I have to admit that I had a tough time falling asleep last night. Yesterday was a busy day, filled with all sorts of distractions that took my mind away from my early morning and rather spontaneous decision to try out for a community play. When I fell into bed and started to relax, I was bombarded with racing thoughts of doubt and anxiety. My negative “self talk” was firing full speed ahead.
“What in the world did you do? You’ve never taken an acting lesson in your life.”
“Are you nuts? People are actually going to come and watch this play – you have to remember all your lines and be good at acting!
I tossed and turned for about two hours and got myself into a real tizzy.
I blame this outrageous decision on my evening crocheting time, when I watch TV for an hour. I think I’ve been watching too many episodes of SMASH (a TV drama about a team of actors who are preparing an ambitious Broadway musical on the life of Marilyn Monroe.) The show isn’t very good but I’m a sucker for musicals. There must be some osmotic empowering going on as I watch the acting and dancing.
But I also think back on my glorious high school days – many of my closest friends were into theatre. I felt kinda’ left out as they headed to theatre class and went to “Toad of Toad Hall” rehearsals after school but on the other hand, I was too busy working with my track coach who came up with an innovative way for me to do long jump by running and doing a front somersault into the pit. I was also spending a good amount of time showing off on the trampoline and mastering submarines and ballet legs in the pool. But when those school theatre productions were presented, I was always in the front row, cheering on my friends. I just wasn’t on stage.
Fast forward 40+ years and here I am…knowing absolutely nothing about acting but frantically trying to learn about the plot and characters of this play so that I can ACT confident and try out for the part of Janet Brewster – subservient and repressed, a scatterbrained society wife. I’m not sure how I’m planning to act typically “dowager” when I don’t even know what that word means… but I’ll try. I’m going to try and this is why.
I am currently tutoring a young high school student and loving every minute of it. Last week, I suggested to Monika that she apply for a full term, co-op placement at the Royal Ontario Museum. Here she is – a simple farm girl, being challenged to hit the “big city” and enlarge her life. I know she’s scared – it’s a brand new experience for her but I know she can do it. I’m her biggest fan and I’m doing everything I can to help her make this experience happen, I continue to remind her that you don’t say no to such an opportunity because of fear.
This afternoon, I told Monika about trying out for the community play. She smiled and challenged me right back. This was the gist of it – If a small town, seventeen year girl can move to the big city for four months and work at the ROM, then Diane can try out for a small town community play. Monika’s my biggest fan.
“I just know you can do it, Diane.”
We’ve both got a big challenge ahead of us. No more negative self talk.
Stay tuned for more craziness as I head for the stage on Saturday afternoon!