As the old cliché goes, “The show must go on,” but two days prior to district competition proved some anxious moments for the Karnes City High School One-Act Play cast and crew, as they awaited word on whether their lead actress who suffered a head injury would be able to perform.
“We were playing around like we always do, and sure enough I fell from sitting on the curb to hitting my head on a trailer door and again hitting my head on the road. Like I always do I hopped back up because we had work to do and it was pretty funny,” senior Desiree De La Garza recalled. “I had a pretty bad headache, but because I usually have chronic migraines and headaches, I didn’t think much of it. Then, everything went black and it was like a second had passed and I was in an ambulance hearing news that I would then be airlifted. I asked dozens of questions and I gave dozens of answers before anyone told me anything about myself. Obviously I was upset because I was jeopardizing the One-Act Play competition just a day away. I blamed myself and was angry that I was going to hold my cast back. I was going to ruin their year. I was ruining our last year together. This was my fault.”
“I was well into my pity party when EMT Johnny Smart said, ‘Listen, if the worst thing that ever happens to you is missing this UIL play, I say that’s a pretty good life,’ ” she added.
But Desiree would not let the near-death experience keep her from the stage.
On March 27 she, along with the 20 other cast and crew members, won the top-ranked district play for their performance of “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.” They then performed April 9 at area competition and wowed the judge again to get the chance to perform at regional competition at 4 p.m. April 18 at San Antonio MacArthur High School.
At district, Desiree earned All-Star Cast honors for her role as Nurse Ratched; junior Cody Martinez won Best Actor for his role as Randall P. McMurphy; and Tristan Ramirez was awarded Honorable Mention All-Star Cast for portraying Billy Bibbitt. For her work with lighting, senior Kimberly Tirado was recognized for Best Technical Crew.
“I feel greatly accomplished and happy right now because I got the honor of receiving the Best Actor award, and my next goal for the play is to do all I can for the team so we will advance again,” Cody said.
At Area, Cody and Desiree earned All-Star Cast recognition, and Tristan once again received Honorable Mention honors.
“I think going through such tense and terrifying moments united us as a team, and we were determined to succeed,” Director and English III and Theater Arts teacher Stephanie Martinez said.
An opportunity to perform at Regional is long overdue. In 2004 the play advanced from district to area, and then placed as alternates to regional competition.
“After making it through an overnight stay for area and running down the halls at 4 o’clock in the morning with a blanket cape singing “Na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na, Desiree!! Desiree!!” I think my future of health is looking bright. Just like the future of One Act Play,” Desiree said in her classic trademark-drama-queen humor. “I can’t wait for regional and with all we have in store for it; we’re going to be the team to beat. If we do, I don’t think we’ll be an ‘underdog’ story. I really think it’ll be more of a ‘so someone else saw what we knew all along…’ story. But things can go unexpectedly and we could not advance. I hope it’s not the case, but if it is, I’m pretty satisfied with what we have accomplished so far. We’re making our mark. It’s our turn now. It’s about time.”