Charleston, South Carolina
I went to Charleston as a scout. Muffy wanted to make a reality TV show, and she needed new talent. Well, I sure found lots of talented kids here!
We met Michael. He "steps," which is this cool type of dance. He's on a 50-person step team. Check out this video of the step team. They're amazing!
The Place I Love the Most is about the beautiful South Carolina coast. Charleston itself is really neat, too. It was started in the late 1600s, more than 300 year ago. Some of the buildings built back then are still here!
St. Helena Island is where we met Michael. That's the home of Gullah culture. Gullah is West African culture mixed with American culture. It began with the African people who were brought here as slaves.
Binky e-mailed to say he watched the step video, and loved it. He said it was "a fascinating introduction to the world of percussive movement and polyrhythms." Uh... do you feel okay, Binky?
Gullah is really a way of life. There's Gullah food, like red rice: rice with tomatoes, sausage, and other tasty things. Yum! Then there's a language, like calling people and animals "br'er," short for "brother." The stories about Br'er Rabbit are Gullah stories.
I also met Justin. He's a great actor. He even writes his own monologues. That's like a play, but performed by only one person. He practices over and over until he memorizes them.
Justin writes down little things that happen to him each day. Then he adds extra parts to it. In the end, he has a whole story!
There are eight people in Justin's house! Justin lives with his sister, his aunt, three cousins, and his grandmother. They all get along through cooperation - and a few arguments. But they always make up again.
Justin's whole family create monologues. Someone was always acting in that house, practicing his or her lines. It was like walking past a bunch of radios, all tuned to different stations.
In addition to acting, Justin also plays drums in his church drum group. I never heard drumming in a church before. I thought church was quiet. But they sounded fantastic! It was really catchy.