As a wee person, I decided I would be a famous actress when I grew up, kind of like Marilyn Monroe but without the funny eyebrows. Life has no limits when you're wee. Of *course* I will be prettier than Miss M! At least if sheer determination could make it so. And I knew one thing for sure: I totally did not want to be a housewife.
Fast forward lo! these ahem many years, past careers and moves and more years supporting myself than would ever allow any theatrical endeavors, and here I am, married, no kids, and finally, finally allowing myself to indulge those theatrical inclinations. (Parenthetically, but with parentheses --- I heard a young woman today lovingly describe her mother as "drama-free" --- and wondering where she herself came from, as being decidedly not drama-free. Isn't that a wonderful turn of phrase? Drama-free. I'm of the "decidedly not" variety.)
I started out in the spring of 2006 with a murder mystery benefiting a friend's non-profit organization. That summer I auditioned for and got a chorus a/k/a "extra" part in large community theater organization's production of Singin' In The Rain, complete with rain. That was a great learning experience and the source of a couple of new friends. Later that summer, I acted in a Neil Simon comedy in a small community theater in a nearby town, and then followed that up with another murder mystery that was staged in February at a resort for an entire weekend, the mystery stretching across several days. And that murder mystery was subsequently turned into a regular one-night play and produced at another local community theater's playhouse over a couple of weekends in early June, with the same cast. I really grew to love those guys, it was a really wonderful experience made more so by the opportunity to stretch it out a little longer than usual. (There are rumors we may re-unite for a second production, of a new mystery, at the same resort this winter.) Finally, I had a good-sized role in a reading of Samantha's Stars in July.
Not bad for the first year or so! In all that time, I got a part in every play I auditioned for, leading me to have great confidence in my auditioning ability and, in fact, to really just relax and have fun auditioning.
Does one hear a bit of hubris in that statement? A touch of braggadocio? One hopes not. But ...
After the Neil Simon show, one of the board members for the community theater mentioned another play to me: Painting Churches. It's a fabulous script written by a woman named Tina Howe, and I just fell in love with it. Have had it in the back of my mind all year long, knowing that I would love to act in such a quality play, loving both the female lead roles. I talked about it, off & on, all year long. And encouraged my friends to try out for it too, reasoning that it was such a great play, it deserved to have the very best actors in it, even if it's not me.
So friend Robin decided to audition for it with me, but on the 40-minute drive to the theater she said she didn't want to do it if we didn't both get parts. Her main motivation was so we could hang out together, on the drives & otherwise. I appreciated it, but made sure she understood that I was making no such offer. I'd had my heart set on this play for far too long.
After the audition, on the ride home, friend Robin began waffling. Who could blame her? It's really THAT GOOD a script. The audition was a blast.
She got a part.
Guess who didn't. Yep, Miss Hubris herself.
Turns out, I was in that awkward in-between age. Not old enough for the retirement-age mother, not young enough for the daughter. Although I do believe I could have acted either role!
The woman who got the mother part did a wonderful job with it, but I can honestly say my friend Robin was the best actor up there. I was doggone proud of her. And by then, the sting had pretty much gone out of not getting a part, so I could just sit there and enjoy the wonderful, wonderful play. That was just this last weekend.
Which brings me to tonight. Auditions. For a play I'd dearly love to be in, with someone who has a reputation as a really good director. Can it be that I'm jinxed when it's something I really, really want? Will you keep your fingers crossed for me?