Thursday, July 15, 2010

my love for Community Theatre, part 1

I am directing our Community Theatre's production of "Once Upon a Mattress." Our group is cleverly called the Milledgeville Players and I've been involved for three years.

Did your Mom ever insist on you performing for guests when you were 3 or 6 or 12? But you were more than likely terrified and didn't want to? Well, I loved it. I started writing plays and recruiting my sister and kids in the neighborhood to join me in my theatrical endeavors. My heart longed for the stage.

When my friends were hanging up posters of C.H.iPS and Scott Baio, I was hanging posters of CATS (the musical) Chorus Line. and Phantom of the Opera. I couldn't wait to get to New York.

I pursued my dream through school, from elementary to high school, although there were a couple of major setbacks.  In the fourth grade we were invited to sign up for extracurricular activities. I didn't even have to think about it. I scanned the list, found "theatre" and checked it off. We were told to pick a second and third choice, in case the first was full. I didn't have other choices. It was theatre or nothing.  I was asked to collect the papers and as I did, I noticed no one else had checked theatre and that was good because I knew I would get the spot.

Weeks passed and I heard nothing. The other kids were enjoying pottery, dog care, photography, and I waited.  I didn't like to make waves so I said nothing. I figured, the class was late getting started and they would find me...eventually. I heard some kids were getting costumes together for a play and that's when I finally spoke up, "Isn't that the theatre class I'm supposed to be in?"  She said she put ____ in the class instead of me because she was prettier. She knew I'd understand.  Guess what lady? I don't understand. I'm still in therapy 30 years later and do not understand, how they ever let someone like you teach and nurture children.

Anyway, not bitter. I majored in theatre for two years in college and then changed at the last minute thinking I needed something that would actually help me get a job. And conciously thought, "I'll do community theatre. Its the next best thing to Broadway."  Twenty years after that decision I auditioned for my first community theatre production, "Bell, Book, and Candle." I got the part I wanted and haven't looked back.

When I directed "Annie Get Your Gun" last year we had four parent-child teams in the show. They all wanted to spend some together. How often do you see parents on the field playing side-by-side with their child in sports? Rarely.  This year, we have a gentleman in our cast who says he has never performed in anything, but when he turned 40, he made a "bucket list" that included doing something he's never done before, viola! Community Theater! He's having a blast and isn't half bad.

Is there something you've always wanted to do and think its too late?
Nah. Just do it. And when this show is done, I'm taking a road trip on a motorcycle.
Okay, maybe not this year, but one day....

Monday, July 12, 2010

What I Did This Summer...

a little of this...

some of this....

and a lot of this...

and where am I in all of this, you might ask?
I'm glad you asked.

This summer I'm doing what I absolutely adore.

Thanks to Julia Hinson for the wonderful photos of our auditions
For Once Upon a Mattress.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

The Real Thing

I was married just a couple of months, had recently turned the wise age of 21, when I was visiting with my dear Mama and Daddy.  I opened the freezer to "fix the drinks." (They weren't broken, but that's what we say when its time to prepare beverages, i.e. sweet tea, for meals.) Upon opening the freezer I noticed something that caused me to ask a question that had been burning within since I had arrived home from our 2 day honeymoon.

"Mama, why do I have butter in my freezer?"

"What's that, dear?" She was stirring hot gravy on the stove.

"Why do I have REAL butter, not margarine, in my freezer, not the refrigerator?"

She turned off the stove, removed the hot, steamy goodness we would soon slather on everything, from biscuits to the field peas and looked at me directly.

"Honey, what are you talking about?"

"Mama, I noticed you have a box of REAL butter in your freezer. And Mrs. Branch (ny new mother-in-law) has a box of REAL butter in her freezer. So I when I went shopping to stock my kitchen I bought a box of REAL butter and put it in my freezer, because I want to be a good wife. But for the life of me, I don't know why it's there. We've never eaten real butter as long as I can remember but the freezer is always stocked. Is it okay to ask, or is this one of those things I just simply need to accept?"

She closed the blinds slightly, poured a fresh cup of coffee, and lowered herself into the great rocker she often sat in when she imparted wisdom....not really but I wanted to build the tension in my story.

She laughed. And then she looked at me with that look, "girl, you are so crazy. I'm glad I got you married off so young cause now you are somebody else's problem."

What she said was something like, "To make pound cake."


"I don't know," she finally admitted. "Real butter goes in pound cakes, cookies, lots of baked goods and its just something good to have on hand."

"Oh. So I gotta learn to make pound cake?"

She laughed again. Not with me..."Never met a man who didn't like pound cake."

"Can't his mom make him pound cake?"

"Let's eat."

All our great discussions and disagreements can be settled with those two words. Wars could be put to end with those two words. The inevitable financial ruin of our country may well be avoided if someone would simply take the initiative to boldly, without restraint announce, "LET'S EAT!"

I quit buying butter years ago because I found a recipe that calls for Crisco instead. Its quite good. But I admit, now that Mama and Daddy are gone from this life, I miss little things like our talks, Daddy's laugh, and Mama's gravy. What my life needs right now, health matters aside, is some REAL BUTTER.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Freedom and Justice for All

There are many patriotic videos out there.
I like this one because these people did not take
INDEPENDENCE for granted. Be safe!