bipolar mom shares her insights on everyday life

Posts tagged ‘acting’

The Miracle on Olive Street

As many of you know, our church is putting on a production, The Christmas Shoes, tomorrow night and Saturday night. Our last dress rehearsal was scheduled for Tuesday night because, even though we wanted to have a dress rehearsal the night before the first show, there were too many school-related activities, so in reality, about 70% of the cast would not have been in attendance.

Our family was one that would have missed tonight’s practice, since Karen had a choir concert.  Another family had an orchestra concert to attend. The local Lutheran school, had its annual Christmas program, etc.

Well, God said, “Ha! I’ll show you! I’ll make sure you can all make it to this rehearsal because I think it’s important to put on this show!” And He sent an ice storm.

This was not a huge, epic ice storm. It was just enough to mess everyone up last night, and, apparently, this morning. But it was enough to cancel all the schools in our area. Including the Lutheran school that never cancels school, since they don’t have buses to run or kids walking to school.  But all of them were canceled today.

Well, my friends, the rule is this: No school=no evening activities. So, the roads were fine and dandy this afternoon, and a new full-out dress rehearsal was born. No choir concert, no orchestra concert, no kids Christmas program. We were all free to attend tonight’s rehearsal.

Another point in the show’s favor:  Tom was going to go into work today, but as he was on his way to a lunch meeting, the other guy calls and cancels. So, Tom decided to turn around and just work from home, and was, therefore, able to leave our house at 4:00 to get to church and get everything set up.

Our director had two stents put in last week, but felt like coming tonight for the first time since his surgery. His father has also been in the hospital, but was released, you guessed it, today.

As it turned out, all but one of our actors were able to attend. (He lives in Columbia, MO, and wasn’t planning on coming anyway.)

I’m so excited to see what God has planned for our shows Friday and Saturday. He has certainly given us plenty of opportunities and signs that He has blessed this performance!

Want to be a part of this Christmas miracle? Come on by King of Kings Lutheran Church, 13765 Olive Street, Chesterfield, MO 63017. Feel free to call the church office for directions: 314-469-2224. Shows are at 7pm both Friday and Saturday nights.

It’s free! So, come and keep warm both inside and out!  🙂


The Acting Career, Part Deux

I just finished up my second play ever,  “Anne of Green Gables.” 

Mrs. Spencer and her "well-behaved" children

I had a very small part, but I truly made the best of it.  I loved every minute that I spent with the cast and crew, and had an amazing director that was always open to ideas.  Plus, she complimented me on my messed up hair.  (I played a frazzled mom.  So, instead of working hard to make my hair look nice, I pulled it up and then just messed it up.  (I even had my “daughters” in the play take turns making it a mess.)  

I also made some new friends.  Shocking, I know.  And, I learned a lot about the backstage goings-on, thanks to my new friend, Jovanna.  (Love that name)  She was the Stage Manager. 

Something else I learned, and I wish everyone would learn this, is to talk to everyone in the cast and crew.  No matter how large your role, you are not above the other cast members. 

I don’t care if you are old enough to be their mom, or grandmother.  TALK TO THEM!  It’s just plain polite, not to mention that you may be snubbing the next Kristin Chenowith.
There you go.  Your lesson for the day. 
I’ll remember to tell that one to James Lipton when I’m on Inside the Actor’s Studio. 


The One Bug that I Don’t Mind

Anyone who knows me for longer than a few minutes knows how much I hate bugs.  ESPECIALLY hard-shelled ones.  (shudder)

But, thankfully, this is not a post about that type of bug.  Or the flu bug.  (not a fan of that one either.)

This is the acting bug, my friends.

Ever since last summer when I played Mrs. Gloop in Willy Wonka, I have searched for opportunities to be on stage.  It was such a great experience that I didn’t want it to end!

Unfortunately, this past fall brought too many scheduling conflicts to allow me to audition for any of the local plays/musicals.  But, this winter I have auditioned three times now.  And, no, I didn’t get a part in any of the plays, but what I realized is that I don’t care!  I just enjoy auditioning. 

It’s true!  As I explained to Karen this morning, it’s like getting permission to play pretend.  On a stage!  And, then when you aren’t auditioning, you are getting to watch other people perform for free!  How great is that?

Sure, I find myself critiquing the performances,  (particularly those that are vying for the same part as I) but I also learn a lot.  When I auditioned for a play last night, I watched these older women audition and I tried to pick out what exactly made them “older” aside from their silver hair.  I found they seem to drag their words out a little longer than the younger actresses.  Took their time, you might say.  Interesting.

I also sit and try to determine who the director will choose.  There was one audition, when I knew hands-down who was going to be cast in a role.  She was amazing.  She just simply “became” that person!  I had the good fortune of reading with her, and it was so much fun! 

And, for the record, when I go onstage to accept my Tony award someday, I am going to thank Sherry, my Willy Wonka director.  As she said, “I will always feel responsible for creating the theater “monster” that you have become.  Monster meaning most amazing, beautiful, and talented lady ever!” 

I’ll let you know if I ever land a part.  But, until then, I really, truly am enjoying the ride!

Guten Tag!

I was looking for something for Karen to do this summer, and remembered that a production company that is based in our school district does a camp for the month of June and then puts on a musical at the end.  So, I looked into that, and this year they are doing “Willy Wonka.”  The difference, though, is that this year adults are also in the musical.  (In the past they have had two separate productions.)

As I read the information, I thought about a comment I had made in our Bible Study group a couple of months ago.  I said one thing I regretted not doing was trying out for musicals and plays in high school and college.  Now here was my chance!  I thought about it for several days, not telling anyone my thoughts.  Then, two days before the deadline, I gathered up enough nerve to tell Tom. 

Which seemed really strange.  Why would I be so uneasy about telling my husband?  The man I’ve loved for more than 20 years?  Did I think he would laugh?  Was I afraid he would scoff?  I don’t know, but I didn’t expect the reaction I got.  His eyes lit up, and he said, “I think you should TOTALLY do it!  Famous people are always saying, ‘I just walked into an audition and…’  I really think you should!!”  Wow.

So, the next day I told Karen, thinking that if I was going to try out, she would too.  Nope.  Not interested.  She LOVED the idea of the camp.  LOVED the idea of performing.  HATED the idea of trying out.  WHAT?!?!?  I assured her that the girl across the street tried out two years ago by singing Happy Birthday.  I assured her that since it was a camp, everyone  gets to be in it.  You may just be in the chorus (or in this case, and Oompa Loompa), but you get to be on stage.  Nope.  Still not interested.  I even told her that she’d only have to try out in front of a couple of adults.  No one else.  Uh-uh.  No way.

After she left for school, I went ahead and sent in my info for an audition.  No turning back now.  I decided not only would I be doing something I’ve always wanted to try, but I’d be teaching Karen a lesson as well.  Get out there and do something out of your comfort zone.  You may always regret it if you don’t.

When I showed up at the audition, every single person trying out came up to my hip.  I felt like Gulliver on his trip to Lilliputia.  I went up to the desk and asked, “This is for adults, too, right?”  The girl behind the desk assured me it was, but that I was the only one during this particular audition time.  Ah.  I felt better after some teenagers came through the doors.  Now when we did the dance steps, I wouldn’t look like Dorothy surrounded by the Munchkins.

After I sang my audition song and fumbled through the dance steps, I was so proud of doing it!  I stepped out of the box and lived to tell about it!

That night, I got a call that they wanted me to come back and sight read some music and do a cold read of the script.  I was thrilled beyond words!  I felt 30 years younger!  As giddy as a school girl!

I had so much fun at the callbacks.  It was great to see and hear kids read and act.  Oh, and I was definitely the oldest one there.  I could have easily been the mother of anyone in the room.  It didn’t bother me, though.  I figured if the director didn’t think I was too old, then I was good with it.

I read for one part-Mrs. Gloop.  She and her son, Augustus are from Germany and eat A LOT.  I pulled out this German accent and took off, rubbing the head of my son, pinching his cheeks, etc.  The director started laughing and later said she could watch that scene over and over it was so funny.

I left that day higher than a cloud!  No matter what happened, I had done my best.

Today, I found out that I got the part of Mrs. Gloop!  I was home alone and screamed and danced around!  It has already been such a wonderful experience.

AND, my point to Karen was made.  This week she told me that she was going to play the violin with a few other students for the Volunteer Breakfast at school.  She said, “At first, I wasn’t going to, but then I thought about what you said.  About later regretting not doing something that you might be a little afraid of, so I decided to go ahead and do it.”  WOW!  

I honestly don’t know how this could have turned out better.  I’ve thanked God several times already, and will definitely do so during my bedtime prayer.  And, I will go to sleep with a smile on my face!  Gute nacht, meine freunde!

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