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Callie Speaks

MOTHER-DAUGHTER INTERVIEW: A SCRIPT

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Get to Know Curious Cardinals mother-daughter duo Callie Chae Pyken and Dyanne Chae


by 


Cece King and Montanna Riggs

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Cast of Characters


Callie Chae Pyken:    a 7th grade student

Dyanne Chae:          Callie’s mother

C:     “C” or Cece King, an interviewer

M:     “M” or Montanna Riggs, an interviewer

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ACT I


Scene 1


SETTING: Southern California. Daytime. On Zoom. 


CECE KING or "C" wants to feature more students on The Lightbulb. She sits on the couch in the Cardinal Crib and wonders aloud about the next feature. MONTANNA RIGGS or "M", also sitting on the Cardinal Crib couch, looks up. She suggests doing a joint interview of CALLIE CHAE PYKEN, one of our first students who began her time with Curious Cardinals in Montanna’s Speak Up: Intro to Public Speaking summer 2020 workshop, and her mother DYANNE CHAE. CECE loves the idea and asks MONTANNA to conduct the interview with her. Several days later, they send the Zoom link to CALLIE and DYANNE, and the interview commences. CALLIE is a musical theater actress, so CECE decides to format the interview like a script.


C

What were your expectations going into Curious Cardinals and how did the experience compare to them?


DYANNE

I'm not sure I had expectations going in. I read everyone's bio, and I thought all these kids are so incredibly accomplished! Having said that, you never know if that's going to translate into an educational experience. By the time the class had ended, I was really happy that we had signed on for a really great experience.


C

Callie, what were your favorite moments in Public Speaking?


CALLIE

At the end when everyone was sharing their speeches! It was really great to see how much they had grown and how much they had learned. I was so impressed with how knowledgeable they were on their topics. It was fun to listen to them!


C

Did you have any experience with public speaking before the workshop?


CALLIE

No, no I had no prior experience with public speaking.


C

You’re a fantastic actress, that’s a form of public speaking. Did what you learn inform your acting at all? 


CALLIE

Callie: Let’s say I was reciting a monologue or something. I think I’d have more stage presence. But I would say it didn’t really help my musical theater. It helped me write clearly and concisely. I also like to make speeches. Before New Year’s Eve, my family was all around the table, and I said I’m going to do a ten minute speech. That’s just me, I like to talk! When we are all going to get back together for Christmas I’m going to do a really great speech next year or this year – I can’t wait for that.


DYANNE

One of the reasons I signed her up, is that everything previously was related somewhat to performing, dancing, singing, acting. This was different enough, so I thought she would be open to it. Now I know she’s not afraid to tackle things that she's never experienced or tried before!


M

What was your favorite lesson or thing you learned from Public Speaking?


CALLIE

I think it was the work I did outside of the classes. I got to read Winston Churchill! I remember I had to talk about the key points, which correlated with the class so well.


M

I love to hear that because the reason I give homework is to let kids take their learning into their own hands. Not everyone is interested in the construction or the performance or whatever it is, so the homework is a chance for students to dig deeper into what they’re interested in!


C

I remember Montanna was very impressed by your final speech. She said this student has taught me so much! One of the best parts of being a teacher is learning from your students.


CALLIE

(To Montanna) I taught you!?


M

Yes! We had a conversation about the origins of Broadway and how it started out as a group of marginalized people coming together to share their art.


C

Callie, what inspired you to write that speech? What was it like to integrate your passions outside of school into a class curriculum?


CALLIE

Initially, I was going to write about the inequity of college admissions. I have no idea why – maybe because I was inspired by Stanford students but also because of the inequities like test prep. Aside from that, I decided to write about Broadway because it's something that I'm so deeply interested in, and I want to perform in a show on Broadway! There are many different opinions and perspectives on the diversity of Broadway. I wanted to incorporate my knowledge on diversity on Broadway and change people’s perspectives. I hope that my peers in that class understand the importance of Broadway and how the idea that there can only be one type of person on Broadway, mostly white people, is changing. There is so much more diversity now.


M

I remember you brought up Hamilton, and I said yes, Hamilton is fantastic but what about the majority of Broadway shows? You pushed back and explained that was changing. In that moment, I was so glad you felt comfortable speaking up and saying actually Montanna, there's this whole world that you don't know about!


C

How did the student-teacher dynamic with college students compare to your classes at school?


CALLIE

I think it’s way easier to connect and share ideas. If you’re talking with someone older than that it's harder to connect. Also, college students are role models to us!


DYANNE

That’s one of the things that inspired me to use Curious Cardinals. When you’re 13 and connecting with someone who is not that much older, they can still relate to one another. That's really important for mentorship and guidance. 


CALLIE

You get us! You guys get middle schoolers. You know what we're going through. 


M

It was definitely really cool teaching you guys. I see so much of myself in you! When we had a conversation after class one day, I remember thinking that I wished I had had a college mentor to talk to when I was your age. Middle schoolers aren't always treated like they can be critical thinkers, but you have opinions, and you’re more than qualified to stand up for them.


DYANNE

The people we’ve connected with have been supportive and encouraging. That motivates Callie to try new things and be open minded. It’s a  different mindset – not being afraid of the challenges.


DYANNE, CALLIE, C, and M keep chatting then eventually sign off. 


(END OF SCENE)




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