This Sunday not only will I be directing the things going on on the stage, but I will be taking the stage. Yes, me.
I am for sure no longer a fraidy cat when it comes to public speaking. I’ve taught and flat-out acted a fool in front of children and adults numerous times over the years. Teaching brings those things out of you. I always used to tell Jeff that teaching was like being on a stage and under a microscope (yes, at the same time) all day long. If you are uncomfortable with speaking, confrontation, foolishness, singing and being watched you should definitely avoid the teaching profession.
As I was going over the lines with Jeff last night I was taken back to high school. If I haven’t mentioned it before, I did not enjoy high school. I could not get over my inner fraidy cat in high school. I SO wanted to do things that were for brave girls, but I’d get close and run away. Quickly.
One of the most painful memories of trying to be a brave girl in high school was of an audition for a school play.
As it often happens, some football coach was placed in charge of the drama program in the off season. And he was bad at it. I had a brother that was an actor, so I thought I knew good talent. And, most importantly, I thought I had it in me. Though I had never graced a stage before, I was sure that I could act. And my new acting career would of course catapult me into an entirely different social class in my high school.
I walk into the room and there are some obvious favorites in there. Very smart people. Very popular people. People who had done this before. The audition consisted of drawing a particular complicated emotion or character out of a dish and reciting the ABC’s in that character. First, that’s just the dumbest thing I’d ever heard of. How was I supposed to convey my hidden acting abilities to the ABC’s?!?! We went down the rows of seats and I ended up going last.
I drew from the dish.
My task was to say the ABC’s in the character of a snob.
My first mistake was making some crack about that being too obvious for me. As soon as it came out of my mouth it became forever etched into my mind as something stupid I SHOULD NOT HAVE SAID.
I can still see myself there in front of that room, with the football coach watching on, attempting to sound like a snob and failing miserably. I thought, why couldn’t I have gotten angry, frustrated, child-like, heartbroken…anything but SNOB!
The casting list came out a few days later. The obvious names were there and I was not. Never, ever have I attempted to act again. Until now. Sunday will be my big debut–about 16 years later. I’ll let ya know how it goes.