December 08, 2012

Drama: ain't saving it for my mama

I haven't been clicking my way through Blogland for a couple months because Nature Boy and I have been BI-ZAY.  We both got roles in a community theater production of Oliver! The Musical, and theater is a jealous mistress.  It involves so many practice sessions that I don't know how people with actual jobs do it!  They must be exhausted.  I can only do it 'cuz Tree Guy's bank-rollin' this operation.  (Thanks, babe.)

I totally get the draw of theater, though.  So many creative folks go through life doing what they have to do to get the bills paid.  Because of time or family or financial constraints, creative expression gets pushed to the bottom of the list.  I admire the people I'm working with.  They are committed to making room in their lives for creativity.  They are making sacrifices to honor the artsy fartsy parts of themselves (and to entertain the public!), and I'm sure it's not easy.  (I'm wo' out, and I'm a lady o' leisure!)

Me, as Mrs. Bedwin

We only have two more shows.  I'm really going to miss these peeps!  Theater is weird in that for two months, we're spending several days a week with former strangers.  Changing next to them in the dressing rooms, zipping up their dresses, complimenting the job they do on stage, talking about our families and hopes and health.  Then BAM!  Everyone goes his or her own way and it's back to reality.  Doing theater is a close-knit, intense, all-for-one-and-one-for-all experience.  It's like friendship bootcamp.  I hope I am able to keep some of the new friends I've made.

I hope Nature Boy stays in touch with his new pals too.  Theater kids gotta stick together!  Because their brand of awesome isn't really appreciated by their peers when they are children.  They have to wait until adulthood to get that recognition from their age mates.  It's hard.

Nature Boy, as The Artful Dodger

I've learned three major truths by doing this, my first musical in 24 years.  Prepare yourself for this wisdom I'm about to lay down:

#1 - People are basically good.  (And theater people are basically AWESOME.)  
It's okay to open yourself up to new friendships and experiences.  It helps you grow.  And it has major fun potential!  As my regular readers know, I like to say that I tend toward paranoia.  (For real.)  Doing community theater has been a sort of exposure therapy for me.  And I love the results.

#2 - It's possible to overcome stage fright.  

I've written before about my fear of performing in public.  Doing this show has been exposure therapy for that as well.  I can now walk out on stage in front of a theater full of people and belt it.  No tinny, wavering voice.  No 'stache-area sweating.  No backing out.  This has been a lifelong fear, and I am conquering it.  I'm proud of myself, y'all.

#3 - I'm nearing 40, and there's still so much to learn.  (Yay!)

I love learning.  It's exciting to get involved in something new and discover fresh avenues to explore.  I've learned how to project my voice, that even mid-1850's housekeepers need supportive bras, that menthol cough drops right before a solo really help open the throat, that theater kids really need the support of the adults in their lives, that baked goods are always welcome in the Green Room, that stage acting is not the same as film acting (it's more exaggerated), that defining one's brows makes a world of difference, that a bit of brushable hairspray is my friend, and that people in my real life think I'm nice.  (Aww!)          

What do you do to exercise your creativity?  When was the last time you tried something new? 

1 comment:

  1. I am LOVING the costumes and the pictures!! :) So cute! Thank you for your so sweet and validating comment on our post at Things I Can't Say. That really meant a lot. :)