Name: Eugenia “Genie” Banneman
School: Aurora High School
Hobbies and Interests: Playing the trumpet, Aurora High orchestra and marching band, jogging, transcribing pop music for the trumpet
Appearance: Genie Banneman is very petite, standing 5’1” tall and weighing 107 pounds. Her oval-shaped face is very angular, thanks to her sharp chin and aquiline nose. She wears her naturally ash blonde hair in a shaggy pixie cut that flairs slightly around her ears and neckline. Multiple piercings adorn her slightly pointed ears; each earlobe is pierced twice with studs and her right ear also has a hoop-and-ball-clasped helix piercing. The only makeup that Genie regularly uses is mascara and eyeliner. Her hazel-colored eyes appear more brown than green, and tend to crinkle at the corners when she is amused.
To the casual observer, Genie’s wardrobe appears to consist entirely of hoodie sweatshirts with a variety of logos, denim shorts that are layered with colored leggings, and hiking boots. During summer and spring marching band practice, Genie wears t-shirts with the sleeves rolled up, shorts, cross-trainer shoes, and a gray kerchief tied over her hair or across her forehead as a sweatband.
Biography: Eugenia “Genie” Banneman, a second generation Seattleite, was the second child and the only girl born to Richard and Michelle Banneman. Genie has two brothers: Matthew, elder by three years, and Shane, younger by three years. Named after her maternal great-grandmother, Eugenia has always disliked her name. By the time she started kindergarten, she refused to use her given name, answering only to the nickname “Genie”.
Genie had an average, secure upper middleclass childhood thanks to her parents’ professions. Richard was an engineering instructor at the University of Washington, Seattle, and Michelle is a pediatric nurse at Seattle Children’s Hospital. Richard insisted that his children take part in all sorts of cultural enrichment opportunities in order to augment their regular education. He would often take Genie and her brothers to museums like The Children’s Museum, family-oriented symphony performances, and the aquarium.
When she was seven, her father enrolled her in the elementary school’s music enrichment program. Since her first orchestral experience, Genie’s favorite instrument had been the trumpet. She loved the bright, brass call of the instrument and the way the trumpet demanded the listener’s attention. Initially thrilled to be enrolled in the program, her happiness plummeted when she was informed that she would be playing the flute. Her father refused to let her change instruments, stating that the trumpet was not an appropriate instrument for a young lady and it would make her cheeks fat. After speaking with her mother, Genie and her father came to a compromise. Genie would play the flute for two years, and if she still wanted to switch to the trumpet at the end, they would allow it.
Exactly two years to the day of the agreement, Genie asked her parents to take her to the music store so she could exchange her flute for a trumpet. Nine year-old Genie was delighted with her B-flat trumpet, and much to the chagrin of the family, began to practice incessantly. The first few months were especially rocky since her flute playing skills were not completely transferable to the new instrument. What Genie lacked in skill, she attempted to make up in dedication and enthusiasm.
At Genie’s twelfth birthday party, her father gave her a 24 karat gold locket with a diamond set in the cover and presented her mother with divorce papers. Richard offered no apologies and explained that he was unhappy and unfulfilled. He had been having an affair with a university student, and when she was accepted to a Masters program in Montana, he decided to follow her. Within a week, he had moved out of the family home and out of the state. The whole situation came as quite a shock to the entire family.
Genie’s mother immediately sought out the services of a family therapist to help them adjust to their new situation. While Genie appreciated that her mother had the family’s best interest at heart, she felt that therapy was unnecessary for her. While she attended the scheduled sessions without complaint, Genie turned towards the ordered and expressive world of music to help her cope with her feelings. Nearly every free moment at school or home was taken up with Genie playing her trumpet or listening to music.
On a dare from her older brother, who had grown weary of the endless cycle of classical music, Genie learned the Super Mario Brothers Theme. In her usual way, Genie practiced the piece at every opportunity until she had mastered it. However, unlike the other pieces she played, she got many positive comments and encouragement from a wide variety of people at school. Students outside of the school’s orchestra program would comment as she passed them in the hall, calling out requests for other songs. Genie liked the notoriety and recognition she was getting, so she began to search out much more recognizable pieces to practice and play. In junior high, she grew adept at a variety of movie, television, and video game theme songs. Her brothers especially enjoyed the change in her repertoire, and often put in requests for certain songs. Since her mother’s job required her to work twelve hour shifts, it was a very common scene in the Banneman house to find Genie in the kitchen, practicing her trumpet while Matthew cooked dinner and Shane set the table.
Freshman year was a very busy year for Genie. She joined Aurora High’s marching band and orchestra. Of the two, marching band was much more difficult for Genie because she was not accustomed to the physically demanding nature of the program. A few upperclassmen were impressed by the tiny freshman, and took Genie under their wing. Under their personal instruction and guidance, Genie worked extremely hard to integrate in to the marching band program. It was these new comrades who introduced Genie to musical transcription. They would listen to classic and recent pop music during lunch and work on transcribing songs by artists like Journey, Europe, and Brittney Spears into orchestral arrangements. Drawn in by the challenge, Genie took over the transcribing for trumpets. Now a senior, Genie often works with the drum major to come up with some of the arrangements performed by the marching band. Some of her favorite transcription pieces are “Welcome Home” by Coheed and Cambria, “Just The Way You Are” by Bruno Mars, and “Fireflies” by Owl City. When not practicing on her trumpet, Genie can be seen wearing headphones, nodding along to whatever song she is listening to while transcribing.
During Genie’s freshman year, a fifth member of the Banneman household was added. For his eleventh birthday, her younger brother Shane was allowed to pick out a dog from the local animal shelter. Shane picked out a Saint Bernard/Scotch Collie pup named Pierre. While all three Banneman children adored the dog, it soon became obvious that the dog required a lot of walking and activities to help him burn off his energy. Drawing up a schedule, it was Genie’s responsibility to walk Pierre in the morning before school, Shane’s job to walk him immediately after school, and Matthew would walk Pierre in the evening before bed. Naturally an early riser, Genie grew to love the solitude on her early morning walks with the dog. As Pierre continued to grow larger and larger, their walks picked up in length and pace. Now nearly four years old, Pierre leads Genie on a two and a half mile jog each morning. The pair have become a familiar sight around their neighborhood, the monstrously large dog lumbering along and the tiny girl trotting alongside him.
Just before her fifteenth birthday, Genie talked her older brother into helping her acquire her second trumpet. Rather than ask her mother for the instrument, she decided that she would pawn the last birthday gift her father gave her in order to get what she wanted. Genie and Matthew began searching the city’s pawn shops for an acceptable C trumpet. After several trips, Genie found the trumpet she wanted. Matthew, now a legal adult, pawned her gold locket in exchange for the new trumpet. The pair did their best to conceal the purchase from their mother, who found out when Shane told on them in a fit of anger over a slight. Mrs. Banneman was initially very disappointed in the pair since they felt they needed to hide their actions from her, but has since accepted that Genie is much happier with the second trumpet than she ever was with the piece of jewelry.
After their father’s departure, the Banneman children grew very close and rely heavily on each other. Matthew continues to live at home while attending college, viewing himself as the stabilizing influence on his younger sister and brother. Continuing in their father’s tradition of enrichment, it is very common to find the Banneman family attending some event or activity together. Mrs. Banneman works very hard to maintain a close, open relationship with her children despite her long work hours. Genie appreciates all that her mother goes through to provide for them, and the fact that she can always count on either Matthew or her mother to show up to performances or recitals. Unfortunately, Genie and her younger brother Shane, a current freshman at Aurora High School, are not as close. Shane is the only child who regularly attempts to contact his father, which Genie views as a betrayal of the family. Since their father cast them off and continues to behave indifferently towards them, she sees no reason to pursue a relationship. Their father has made no effort to connect with his children outside of the court-mandated child support he pays and sending an occasional birthday card. The late birthday cards are a perpetual sore spot between Genie and Shane since Genie views the cards as an insult since they never arrive on the correct days and are filled out by their father’s girlfriend. Shane cherishes each one, which Genie mocks as being sad and pathetic. In retaliation for Genie’s attitude towards their father, Shane often expresses disdain for his sister’s “loser music”. Initially upset by Shane’s behavior, Genie does her best to ignore her younger brother in favor of maintaining a fragile peace with him.
Currently, Genie is a very average student. Her senior GPA is a solid 3.2, giving her a B average. Math and her music electives consistently provide her highest grades, but she tends to struggle in her foreign language class and science. Genie maintains a normal sized circle of friends that tends to pull heavily from her music classes. Generally a quiet student in class, Genie’s playful behavior tends to manifest in music class and out on the practice field. When feeling secure, Genie will take on most dares, no matter how ill-conceived. Her impulsive behavior has earned her more than a few reprimands from the band teacher over the years. Most comfortable when playing her trumpet, she has no problem using various pieces of music to illustrate her mood. As befitting her level of dedication and drive, Genie plans to major in music at Seattle Central Community College before transferring to the University of Washington, Seattle to earn her BA in music.
Advantages: Genie has excellent stamina thanks to her jogging and marching band, and she multitasks well thanks to years of marching band experience.
Disadvantages: Due to her size, Genie is easy to physically overpower. Anyone who Genie trusts will have no problem getting her to do engage in risk-taking behaviors or actions.
Below is a list of threads containing Genie, in chronological order.
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