You Don’t Know Me Until You Know Me

In celebration of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, the class of ’11 attended the presentation “You Don’t Know Me Until You Know Me” by actor Mykee Fowlin. The set consisted simply of four chairs lined across the stage with various articles of clothing strewn across them. His characters varying from a six-year-old kindergartner with ADD to an abused Hispanic boy on the verge of committing suicide and a homosexual star football player, Fowlin would take on seven different personalities in the span of an hour and a half. Samantha Gray ’11 said, “When I first walked in hearing it was a one-man show, I assumed it was one man performing a single monologue. However, the way he incorporated multiple characters was creative and moving, and I feel that I got a lot more out of it.” His other characters included a biracial Indian-Korean girl being put down by her teachers because of her gender, a child with Down syndrome, an African-American teenager with unique musical tastes and a Jewish man who was profiled by the police. Each character displayed unique interests and personalities that exemplified how wrong stereotypes can be. The most important lesson E.J. Ejiogu ’11 took from the performance was, “You really can’t judge someone by their outside appearance.” Accompanying this theme, Fowlin described three different people and asked the audience whom they thought they related most to. The majority of the audience voted for person three, who was described as a healthy vegetarian who believed that discipline was the best way to govern. There were a scarce few who voted for person one, who was said to have been an alcoholic who cheated on his wife and was involved with concentration camps. Much to the audience’s disbelief and surprise, person one was Franklin D. Roosevelt and person three was Adolf Hitler. The point of this exercise was to show how only knowing part of the story can mislead you and that people should not make judgments on others without getting to know them first. When asked what he hoped to get across to the students watching, Fowlin said, “You’re not as alone as you think you are…there’s beauty within all of us.” He also hopes that his presentation will be “a challenge for people to think of something positive of others.” With that goal in mind, he ended his performance by asking each audience member to greet 10 different people whom he or she typically would not, hopefully making that person’s day and an impact in his or her life from that small act of kindness.