The Stone Arch Players cast of 'Suite Surrender'

The Stone Arch Players cast of ‘Suite Surrender’

They wanted to make me a whore – a whore!  Can you imagine???  I refused.  In hindsight, I probably should have watched ‘The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas’ before auditioning for it, but what sort of social teenager had time for that?

Earlier in my theatric career I was cast as a rock – or was it a tree…?  Regardless, neither spoke and neither spoke to me: a rock, how ridiculous.

I went home and did what any respectable budding young actress would have done.  I told my mother.  I poured my disappointed, indignant heart out to my patiently, sympathetic mother, spewing endless complaints at the sweetest most soft-spoken woman to ever grace this world.  I mean, didn’t they know who I was?

After a much-appreciated phone call from my very supportive mom I was promoted to narrator – the teachers job and the only one left.  Our pre-school rendition of ‘Farmer and the Dell’ would be epic!  I wore a pink boa; I grabbed the mic and refused to let it go.

When I graduated to elementary school I was offered a small role in a tribute to Abraham Lincoln.  I, of course, wanted to be Lincoln.  Refused, I insisted on producing a version of my own, starring whom else, me!  My patient mother helped to paste together my cardboard hat and cotton ball beard.  She was a saint – still is.

Theatre rejection turned to film.  Film rejection turned to modeling.  Modeling rejection turned to pageants… Oh what a vicious cycle.  I didn’t complain.  I loved it all.  I loved posing for pictures.  I loved auditioning.  I loved meeting random people with kindred spirit and bonding over the injustice of it all.

Eventually, like any sane teen (without the advantage of Google or MapQuest), I gave up.  I hung up my mini skirt and pulled out the short pumps.  I got a real job and hunkered down in the real world, secretly regretting that I hadn’t tried, a little bit harder, just one last time…

Marriages, children and decades flew by.  I worked for the family business; I made indie films of my own.  I rooked my friends and family into acting for me (whether they liked to or not) – on my terms, once again.  Until one day…

Someone I love, someone I had felt so blessed to meet in my new, more ‘adulty’ life, suggested I audition for the theatre once again.  I was a creature of film – indie film – down and dirty.  Get your lines on Tuesday, memorize by Friday, and film on Saturday.  One take, two takes, three takes – done!

But this was different.  Theatre meant commitment.  Theater meant weeks, even months of seeing the same people over and over, not having that drink right after work, not watching that television show, not manufacturing reasons to stay home…  clearly I needed to do this.

I auditioned.  I got a part, a good part.  Finally! – Not a rock, not a tree, not even a whore!

The first rehearsal was intimidating – intimidating to a person who doesn’t intimidate often, at all.  I sat there and watched.  I watched as nine grown people played.  They played on that stage like we did back in pre-school.  We triumphed.  We failed.  We giggled.  We gloated.  We goofed, we applauded and it hasn’t stopped since.

Farmer & the dellI look so forward to each and every rehearsal.  I look forward to the day the curtain rises.  I look forward to hearing the applause, the laughter and feeling the energy of a room filled with anticipation and appreciation.

Being in the theatre makes it hard to feel 40.  The theater makes it possible to remember being four.  And what do you know?  The diva and the dream live on, still unable to keep quiet, sporting that pretty pink boa – and still hanging onto that mic.