Thursday, July 15, 2010
my love for Community Theatre, part 1
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....