Sunday, January 23, 2011
I was in elementary school, witnessing a live stage production for the very first time. The high school wherein my father taught was presenting a children's theater production of Peter Pan. The director, one of dad's colleagues and fellow fishing buddies, invited my mother to bring all us kids for an afternoon matinee.
Looking back, it wasn't a very well-funded production, to say the least. The sets and costumes were homemade, and when the script called upon the actors to "fly," this was accomplished by spreading their arms, jumping off the stage, and running up and down the auditorium aisles.
And when the lights dimmed for the last time, and the house lights came up on the theater, I believe my life had forever changed.
During all this time, though, I assumed that a career in the theater was out of the question. Surely, a career so unique and amazing could only be held by truly special people. I figured it was like royalty, you had to be born into it.
That's when it hit me: Bob Hope, the famous TV and movie star, had once been NORMAL?!! You mean, ANYONE could do this? It seemed impossible, but I prayed it was the truth. It was at that moment, in that station wagon, headed home from mass at St. Barnabas Catholic Church, that I made the decision to officially drop all ambition to become the next Ernest Hemingway. I was going to pursue a career in theater.
As you can probably guess, I never achieved the success of Mr. Hope. I've never lived in LA nor starred in a blockbuster movie. My limited TV appearances have been mostly local, and I can safely go out into public without being recognized or hounded for my autograph. But I can say this: the majority of my working life has been spent performing, and it has been purely GLORIOUS.
But it's time to focus on a finding a new career, now. There aren't many roles for women my age, and the live performance opportunities are far fewer in my new city. I'm really just fine with this, and have no problem making theater my hobby rather than my career. Except for one small thing.
But, unlike the title character in Peter Pan, it's time for me to grow up. I've been ridiculously spoiled so far, career wise. I've had the opportunity to do something about which I was really, truly passionate. I don't know if this next "chapter" will allow the same, but I do know that I am ready for it. If only they'd call me for that interview...
Thanks for Reading!!
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- Welcome to my blog! I'm Joan, a former actress attempting to reconnect with my first love of writing. Join me as I ponder my Irish dad, sweet grandma, GPS dependency, hatred of the Hallmark channel, and other insightful topics that make you go, "Hmmm..."
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