Life is like a box of chocolates, ya never know wut yer gonna get

Life is like a box of chocolates, ya never know wut yer gonna get

Saturday, February 13, 2010

One of my Favorite Things

One favorite thing in my life has been the time I spent in the theater.  For about three years I took acting classes, participated in summer conservatory and played in many productions at the local community college where I earned an associate's degree in Theater Arts. 

It began as a way of supporting my daughter's involvement in something that would help her overcome her shyness; and in the process - I helped myself also.  It was a good time of sharing with Laura; a good time of getting to know her and getting to understand some of the younger adults in the artistic fields.  For the most part - Actors are a different sort of people. 

INSERTED NEW COPY - This was a time in my life when I was too shy to begin new things by myself and I used my daughter's life as a springboard for my own experiences.  I was offered some roles because of my age, rather than abilities, I enjoyed it immensly and the strokes to the ego were unequaled to anything I'd ever experienced.  That is a powerful emotion...especially to a person who did not often receive any strokes in life, but who always felt she deserved them, even if she didn't.  At first I think Laura enjoyed my being there, but I know that after awhile she wanted the expereince for herself.  She wanted me to appreciate her from afar; she did not want to feel any sort of competition with me.  I selfishly ignored her and continued to play for quite some time, knowing she was hurt.  Her kind nature only flared against me a couple of times (or I chose to see it a couple of times, I'm not sure which it was).  I truly did not see us as competitors, becasue the parts we qualified for were so different.  But she wanted the Mommy in me; not a peer.  And I failed her here.  It is a part of me that I am embarassed to admit.  I love Laura dearly, but I hurt her and I am sorry for it.

I enjoyed the sharing of emotions, the realities of "being in the moment", the earthy rawness of gut reactions, the honesty of them.  The people that I met in the theater were always very kind to me.   I was the 40 something year old in the group of 18-75 year olds.  I tried not to embarass Laura, and bowed out after about a year or so of us working together.  Watching her grow and get stronger and more confident was wonderful.  She grew to be so brave.  She did theater in some of the other local venues as well as the college.  I know that her experience in theater has helped her writing.  (She is currently persuing an MFA  in Creative Writing).  One of the wonderful things about Laura is that she has and can relate to the emotions, but, and maybe more importantly, she has a practical side that has helped her to choose her path, rather than wander aimlessly in search of 'feelings".

I learned Stagecraft - we put up and tore down there was carpentry and painting and set dressing and props involved.  I learned Makeup.  That was fun; creating age and youth and helping personalities show through to an audience.  We also made masks.  That was awesome.  Lighting was a little scary; working up in the highest parts of the theater; on cat walks, changing lights and filters and moving around with the ghosts.  (I think all theaters are supposed to have ghosts). 

Some of the productions I was in   ...  Let's see...there was
Much Ado About Nothing
Damn Yankees
Hedda Gabbler
The Shadowbox
You Can't Take It With You

I had the lead role in You Can't Take It With You.  It was the best time!  Every performance received standing ovations and I was thrilled.  It was very hard work and a very life consuming time, and I loved every minute of it.

Sometimes I think I would like to go back to acting.  But my memory has gotten so bad.  Funny, in acting class they tell you that the  memory part is not the hard part...but it is for me.  I can fall into many characters happily...and stay in character...but the memorization was tough.

I see that the college has built a new theater.  They still have the old one, but the new one is bigger and it looks like it is reserved for the music department; but I bet they do all the musical plays in there.

Good times
Good times, Sort of

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