December 17, 2010

I was a drama/music dork in elementary, middle and high school. I actually continued for a bit in college, until my regular coursework interfered. Mama loved Broadway shows, and Daddy indulged her, so my sister and I were shlepped to Sunday matinees once we could sit still for any length of time. I always felt a little rush when the stage lights dimmed and the orchestra leaked the first notes of the Overture. By the time the curtain came up, I was holding my breath, waiting for the magic. I loved being transported to another place and time–Saigon, Paris, a New York orphanage.

In elementary school, my first leading role was Aunt Polly in Tom Sawyer. Naturally, I coveted the more glamorous part of Becky Thatcher, but since I was a good two heads taller than any of the boys who tried out for Tom, that wasn’t happening.

The Tall Years were graced by more of the same typecasting; I was always someone’s mother or the crazy, crotchety old lady. I’d audition and pine for the role of the young ingenue, but in my heart I knew that I’d be donning nutty striped tights, smoking a pipe and smacking Lil’ Abner upside the head for his laziness.

This wasn’t all bad, actually.  After the initial disappointment of yet again not getting to play the pretty girl, I’d sink into my role with greedy teeth. “Character parts” were hoo-boy fun; I’d slip into an accent, a walk, a temperament. For a few hours, I could be outrageous and loud and brash. I could be someone else. Someone who didn’t live in her head and startled at her own shadow.

Interestingly enough, once the Tall Years passed, I still never got chosen for the role of the pretty girl. Somehow, deep down, directors always knew that I was not pretty girl material.  Nope. No sir. The roles I did get after the Tall Years? Eerily consistent. I was the Dumb, Disobedient Slut.

Dumb, Disobedient Slut with the New Tall Girl Destined to be cast as Everyone’s Mother or Aunt

Can I just tell you how much fun I had with that?

Dumb, Disobedient Slut in a Russian do-rag

Forget the pure heart and the happy ending. That’s boring, anyways. At least that’s what I told myself.

My theater days are over, but there were some lasting lessons from the greasepaint years:

~ You can’t always get what you want, but you’ll deal.

~ Sometimes it’s more fun to be colorful than good.

~ You really can over-rehearse.

~ When a show isn’t working, it goes dark for a while.

It’s this last item I want to address today. I’m drowning.  I’m probably dating myself here, but do you remember as a kid, you would take Silly Putty, press it on a newspaper drawing/comic and then stretch it out so it’s all deformed and goofy lookin’? Please tell me some other kid did this…

Anyways, I feel like one of those deformed characters…probably a neurotic character like Cathy.

Point is–I’m sucking hard at a lot of things that I shouldn’t be sucking at. And I feel like I’m teetering on a small, small ledge. So over the holidays, I’m going to be dark. No action over here, except behind the scenes, where they need me most.  I’m going to try to be offline as much as possible (unless I’m working on future posts, which is one of the items on my to-do list), so please forgive my absence. I cherish you readers greatly and hope you’ll bear with me. I’ll be back when I clean up some of the clutter.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Amy @ Never-True Tales December 28, 2010 at 8:57 am

I hope your break is just what you need. (And I know the Silly Putty reference well!)


Linda at Bar Mitzvahzilla December 28, 2010 at 11:34 pm

It probably would have been a better idea for me to just go dark, like you’re doing, TKW, rather than having months of pathetic blog posts, anemic attendance on the posts of my friends whom I care for so much, and, the worst thing of all, feeling that I was never blogging about what I really needed to talk about and instead was trapped in this humorous bent. My mother with Alzheimer’s, my writing a shambles, and I feel roped and tied by my humorous blog. Eh.

Here’s my new saying: it was nothing a little psychotherapy couldn’t help. And, yes, I feel better now! Love you, girl.


Liz December 30, 2010 at 7:24 pm

Go dark as long as you need…we will be here when the overture begins again, ready to applaud.


GEW December 30, 2010 at 10:17 pm

Wishing I could think of the right thing to say,but I just don’t have that kind of wisdom.



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