#YourTurnChallenge – #Day6 – My Strangest Role

25 Jan

I hadn’t been in a play in several years. Almost 8 in fact.

But some friends of mine had a problem, an actress had dropped out several weeks into rehearsals. They needed someone new asap to fill in this one scene character.

Guess who they begged?

Me.

Guess what the part was.

A washed up, has been show girl, who now performed weddings in a cheesy dive on the outskirts of Reno.

The role of a lifetime, right? And totally outside my normal… anything.

Out of my closet came 4 inch heeled, thigh high boots, a red cocktail dress and my longest fake eyelashes. Into my head went the words and footwork for a brawl I got into with another character. It was very interesting since we were both teetering on high, high heels. Tipping over and spraining an ankle was not in the script.

By the last week of rehearsals (affectionately known as Hell Week) I had learned how to apply old age makeup, found a sequined over-shirt that hid my figure, practiced balancing a large red feathered headdress during a fight and chase (which included coming back through a curtained doorway. Ack!), and had all my lines down. Not bad.

I was a little worried when dress rehearsal went off without a hitch. Not usually a good sign. (Yes, theater people are weird.) However, I had a blast every single performance night. Plus, since I was only in one scene I was able to just sit back and read once my makeup was applied. I think I was reading Terry Pratchett’s Night Watch at the time.

But I digress.

That part pushed me to be loud, brash, and more than a little uncouth. (I do have to admit to changing a certain word to ‘darn’.) I stepped so far outside my comfort zone it was almost comical. Here was Rose D’Andrea, the weak-ankled, mild mannered, bookworm climbing the theaters back stairs in the near dark, clutching the hand rail praying she wouldn’t fall back down them, getting ready for a noisy scene with gyrating, insulting, slapping and running around screaming. And having a ball!

Yes There was the surprise. I loved it!

I loved the difficulty of the part. I loved pacing the house learning to walk in my ‘hooker boots’. I loved hanging out with old friends for hours and hours a week. I loved meeting new friends. I loved being in front of an audience again. I loved learning how to act on a theater-in-the-round stage.

I don’t think I will be back on the stage any time soon. Something about the imminent arrival of my first child**. But, when mommyhood is to the point where I can… I think the stage just might occasionally reclaim me.

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This is not the production I was in, but it will give you a feel for the play.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=npZV5TFb6FI

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**Literally. I am typing this between ‘pre-labor’ contractions. Very uncomfortable.

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One Response to “#YourTurnChallenge – #Day6 – My Strangest Role”

  1. lucindasutherland January 25, 2015 at 12:31 am #

    This was terrific! I am so glad you wrote about that experience, you made it sound like something everyone should do!

    Like

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