I’ve never stopped to think about how many of these openings I’ve experienced. Especially in these ancient years of mine. You’d think it would end somewhere, but it’s really true what they say about the arts get into your bloodstream and become a part of who we are. That has been the case for me anyway.
As a child, I became the self-appointed director of all things theatrical in my neighborhood. I guess it started when our relatives would get together and required some entertainment from the young’ns. By the time we had gone through this ritual on several occasions, my cousins and sister all hated me and I was to be avoided at all costs.
My grade school year brought many opportunities to perform on stage. Mom enrolled me in tap, ballet and baton twirling classes, certain that I’d wind up on Broadway someday. Much to her chagrin I never could stand on my toes nor get the hang of step, shuffle, ball, change. My talents with the baton had to be given up when I managed to break a window with that dangerous silver stick.
In high school I participated in every production possible – never getting the lead, mind you. I think I was reserved for comic relief. When I continued my education, my thoughts turned more to writing and I had visions of being a journalist or winning the Nobel Prize for literature. Instead, I wrote scripts for the local public television station’s puppet shows. I also wrote some promotions for the same show.
In my years as a mother and housewife, I took on the task of starting a program in drama for my kid’s high school. This was a new private school with limited funds, so my time was volunteered for 13 years, but grew to be the necessary training I needed to start my own theatre company. For over 40 years and hundreds of opening nights, the drama was beginning to run through my veins.
Last night, as I acted as stage manager for a musical version of “Sleepy Hollow,” I thought to myself, “the excitement keeps coming.” Sixteen adult and teen performers nailed it with their character development, dances and music. I got to basically sit backstage and make sure all the scene transitions went the way they should. It doesn’t get any better than this. Here I am in my 77th year and the excitement is just as apparent as that first show I ever directed.
Thank you, Lord, for allowing me to continue to work at what I love!