Tuesday, May 29, 2012

What Does Elvis Mean to You? (LTA Blog Contest)

"I am an attorney in Alexandria with a staff of 9.  For over 20 years I have kept my office closed on January 8 (Elvis' Birthday) and have treated it as a legal holiday.  People think we're nuts when they call and are told we'll be closed "for the Holiday", but that's their problem. I believe that some day Elvis' Birthday will be officially recognized as a federal holiday, as it should be.  It helps break up that long holiday gap (3 weeks) between New Year's and Martin Luther King Day." -Tom Gorman

"I just have to enter my daughter (Francesca) in this contest! Although she is only 12, out of a million topics she could have picked for her history fair project, she and her friend (Kirsten) picked "Elvis, The King!" They spent months researching, writing, planning, and learning about Elvis and how he changed the world. Their project was selected from their school to move on to the County! Even if we don't win tickets, I plan to take her and her friend to the play... I think they love seeing their research come to life!"  -Judy Ball

"Elvis was not the first bad boy in my life, but he taught me the most.  Growing up in a segregated small southern town divided socially and economically by railroad tracks, I knew bad boys could never be part of my world.  I was classical music, Presbyterian Sunday School, straight A’s.   In 1956 “Heartbreak Hotel” and “Love me Tender”  altered  my tidy 8th-grader’s view of the world.  It wasn’t the physical Elvis– button-downed shirts and a love of Beethoven still trumped the bad boy persona.  The lure was that emotion-filled voice with its endless promises.  I stood firm.  Fast forward fifty years - I am at Graceland for the final event of  an arts conference where I have spent four days watching showcases of hopeful entertainers and musicians.  The tour begins with,“When Elvis was 21 he bought Graceland for his parents - it was the biggest house in Memphis.”   Bought this southern mansion at 21?  They have my attention.  We enter Elvis’s world.  All-white living room, paisley-wrapped tented space - what?  My 1950's design fantasies were shared by Elvis?  Next are the media clips.  My heart stops.  He is young, beautiful, charismatic, with more talent in his little finger than all those showcasing conference artists.  Why hadn’t I allowed myself to recognize he was the real deal in 1956?   Wandering in a daze through the cemetery, the airplane,  garage full of motorcycles and bumper cars, I was suddenly struck again:   wasn’t it “Heartbreak Hotel” that permanently cracked my black and white 1950's world?  By this time I was standing before the row of decadent white jumpsuits in ever-increasing sizes (bad boy suits for sure).  A new convert,  I silently thanked Elvis for making the cracks that set me on the path to Memphis.  Without him, my world might never have expanded."
-Joan Singer

"I have always said I was born in the wrong decade.  From the time I could remember, I have always enjoyed music that was popular 40+ years ago, from the Monkees, the Beatles, and of course Elvis Presley!  I discovered my love for Elvis about 6 years ago when I saw a performance by a very well-know Elvis impersonator, Ryan Pelton.  Ryan was so freakishly like the real thing that I thought that I had been transported back in time!  After that, I started listening to Elvis’ music, watching his movies, and reading lots of books.  It wasn’t long after that, that I had become not only a fan, but COMPLETELY fascinated with the King.  My Elvis collection started with CDs, DVD, books and has grown to multiple cardboard stand-ups, bags, art, costumes, t-shirts, pretty much anything you can think of.  I traveled to Graceland with my dad soon after my fascination started and was blown away.  If you ever get a chance, Elvis fan or not, go to Graceland!  I believe it is something everyone should do at least once in their life.  I would give anything to have been able to see him perform live but all his recorded performances (and shows like LTA’s All the King’s Women) will have to do."  -Tina Barry (LTA's own Box Office Manager)

At Graceland!

With Elvis impersonator, Ryan Pelton!
Elvis means a lot to me. Elvis is proof that any child in America (or anywhere else) can grow up to be anything he wants. Imagine living in the projects of Memphis dreaming of being something someday, and then becoming "The King of Rock n' Roll”. Even though Elvis was as rich as any of us ever dreamed to be, he never stopped enjoying little things. He loved football, roller-skating, a night at the movies, just sitting at home talking to his friends. He never stopped caring about his fans. His fans always meant a lot to him. We loved him in return. That's why we're still here today. Elvis had bad habits, too. Drugs, a temper, he depended too much on the wrong people. But you never heard Elvis claim to be perfect! To him he was just another guy doing his thing. Trying not to hurt anybody. Trying to please people with his music. It's been said Elvis could walk on stage and read a phone book and the crowd would have still loved it. Yet Elvis still had stage fright every time he walked on stage because he was afraid he wouldn't please everyone. I can't listen to "It Hurts Me" without getting tears in my eyes. Every time I play the laughing Elvis track, I have to laugh right along with him. Elvis poured his soul into his music. He demanded perfection from himself while making a record. I agree with Priscilla when she said, "Elvis didn't get it. He never really understood everyone loved Him”. He was still out there trying to earn our love. It was important to him. In my life JFK was killed, the Vietnam war tore this country apart, drugs were everywhere, Hero’s were hard to find. Yet there was always Elvis to look up too. There was always Elvis to listen too. The mention of Elvis brought joy. Elvis gave me a reason to keep trying. Elvis means a lot to me. - J.A.


It's not too late to submit!!
What does Elvis mean to you?
Do you have an interesting Elvis story to tell?  Has “The King” affected your life in some way?  Or are you just a die-hard Elvis fan?  How would you like to win tickets for The Little Theatre of Alexandria’s production of All the King’s Women?  Tell us “What Elvis means to you” and you just might!
In 300 words or less, send us your entry via email to tina@thelittletheatre.com.  Entries will be posted on LTA’s blog for Elvis and theatre fans to enjoy!  A winner will be selected at random and awarded a pair of tickets to LTA’s production of All the King’s Women LTA will not post inappropriate or lewd submissions and hold the right to review submissions before posting to the LTA blog.  Please include your name, phone number, email address and Twitter handle (if you have one) with your submission.  We encourage photos if you have them!

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