As a child I grew up watching my older sister participate in plays, talent shows, anything that involved being on stage acting and singing her heart out.
Not me, I was the athelete of the family. If it involved a bat, ball or stick, I was out there on the field making the most of it. I couldn’t understand how my sister could put herself on stage and pretend to be someone else without throwing up. I shuddered at the thought of singing in front of an expectant and critical crowd.
I helped her memorize lines and admired her nerves of steel. I saw her performances and clapped louder than anyone.
Along came my younger brother who followed directly in my sister’s footsteps. I helped him rehearse lines too, in between basketball practice, softball games or a pick-up game of something or other. The stage was not for me, no sirree.
Eastport has a lovely “Arts Center” where they put on all sorts of “artsy” things: symphonies, concerts, foreign films, “The Moose Island Follies”, and yes, plays.
I love to watch plays, especially when I know the actors/actresses. I have tried to attend every play since I moved here in 2007. The talent in Eastport and surrounding towns never ceases to amaze me.
I don’t know how it happened, but I got it into my head that I just might like to try acting. A friend convinced me to give it a go and even shoved me out the door five minutes before auditions for “70, Girls, 70” ended.
I read the part that was handed to me. All went okay, I thought. Then I was handed a song to sing.
“Errr, I don’t sing. Don’t make me sing. I didn’t know this was a musical, please let me outta here,” I begged as I made for the exit.
The director would hear none of that and promised I could have a non-singing role if necessary. I settled down and joined the cast.
Six weeks later and I’ve become a ham. A singing ham. Well, not literally a ham, but I’ve discovered acting is kind of fun and (I hope) I’m pretty good at it. Whether or not I’m good at singing remains to be seen.
More importantly I’ve discovered I can sing, dance, and act in front of people without throwing up. Hey, don’t underestimate the not throwing up stuff….
I’ve met truly wonderful, talented, funny people who are in many ways a lot like me: strong personalities who see humor where others may not. Men and women who are quick and spirited.
It’s been a lot of work and a lot of fun and I’ve gained an enormous amount of appreciation for the work and dedication that goes into putting on a musical. I’ll never look at it again in the same light because from here on out, I’ll be on stage looking out instead of in the audience looking on.
If you happen to be in Eastport, come by and check out “70, Girls, 70” running August 7, 8, 14, 15 at 7:00 pm or August 9, 16 at 3 pm at the Eastport Art Center on Washington Street.
I’ll be the one on stage looking like she’s trying not to throw up.