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Conversation with Stephen John Silvoy

Stephen John Silvoy
Kim, You-Me
Date of Interview: 
relationships with people and places; stories and storytellers
Steven Silvoy talks about some trips he has taken and about his future aspirations.
Charlotte Narrative and Conversation Collection
Collection Description: 
You-Me Kim interviews Charlotteans to collect stories for a class project at UNC Charlotte.
Interview Audio: 
SS (Stephen John Silvoy): This summer I, um, was fortunate enough to, travel to, Stratford-upon-Avon in England, to participate in a Shakespearean Performance Institute. Um, before I went, on this trip, I was, apprehensive, um, considering I wasn't really, um, that interested in theater or acting or any of that stuff. It was kind of an excuse for me, to get to Europe and have my parents pay for it. So, um, I took them up on that offer and went, on the trip, um, and it ended up being a really valuable experience for me. Um, it lasted for about a month, and, we went, first we flew into Stratford-upon-Avon and, we stayed in a nice little bed and breakfast and, um, during the day we had classes that took place at the Shakespeare Institute. Um, in these classes we studied plays, Shakespearean plays, Twelfth Night, King Lear, Julius Caesar, um, studied the text, and actually worked to put, um, some of these plays into performance, individual performance. So, some of our days consisted of rehearsal, um, studying and trying to memorize our um, respected sonnets or what have you, and then actually trying to learn actual theatrical, um, techniques, that would um, help, um, those of us who had no theatrical experience. Um, at night in Stratford, we would generally go out to pubs, bars, clubs, that kind of thing, it was interesting experience, um, going out and mingling with, um, English people, that, um, [pause] we obviously stack out, stuck out because we are from America, um, and particularly me and other people from the south, our accents kind of stuck out, but um, as a trip on along we, kind of integrated into the whole, um, culture. Um, they got used to us being there, it was kind of small town so, um, we went a lot of same places. Uh, on weekends, I traveled. We went to Bath, Canterbury, uh, some historical places, Dover. Um, another weekend I traveled to Amsterdam, other parts of Holland. Um, Amsterdam was especially, uh, interesting, with, uh, their, laws are somewhat more liberal than, we have here anywhere else, legalized drugs, gambling, prostitution, not that I took part in any of those things, but at the same time, [laughs] they were there, so, um, they were noticeable. Um, also in Stratford we went to, um, several plays that were performed by the Royal Shakespearean Company and the Swan Theater. Uh, we got to visit with actors, go backstage, and, um, really experience the entire thing, that is Shakespeare and Stratford. Um, we had to study and do research on Shakespeare for term a paper that was due at the, end of the summer, and so we actually had to go into, um, archives and, um, we had access to certain books and archives that were usually not accessible to students or citizens so, we got to do a lot of the different things that people want to able to do. Um, after we finally put on our performances in which I performed a sonnet from
as Brutus, and also, um, portions of the Twelfth Night as Sir Toby. Um, our time in Stratford was done and we moved to London, for two weeks where we stayed University of London. Um, there we had no, academic, uh, priorities and so it was pretty much a two-week vacation. Uh, we traveled all around London, um, saw the sites, Buckingham Palace, London Bridge, Big Ben, Parliament, um, we actually saw some other plays in London, um, Lion King. Um, we went clubs and bars and Piccadilly Circus, and around London. London is a lot like New York City, um, a lot more spread out, but it's, it was equally as enjoyable. So that was pretty much, my summer vacation, um. Actually got an 'A' in the class which made it that much more enjoyable and that took up six hours of my, graduate credit. Um, recently also in September, um, about two weeks after the, um, attacks on the World Trade Center, I went to Las Vegas with some friends. Um, we stayed in the MGM Grand and it was actually really cool because, uh, that weekend in the MGM Grand there was actually two, celebrity' um, charity concerts, or charity, um, events for the victims of the attack. One was sponsored by Andre Agassi, the tennis player and the other was by Je-, Jay Leno, the, uh, talk show host. Um, and Vegas was kind of a ghost town because, um, not that many people were traveling after the attacks at that time so, um, all the celebrities that were, uh, taking part in those events were, actually mingling with us, and we were mingling with them around the MGM and around Vegas. Um, I remember at one time that I was playing blackjack with, um, Stevie Wonder. Um, he wasn't actually playing but his wife was and he kind of just held onto her chair next to us. Um, Rachel Hunter, who is a supermodel, um, some members of the band N'Sync, um, and a few other celebrities that I can't remember right now because it was late at night and, I'd been gambling too much and I couldn't really remember what time it was.
YK (You-Me Kim): [Laughs]
SS: So uh, but Vegas was fun. Um, a pretty funny experience that I have was on the way back, um, since security was so tight, due the attacks and everything in the Las Vegas airport I stood in line for about five hours, and by the time I got Chicago, I had actually missed my connection flight to Charlotte. So, waiting for the, the final flight from, departing from Charlotte, Chicago to Charlotte, later on that night, um, since all the other flights were cancelled, um, I had to sit in Chicago O'Hare Airport for about seven or eight hours, only to find out that, um, that flight was full and I could not get on it and I had to work and go to school next day, and it was about 10 or, 10 or 11 o'clock at night and I couldn't get in touch with anybody. And the airport, there was so much mayhem and confusion because everybody had flights canceled and nobody know what to do, I didn't feel like standing in any more lines, and the next flight leaving to Charlotte, Charlotte, was six-thirty next morning, so I basically, put my bag on the floor, and slept, in the airport, until, [laughs] Monday morning, um, when I was woken up, by, um, someone in the airport, in my concourse where our plane was taking off, who kicked me to wake me up to tell me that the flight was leaving in 15 minutes so, I actually got on a flight and got back to Charlotte, um, early Monday morning and made it to class and to work on time which was a miracle.
YK: [Laughs]
SS: But um, needless to say, I did not have a lot of money the rest of that month because I lost a lot of money while I was in Vegas.
YK: [Laughs]
SS: But, it was a lot of fun. Um, so after a few months of recovery, um, I, uh, actually, recently, with this past weekend just flew to New York City, for my 26th birthday. Um, it was a birthday present from my parents, um, who both are, were both born in Manhattan, both grew up and went to college in Manhattan, and I actually was born in the city. My two older brothers and I, um, and we lived in New York until I was about three before we moved to North Carolina. So, my parents travel up there. We have friends and relatives and I like to travel up there, um, whenever I can and so I decided what better to go, what better weekend to go than my 26th birthday and opening weekend of baseball since I'm a big Yankee's fan. So I had Yankee's tickets, um, I went up Friday, Friday morning, um, all my friends had to work so I kind of, just, um, wandered around New York by myself. Um, went to Ground Zero, which was really depressing and eerie. Um, there is still a lot of pictures around of, um, a lot of make-shift memorials and pictures of people that, um, where missing, um, and a lot of tourists, and, and visitors stand around and there is this weird eerie silence. Um, nobody really talks. But it was really strange, but it seems like they've got a lot of, lot of the stuff cleaned up. Um, walked around Time Square there was actually some kind of um, Scottish parade going on a lot of mens, men with bagpipes and, um, Sean Connery, the actor was supposedly there somewhere though I didn't see him. Um, walked around Times Square, and just kind of perused and decided to go into ESPN, the Sports Zone restaurant where I watched the Yankees game, um, and drank Bloody Mary's until about five p.m. when everybody gets off work. And then Friday night we went to Greenwich Village, went to some bars and restaurants actually went to a pub, saw a few, um, New York Giants football players in there, harassed a few celebrities, and just went out around New York City. Saturday we went to the Yankees game, uh, about one o'clock. It was snowing that morning, but it ended up being a really beautiful day. Went and saw a great game at Yankee stadium, uh, Yankees won, and, uh, we were on the subway for about an hour and a half, because the damn Four train was making local stops, which it usually doesn't. It's usually an express train so, it was one of the uncomfortable subway rides but, we ended up getting there and back and, um, that night we decided to, my friends and I, decided to go out celebrate for my birthday and there was actually another mutual friend that we had that it was her birthday also so, a huge group of, uh, of us went out to some posh, hip New York, night club, that, um, we basically had to beg our way to get into, um. It was kind of out of my league in a sense, um, but, anyway it was pretty fun, um, it was very expensive. There was a few celebrities as well, Alicia Silverstone, who is an actress, so, um, but none of these people gave me the time of the day because I'm some loser from Charlotte, but we ended up going out and celebrating and had a really good time, in New York City that night, um, lost an hour of sleep and, um, got home late that night and woke up the next morning and flew back to the great state of North Cackalacky, North Carolina, and, um, actually had somewhat of a debacle in the airport there, um, didn't have a ride to come pick me up, so I had to get a cab from Charlotte-Douglas Airport home, so that was really fun. Um, so that's essentially the story of my vacationing, so far. Um, after graduation in May, um, I have a three week window where hopefully I'll do some vacationing, um, maybe go to L.A. Um, do a few things before I have to buckle down and do my internship this summer. Um, I'm doing in internship with the Children's Theatre of Charlotte, where I'm going to be teaching, um, Intro to Theatre classes to kids from 13 to 18, for part of their summer camp program and being a camp counselor and doing that all during summer, um, that should have, essentially take my whole summer, uh, before school starts in August, where I will be coming back, um, after graduation, the three hours of internship will be will meet my requirements for graduation. I'll be coming back to teach freshman English, um, 1101 in the fall and 1102 in the spring and, um, next year's kind of going to be a defining moment, defining time for me because, I will decide whether or not I really like teaching or not, um, whether I want to go and pursue, um, a doctorate, go get my Ph.D., in literature, children's literature, or some kind of literature. Somewhere on the line, um, take the GRE subject test and get some applications in and I'm also going to take the LSAT and try to get into law school. Kind of in that midway ground where I really don't know what I want to do. I think I want to be lawyer. But I'm not sure if I have the money or motivation to do it just yet but, um, if I do well enough on the LSAT I think that's what I'm going to do is go to Campbell. Um, I think I want to be sports and entertainment agent or some sort of a lawyer. So, next year will hopefully something will hit me over the head and I will figure out what I want to do with my future instead of just floundering around like I do now. Um, and I'll probably while I'm teaching work part time in the Writing Resources Center and for the Athletic Department which I do now, tutoring for both departments, um, helping students with their papers, and um, doing stuff like that so, since they don't pay teachers enough here, I'll will have to do, work part time, so I can pay my bills, um, and support my small family which consists of a German Shepard and myself. Um, I think that's pretty much my whole boring story.
YK: Yeah. Thanks you.
SS: [Laughs] You're welcome.