Tuesday, June 27, 2006

6/27 I love acting

I just do. Have loved it ever since I was tiny and stood on top of tables at the bar down the street--the Spring Inn. I sang my heart out--to Teresa Brewer songs, and others that I don't remember.

My first role, outside of Christmas plays at school, was an old lady named Katinka in the Pied Piper of Hamlin for the Children's Little Theater in Quincy. They should have invented a new word for how hooked I was. The next year I got a part in the Little Theater (now called the Quincy Community Theatre). A grown-up play with just two kids in it--The Happy Time. It took place in Montreal and Bebe' was played by Bobby Ganz. He was public and I was Catholic, so I didn't know him before we got cast. (Yeah, that's how we distinguished people--by the school you went to. You were either public or Catholic.)

I was 11 or 12. I played Sally, an American neighbor. I can still remember some of my lines. "Here's your vacuum cleaner. (pause) I borrowed it. (pause). Who's that lady with your mother? Is she an aunt of yours or something? I saw her kiss you and she's pretty old. She must be some kind of a relative if she kissed you. (pause) Well, I brought your vacuum cleaner back. Just wanted you to know." Sally had such a crush on Bebe, but he had a crush on the new tutor? housekeeper? nanny? I can't remember what Mam'selle was as far as job goes, but she was a beautiful young woman named Sharon. As an adult I met her again and told her how much I'd admired her.

Anyway, it was a magical summer for me. To be on the big stage. To play before absolute strangers rather than people at school, who were all related to the performers. This was the big time. I got a decent, although rather innocuous, review for my small part.

The only downside was the cast party afterward. It was held at the Country Club. I'd never been there before. I got to bring a guest, so I brought my sister Jan. We were excited at the idea of swimming in the pool. A pool that wasn't chocked full of people trying to escape the heat in their homes. A pool that wasn't full of people like us.

And Bobby Ganz made fun of me. I remember standing by the pool in my swim suit, holding my towel and swim cap. (All the girls wore them in those days.) I remember the tears I fought so hard to hold back. My magical day was ruined. By a kid who didn't know how much his words could wound.

But that was the only downside. I reveled in the attention and applause. It cemented the acting bug squarely in my psyche. It remains there.

When I'm rehearsing with BroadMinded (like last night) or practicing improv (like tonight), I'm so full of energy. I only slept a few hours last night for some silly reason. So I'm overtired today, until I think about how much fun it will be tonight.

I truly derive energy from others. (Hence, the giant E in my Myers-Briggs. ENFP!) And I'll have tons of energy tonight and will have a wonderful time. Yay for that. (Yawn for now.)


Cindy said...

you could have snuck into the Country Club pool with your richie rich friends like Joe did!!! He always had a great time with that group,even if he was breaking the law. Not much difference between the "publics" and the "Catholics" in this instance, except the higher class of place they were sneaking into.

Jer said...

We did that kind of stuff when we were older, but not when we were in grade school. Maybe I'll write about that tomorrow...and how I chickened out when it came to the Country Club.