Wednesday, December 30, 2009

2009 introspection - Theater

The life of a studio artist is a solitary one so to come up for air; I took a role in a locally written musical in February ‘09.  Little did I know it would hold some unexpected challenges.  I turned 40 in February and I had a 15 year acquaintance with infertility… and I was playing an 18 year old pregnant girl.  I had not seen the script other than at auditions; I had no idea what I was saying “yes” to when I accepted the role.

Each night I went from the announcement of the pregnancy, through the scenes wearing the pillow, on to holding the plastic baby in my arms.  The character and I did not get along.  There were times when the interaction between myself and “Molly” nearly flattened me.  I don’t know why I stuck it out, I suppose I have more determination than wisdom.  It was well beyond brutal.

(Me and Richard Adams, the composer of the music in the show.)

I’ve written and directed, and been on the stage as a musician and done some public speaking, but I hadn’t acted on stage beyond high school. I gained some excellent experiences, and met some fascinating people, some of whom are good friends to this day.  It was a time of convergences though, some health issues came to the surface, a relationship with a close friend hit the rocks, the character was breaking my heart a little more with each performance, plus I hosted a large reception the same day as one of the performances. All of that hit at once and as a result I was nauseous for the entire Feb-April production. The doctor called it a virus, I dubbed it “the Molly virus.” About 6500 people came to see the show, there was a lot of press, and each night there was a standing ovation.

(These are all my favorites: The guy at my knee played my husband, the ultra talented guy in the plaid was my father-in-law, the guy in the suspenders had some of the best lines in the show and was hilarious, and the other guy is the one who brought me to the auditions in the first place.  What a great bunch!)

The last curtain fell and I felt a great relief that it was over, I survived a little ragged around the edges, but I’d made it by leaning on a few close friends in the cast.  I’ll hold that experience and the people I learned to know and love there close to my heart.  I drew strength from my cast mates, whether or not they knew it.  What a gift they were to me!  I guess that’s what makes it such a bittersweet part of my year.  I played a personally difficult role, but I loved the people I was working with!

During production I managed to land a role in a summer musical with an amazing cast but opted instead to be behind the scenes as hair and makeup artist.  That was such a lovely experience that I continued to do hair and makeup for a variety of local community theater productions.

I was makeup artist for The Pajama Game with Oak Grove, Annie with ShenanArts and Tuesday Mourning with Waynesboro Players.  I got to see my talented friends perform in shows including Sweeny Todd, Ordinary People, Beauty and the Beast and others.  Plus, some of us would go and see shows together, that's always fun!  I saw a lot of shows this year!  Seeing a performance is always more fun when you know some of the individuals in the cast and there is some amazing talent in this area!

(Doing the bald cap for Daddy Warbucks was fun, and we had a lot of fun back stage at that show, I even tried on the bald cap myself one evening after the show was over.  Warbucks had melted by that point but I thought a bald me was very funny!)

2009 was my year to explore Community Theater, what a wild ride that was!  I discovered that I really enjoy being a makeup artist, and that was a new art media to add to the list this year… and a welcome addition.  Acting is not on that list!  Mercy no!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts with Thumbnails