by Maria Corse
“Sometimes I am made of metal and sometimes I am made of smoke.” A direct quote, taken seconds ago, from one of the coolest kids I have ever met, while he was acting out his latest imaginative game with his friend Oliver. Christian literally spends his days at Deep Root Center totally engaged in creating the fantastical world he has envisioned in that moment. Somedays he is a super villain, a Pokemon, or the owner of a video arcade, and others he is a character from a scary show that he has conceived.
Christian spends hours building 3D props and writing stories that are more like scripts for the constantly running dialog for all of his imaginary scenarios. He hates to remove any of his “sets” from the Center. Hence, we currently have an extensive variety of video arcade games made from cardboard boxes under one table, a window (theater) laying on the art table, and a variety of assorted pieces on another shelf.
When I first met Christian as a seven year old, in August 2015, he told me that he did not like to read and that he did not want to draw, because he was a “bad artist”. I celebrated, months later, when he drew a picture for the first time. He still refuses to participate in any “classes” and usually says, “no” to every single suggestion presented to him. If anything smacks of being traditional or formal, he automatically refuses to get involved. Everything has to be his original idea to be considered valid.
Christian has an interesting relationship with math. He refuses to sit and work on a math sheet, yet, I am pretty sure he has figured out some pretty advanced conceptual stuff by exploring and playing with a calculator on his own. One day, he tried to interpret the problem he had drawn out and was working on, but I didn't understand.
His ingenuity, kindness, compassion, and independence are the hallmarks of Deep Root Center philosophy. He is learning to read and write, because his personal goal is to emulate R.L. Stein, his favorite author, by writing books and the scripts for his TV shows, as well as directing, and acting in them. His dad told me that he watches, actually studies, the GooseBumps show at home, rewinding it often to analyze how a particular scene was filmed.
Christian is a master showman (ringmaster) who ensures that DRC has our own, personal, on site, performance troupe. His sense of humor is subtle and sly, but wickedly funny, and, he moves from one character to the next with the ease and impeccable timing of a vaudeville veteran. To say Christian carries the show is a huge understatement, we all understand that he is the producer, director, as well as the star, who generously shares the spotlight with his friends.