Friday, February 10, 2012

Am I An Ageist?

There. That's me. All wrinkled skin like an old elephant mama, hands, neck. As Nora Ephron said, I feel bad about my neck. And chest. And ...whatever.

The play went better tonight. I felt better for one thing. Not in a complete fog of not-rightness. Jon and I went over lines from one troubling scene before the show started. It helped. Oh, god, it helped. Me, at least. The audience laughed. I could feel the exact moment when they started to warm to Harriet Copeland, my character. This is huge in that I now know I can make her at least likeable. Which I was completely unsure of before. I will carry this with me for the next five performances. Five? I think so. Whatever.

There was a moment when our Grampi was onstage and I was next to him and I could feel the audience loving him and I could feel his responding to that and it was so beautiful. I melted. I was so proud of him. So happy for him. He was joyful and he took me on that ride with him.

Here's a funny thing- the man who reviews the plays in Monticello is an older gentleman and he is quirky, to say the least. I don't even know how many plays I've been in at the Opera House and he has never given me anything more than a nod of recognition that I was playing a role. No good, bad or indifferent. And yet tonight, he came up to me and he hugged me. HUGGED me, y'all, and said in a wagging-finger sort of way, "Mary, you dirty old woman!"
Okay. That was a mixed message right there but as I was leaving the Opera House I thought to myself that I have been practicing a self-imposed agism on myself. Hell! If the main characters were gay or one was black and one was white, I'd be cheering. But no...because I am playing an older woman opposite a younger man, I'm freaking out.

Meanwhile, I only know that tonight was pretty much fun. I hope tomorrow is too although I am going to be nervous as a cat because my family is coming and shitfire...
Well, as Jan said tonight, "Mary, I love your family."

They won't die of embarrassment, my children, my husband.

Although I might.

Stay tuned.


  1. You always look so beautiful in these portraits -- something so soulful in your pose, your eyes, your hand. I so wish that I could see you act in a play. I imagine you to be amazing.

  2. wonderful to hear you got into the groove, the flow, felt the love in the room. I, too, love this photo of you....isn't it strange to see all these wrinkles? My grandmother used to talk about seeing a 'stranger in the mirror' because she felt so youthful and then she'd see this 'old lady' in the mirror.

    Now I'm experiencing that...but then I look to my parents, and I think, wow, I've still got it! I'm still YOUNG. At 54! Hopefully I will come to embrace the paper-thin skin that is sagging in all the places one could imagine.

    Hope you have a good run for the rest of the play. Tell us the story!

  3. Hooray! You are getting in the groove of this role, Mary Moon. Here's wishing that every performance is just a bit better. x0 N2

  4. A dirty old woman is something to be :)

  5. Feel their love and you will be amazing.

  6. man, if someone called me a dirty old woman it would make my day. hope the rest of the run is spectacular! :D


  7. Maybe we traded places, because I'm still pretty sure my material was falling flat near the end of Act One.
    I'm glad that running the lines early on helped. If you want to have me there early again, just let me know!

  8. If I looked as good as you I wouldn't avoid the mirror. Why is it I find all other older women beautiful but when I see my own aging face I cringe.

  9. Elizabeth- "Imagine" being the key word there.

    Taradharma- Yep. Where did these wrinkles come from? Oh yeah. Life and gravity. What chu gonna do?

    N2- That would be my wish too.

    Jo- Yeah. Sorta like a working class hero, eh?

    Jeannie- It sure helps.

    Mrs. A- Just wait. It could happen.

    Jon- The crowd just took some time to get warmed up. Which you did admirably- warmed them up.

    Ellen Abbott- Same here. We need to embrace our own beauty, don't we?

  10. Mary, you are a true artist. I love how you take us inside this experience, bringing us right onto the stage with you. And that picture, you're such a beauty. I hope you see it.

  11. You have such beautiful skin! I think you're gorgeous but I think I'm gorgeous too so I probably have permanent beer eyes. And also I really don't mind getting old. I'm not there yet tho and we're the same age. My professional opinion is to take a lover at least twenty years younger than you. It worked for me except for all the heartbreak after hehahhha.

  12. Good going. Glad that all went well. The old geezer probably wants to mash on you.

  13. Angella- We're all artists in one way or another. Don't you think?

    Madame King- I'll run that advice by Mr. Moon and see what he says. Haha!
    I love you.

    Syd- Take my word on this- that guy does NOT want me in any way. I don't play for his team.

  14. There's such terrible stigma about older women period, and then an older woman and a younger man tends to be a laughing matter for way too many people. I am guilty of it myself. So, I think it would be extra hard to play the part you are without some concern.

  15. You glow. You have that inner light. Who cares if you have wrinkles! Botox is saying you never have to have a real thought, a real movement, a real expression. You can be smooth and worry free or you can be alive, in the swim, living the honest real life.

    No one can make you feel inferior without your consent. That was said by a woman who was a little old lady all of her life--E. Roosevelt.

    Now go eat up that scenery and know that you are like Colleen Dewhurst, Angela Landsbury, and Candice Bergen. Go glow!


Tell me, sweeties. Tell me what you think.