When you have a passion for something, you’re willing to do anything to be part of it. Many addictions start this way. You start out liking something – than it becomes part of you and you can’t seem to live without it.
A couple years ago, after finally taking steps to totally retire, I began the quiet life. After a month or two of unpacking, I became a little bored. After a year, I was going crazy. I discovered a little up and coming theatre close to our new home. It reminded me of what I’d left behind, but was a whole lot more organized and those in charge were about 30 years younger than me. It was a perfect match. I became a member of the board of directors and have been on this new adventure ever since.
Theatre, like any other art form, gets into your blood. Some consider the arts a hobby. For me and my husband, it’s become what we do to survive. The fact that we love doing our art, helps to make the work seem more like fun.
Last night was our second tech rehearsal, with the addition of costumes, sound and lights. All the items for the food fight were ready. Fake casseroles (Notice I don’t call them hot dishes anymore. The play is set in Mississippi, where a hot dish is anything with cayenne pepper in it.) and actual baked items were put in place, and the now infamous pie was prepared. But I digress.
My character tends to get on everyone’s nerves during the course of the two acts. I can’t blame them really. Ozella Meeks is the chairwoman of the church Sonshine Committee. She’s taken it upon herself to take charge of all the funeral preparations for the family. I have to constantly remind myself that it is my character they don’t like and not me personally. A person could get a complex doing this stuff.
The lines moved along quite well, for the most part. I remembered most of them, and when I didn’t, I bluffed. There weren’t any technical difficulties, except for a few minor stops here and there. And then came the second act. Hormones are flying like bolts of lightning. Tempers flare. The family is dressed in their funeral best and my character enters to stay at the house while the others go to the church. It is my sworn duty to stay there until the mourners return and keep the burglars out. That’s just how crazy this woman is. She’s convinced herself that she’s indispensable.
In the final moments, a food fight ensues with the two alienated sisters. I come on to see what all the noise is about and get a pie in the face, which was intended for one of sisters. By this time, the whipped cream had turned into a soupy mass. It ran down my face, into my ears, and nostrils and onto my clothes. Think of being covered in a sugary, sticky, liquid. It really didn’t matter though, because it was soooooo funny.
Tonight is the final dress rehearsal. Tomorrow is opening night. Woo hoo! Theatre is my life!