Thursday, February 25, 2010
Just When I Really Start Kicking Ass And Taking Names
The party's almost over. Our performance for the Altrusia Club (A civic-minded club for ladies who do good work and drink wine) went just way too well tonight. Finally and at last I think everyone (and when I say everyone, I mean me, of course) has finally settled into their characters, knows all their lines and is just having a big ol' party onstage.
We had at least as much fun as the audience and they did not stop laughing. I could tell we had a few repeaters because every time one of our big-laugh scenes came up, I could hear the twittering from the seats.
Oh. It was just a joy.
My character, Victoria Ambrose, has finally broken out of her shell. Either I have found her or she has found me. I am not sure how this process works. It's a little like magic, I think. And because I don't really know one damn thing about acting beyond what I've learned from watching The Actor's Studio, which isn't much, it is magic for me.
I do project well. I do. I admit that. I think I learned how to do that when I was a cheerleader in the 9th grade. Seriously. I can get that voice out of my chest and out there. I watched a little bit of some of the video that was made tonight and I was, quite frankly, amazed at how well my voice projects.
Which only boils down to the fact that I'm loud.
You know, a little over a year ago, I almost lost my voice. It was when I was going crazy and I couldn't talk loud enough to be heard. I KNEW it was psychosomatic. I'd done it once before. There was nothing at all wrong with me, physically, but I could not, could not speak out.
I. Lost. My. Voice.
But it came back. I remember auditioning for that play we did last year. The one I played five different characters in. I'd told Jack that I'd lost my voice but that it was coming back and they wanted me to play these roles but Jack had to ask me- "How's your voice?"
And I said, "It's getting better every day."
And it did. And by the time we performed the play, I was fine.
The Opera House and the people in it who believed in me, gave it back to me- that voice of mine.
Jack and Jan directed that play and it was a joy to be in. It was hard work, but it was joyful work. And this in this play, I get to act with Jan and Jack and that, too, has been a joy.
I hate to see it end. And I'm not auditioning for the next one. I need to spend time at home. I have this baby boy with the cutie patootie butt to take care of sometimes. And I have his grandfather who has been so generous of spirit to let me go off to rehearsals and performances and who has done that so graciously and lovingly but I need to spend more time with him. And spring is coming and there's the garden and the chickens are being so prolific in their laying and well, I just need to concentrate for awhile on things here at home.
But Lord, I am going to miss this playing stuff. I am not going to put it down and walk away from it entirely because it's so good for me. I know it is.
I am not a club joiner. I am not a do-gooder, although I do pick up trash on my walks.
I am at heart a solitary woman. But when I walk into that Opera House, I am happy. I see the people I am creating this...thing...with and I am happy. I owe them so much.
Well, it's getting late. I am going to go wash the make-up off my face and get in the bed and read a bit more of Terms Of Endearment. And then I get to put my make-up on again for two more nights, go out there and be another woman. Get to hear the laughter from the audience, get to do something I love so much that I watch the show through the tiny peep-hole I have backstage. Get to walk onstage and open my mouth and project my voice which is loud and which is strong.
My lack-of-a-voice was a indicator of my insanity. My regaining of it was an indicator of being returned to some sort of health. I am so glad to have that voice back. I use it to tell my husband how much I love him. I use it to laugh with my children. I use it to sing to Owen. Every time he comes over I come up with a new song to sing to him. Some days it's a little blues riff. Some days it sounds like something a kindergarten class would sing. Some days it's a bit like opera. And he listens to me with those huge, barely-blinking eyes and he smiles.
Listen- you younger mamas and remember- whatever it is that makes you happy, that gives you voice, is good for your babies, for your family. If I have anything to pass on, it would be that. To remember yourself. To remember that YOUR voice is absolutely and undeniably important.
Use your voice. Don't let it be dampened or darkened or silenced. Sing whatever song that floats into your heart and demands your voice to make it heard. Go onstage and become another character. Whisper your dreams to the full moon and into your lover's neck as you hold your lover to you. Call to your chickens, your children, your dogs. Yell out your frustrations, scream out your pain, croon out your love.
Your voice. My voice. Let's use 'em while we have 'em.
The play will be over soon enough.