursuing a dream I've had my whole life.
The next spring, when I was 10, I landed a major role in The Who's Tommy on Broadway. For my birthday that year, my parents got me a computer - and it quickly changed my life for the better. Now remember, this was in 1994, so the computer I had wasn't like the computers that most of us are looking at right now. But man, did it help me - from being able to type up school projects and papers at home, to looking up information on my Encyclopedia CD-ROM. And, oh yes - it was so excellent for games.
I had some great games on DOS. I'm not even sure if people use DOS anymore. Do they? I'll have to ask MC, the Magic Computer that question!
For sure, my computer made life at school a lot easier for me. I also had AOL. At the time, I didn't even have a clue as to what AOL was going to become. But I learned how to use AOL to search for information that I needed for school. Basically, I was able to stay on top of the stuff I found interesting and necessary. When the Tommy show closed down, people in the cast and crew stayed in touch through e-mail. To this day, I still see some friends' names from the Tommy show on my AOL buddy list and always say 'hi' to catch up on what's going on.
I also had the privilege of being in Les Miserables on its third National Tour. Going away from home and school for a long period of time was a difficult task. I didn't have my own laptop, but the people who did let me sign on to the Internet so I could check in on what my friends were doing.
I also used the laptop to keep up on what schoolwork I needed to do, and current events. I really enjoyed researching the cities we were traveling to next. Being on that tour taught me so much about other cities in our country: their history, culture and the restaurants! I especially loved appearing in Tempe, Arizona, Reno, Nevada, and Seattle, Washington.
Now being in 10th grade in high school, like many other kids, I use my computer all the time. So much of my life is based around it, I don't know what I'd do without it. Schoolwork takes up most of my time, but I have many other good uses for it.
I write letters, design CD labels, and again - I enjoy playing lots of games.
I especially love and recommend Roller Coaster Tycoon! Also, the Internet helps keep me up to date on what's happening in the world of theatre.
I check out various Web sites that I find fun, interesting or contain information I need to know about.
Whatever your interest is, I suggest you learn as much about it as possible. Used correctly, the Internet is the world's biggest electronic library. Put it to good use, and it will pay you big dividends for the rest of your life.
There is so much on the Internet to explore. I am amazed and appreciate all I have been able to learn so far. I'm looking forward to many more exciting and informative journeys on the Web. And I wish each and every one of you other Cyberspacers - successful, interesting, exciting and profitable explorations as you search for the good of cyberspace!
Take care of yourselves. Do your very best in cyberspace - and in life.
I hope all of your dreams come true.