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....

13 comments:

  1. I have always wanted to do Community theatre! I think some day I will...just need more time for it....
    Darned work seems to impose on my personal life so much...

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  2. Aha! Directing! Now, THAT sounds like fun! I'd definitely much rather be behind the curtains than in front of the audience.

    On my bucket list is delivering a baby. No, I have no medical training, no EMT training, and don't even drive a cab. But I just cannot imagine a more fulfilling experience than being the first person to hold a brand new human life in my arms. Maybe after I retire I'll take a course in mid-wifery. I WILL deliver that baby one day!

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  3. I love this post. You're talkin my language here. I got my degree in music theatre performance, and it was FUN! I never really had aspirations for Broadway, though that drives my husband crazy. I view my abilities and love for theatre as more a fun diversion, not my driving force in life.

    I am directing Oliver this fall at the local college. I have found that I actually prefer directing. Well, I prefer the rehearsal process if I'm directing. haha

    Anyway, good for you for doing what you love! And shame on that awful woman in elementary school for doing that to you.

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  4. I know you're looking for a job, but this sure seems to be your niche!

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  5. Yeah, I'd be the kid in the dog care class. Theater and performing is what I enjoy watching and will be the first person in line to catch a show but you won't find me on stage my friend, rather if I'm not in the audience, you can find me on my horse.

    I'm so glad there are people like you who enjoy entertaining!

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  6. It's absolutly GREAT to be in one of your shows! I can't wait for reh. tomorrow!!!:D

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  7. This post really complemented part of the Bible study I was at tonight! Drama and writing, two things I keep making assumptions that I can't do for various reasons but have such passion for...

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  8. Sorry to hear it took you twenty years to get back to what you loved but I'm happy you've found it and are sticking with it!

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  9. I loved theater, too. And was in all of our musicals in high school...including Annie Get You Gun my freshman year. I miss it so much, and would love to get back to it one day. I just wrote a recent blog post about some of the stuff I always wanted to do...and I'm working on some of it now...

    Love to you,
    kelly

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  10. Community Theater sounds like a blast...but I'm so afraid to get up in front of people and perform! I do enjoy being in the audience, though!

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  11. Hi! First of all, I found you through Leanne at From Chaos Comes Happiness. Second - I was a HUGE Community Theater kid growing up - my last performance was when I was 22. Miss it. My family is seriously into community theater. Okay - Question - Milledgeville??? Georgia??? Just checking... :-)
    Drop by sometime - http://nicoleabdou-destinationunknown.blogspot.com

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  12. Okay - got my answer - lol (read your profile.) I am from Macon - but live in Birmingham now. I graduated from Georgia College & State University! Small.. small.. blog world!

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  13. Love your blog!
    I am friends with Jody.
    He is the greatest.
    I can't wait to read the next one.
    Amelia Lodge Snellgrove

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