The Therapy Journals of the Fat-Headed Klingon Woman

One woman's journey to becoming Her True Self

Tomorrow Is the Anniversary of A Sad Story November 14, 2014

Filed under: Bad Luck,In Memoriam — DDKlingonGirl @ 10:47 am
Tags: , , ,

TRIGGER WARNING:  Pregnancy, pregnancy loss, pregnancy trauma

Hello all.  Just a little while ago, I stumbled across a Facebook page called WTH- What The HELLP?  It is devoted to a disease of pregnancy called HELLP syndrome that often occurs concurrently with pre-eclampsia.  There were many stories there on that page of women who had suffered from this syndrome in their pregnancies, and there was a place to submit your own story.  Well, as most people close to me know, I experienced this.  I had pre-eclampsia and HELLP with my first pregnancy in 1992.  It was a pretty traumatic event, and I am not sure I ever realized at the time how seriously ill I was.  Here is my story, mostly as I shared it with WTH:

*

I was 20 years old and pregnant with my first child.  I was in nursing school full time and driving to campus and back, a 40 minute one-way drive every day.  I wasn’t married at the time, and although my fiancé was there, I was dealing with the stress related to being unmarried and pregnant, due to church things. (Believe it or not, our church building had actually caught on fire and burned, and as unreasonable as it sounds now, I was terribly upset because I thought the whole congregation was being punished because of me.)

*

I was approximately 23 or 24 weeks, and went in for a regular appointment with my doctor.  I knew I was extremely puffy and just generally felt unwell.  The night before, after church, I had sat out in the car and cried from sheer exhaustion and wished that I could be admitted to the hospital so I could rest.  At my appointment, I had all the markers.  My blood pressure was high and my urine showed significant protein.  They told me to go straight to the hospital, which was right across the street, because I needed to be admitted.

*

It was Monday night, Nov. 9.  I was admitted to the hospital and they continued trying to treat and monitor me.  I don’t think they started any IVs when I first got there.  I lay there in our small local hospital for a couple of days and started having upper gastric pain.  They kept asking me if it was gas.  Finally, I guess my local doctors decided they didn’t know what was going on with me, (or maybe they knew all along, but thought they could handle it) and they called a specialist in a larger teaching hospital about 100 miles away.  The specialist said, in effect, “Put her on an ambulance and get her up here, NOW.”  They started an IV of magnesium sulfate and sent me from Ardmore to Oklahoma City in an ambulance, and that was the first time I ever got any IVs. (It was also the occasion of several other firsts:  it was the first time I’d ridden in an ambulance, and I also got to experience the joy of trying to use a bedpan in a moving vehicle with a male attendant.  Just, you know, to throw some levity in there.  The mag sulfate IV induced a serious need to pee, and that was one of the few parts of this story that make me laugh a little.  The other part was that one of my anesthesiologists later strongly resembled Superman.)

*

I don’t know how high my blood pressure was at the time, but I’m thinking my bottom number was at least 100 or 115.  I know that my mother, who rode up there with me in the front seat of the ambulance, claims she is positive hers was higher.  (As a side note, many years later I would understand her claim when I too, rode in the front seat of an ambulance to Oklahoma City with my daughter in the back, but that’s a story for another day.)

*

They admitted me to OU Children’s Hospital, and continued treating and monitoring.  They couldn’t find any good veins for IVs because I was so terribly swollen.  They were searching in the tops of my feet, if that gives any idea.  Also they considered starting a line in my neck.  I was incredibly thankful they didn’t have to do that. But the guy who was doing the searching was the guy I mentioned a moment ago who looked like Superman.  That was the only good part.

*

All this time, to the best of my knowledge and recollection, the baby was fine.  She was not as big as she should have been, but I don’t think they thought she had any other serious health problems.  If they did, I don’t remember them telling me.  Unfortunately, the illness and the years have erased a lot of the details.  They began doing all the tests, and I still had sky-high blood pressure, still had protein, still had upper gastric pain, and now they also knew I had HELLP.  They did a scratch test to determine clotting time, and a scratch that should have clotted within a minute took 22.  C-section was ruled out, and delivery was a must.  They gave me medicines to start contractions, tried to start readying my body to do something it wasn’t supposed to do for another 3-4 months.

*

At one point, they were trying to dilate my cervix using something I remember them calling “mechanical dilators” which they said would be painful so they gave me morphine or something.  I remember waking up from my medicated haze, legs in the stirrups, lifting my head, and there at the foot of my bed was practically an entire medical school class, observing this procedure because I was, at that time, an incredibly rare case.  I just closed my eyes and dropped my head back to the pillow and tried not to care.

*

I wasn’t making progress, and they decided they needed to rupture my membrane.  They had put monitors on me and on the baby, and I didn’t know at the time what they knew, that once I had my membrane ruptured, the cord, which was ahead of the baby, would probably become compressed as the fluid rushed out, and as she moved down toward the birth canal, and she would probably die.  They came in and turned the volume down on the monitors, but I didn’t know that was why until later. They had asked me if I wanted to be enrolled in a study they were doing with the use of surfactant, a substance premature babies don’t have yet in their lungs that makes them expand.  I gave them permission to use the baby and give her this surfactant if she was born with any attempt at breathing.

*

My poor mother had finally left the hospital to go shower and rest, and they called her back because they were taking me to delivery.  I couldn’t push.  I didn’t know what I was doing, didn’t know what it was supposed to feel like, and I was sick and exhausted and scared.  The nurse helped push down on my stomach and all I remember was that my mom’s surgical suit was white and the rest of them were blue, and her green eyes stood out.  I thought she looked like an angel.

*

It was November 15, 1992.  Finally they managed to pull the baby out, and I remember the doctor putting her face right in front of mine and saying, “Baby has no heart rate, no breathing effort.”  Ok, then.

*

They delivered the placenta, which I remember hurt worse than the baby. (Because it was actually bigger.)  Katrina DeAnne (Katie) was 11 inches long and weighed 13 ounces.  She seemed to have suffered some significant trauma during birth because her head was misshapen and squishy.  I think they told me she had some water on the brain or something.  They fixed me up and wheeled me back to my room, and here I was, holding this oddly colored, deceased baby.  I felt embarrassed.  I felt that people were looking at her and seeing her as scary or disturbing.  I didn’t hold her as long as I later wished I had, because I thought people would think it was weird to spend time holding a dead baby.  I wish now I’d been a little more sensible about that.

*

I stayed in the hospital a few more days, and I don’t remember any of my numbers- my blood pressure or my platelets or how fast they returned to normal.  I just had to go on with my life.  I had to quit nursing school because they won’t let you make up clinicals and I had missed some.  I finished the semester of my regular non-nursing school class and life went on. Well, sort of.  We had to go through the funeral and everything.  Some people might not have bothered, but it never occurred to me not to.  There was a dear lady who went to our church who actually owned a monument business and she gave us Katie’s headstone as a gift.  My cousin Gene was asked on the fly to lead everyone in singing ‘Jesus Loves Me’ and he never faltered.  It was a cold, cloudy day.  That much I remember.

This was not her actual casket spray but it looked very similar to this.  The real one was destroyed in our house fire in February 2009.

This was not her actual casket spray but it looked very similar to this. The real one was destroyed in our house fire in February 2009.

*

I have since been pregnant twice.  The next time was with my twin girls, who were born healthy and perfect a year and two weeks to the day after I lost Katie.  Their baby brother was born in May of 2001, and he too was healthy and I had no serious problems with either pregnancy.  But my experience with Katie will always be in my mind.  Here is my one other post related to Katie, and how I spent what would have been her 18th birthday.

Thanks for reading!

Until next time,

D.

 

We Journey On… November 10, 2014

Filed under: General Observations — DDKlingonGirl @ 10:33 am
Tags: , , ,

Pos Neg balance

Hello all.  There has been so much I have wanted to talk about lately, but when I sit down to write here, the thoughts just won’t untangle themselves and travel down through my fingers to the keys so I can get them out.  So many things have been on my mind, things that I know are on other people’s minds as well.  A woman I went to college with posted an excellent status on Facebook about social media and isolation.  I wanted to talk about that.  Campaigns and elections happened.  I wanted to talk about that.  Local news and world news and personal news happened.  I wanted to talk about that.  But today, just for now, the thing that is foremost in my mind is:  all of us have a daily battle we fight.  Ok, yeah, most of us fight a couple dozen battles every day.  The one I’m talking about is one that always seems to be in the foreground for me personally, and it is simply this:  positivity versus negativity.

*

I’m sure the rest of you have noticed this battle going on around us.  Just check social media.  You have friends who post every single day about how awesome life is, how good everything is, how happy they are, how “blessed” they are.  You see them post things from Upworthy and ViralNova and whatever sites are the favorites of the most positive-seeming people.  You see them post memes (I didn’t know those had an official name, those things people post that have pictures and sayings on them.  Until I found that out, I always just called them posters.)  You see them post memes with a river or a forest, or clouds, or rainbows, with some expression or scripture on them about peace, love, and happiness.  They post their personal successes, their love stories, their befores and their afters, and they preach the Gospel of Never Give Up!

*

And then there are the others.  The ones who post stuff from places that are meant to absolutely fill you with fear, dread, disgust, etc.  Gloom and Doom, Death and Destruction, POLITICAL criticism, Religious Attack, Medical Attack. General Worldwide Bad Stuff.  And they love Grumpy Cat, and that ventriloquist dummy Walter, and any other person, character, organization, or forum that gives new meaning to the term NAYsayer.  And they post about everything bad that happens.  Their car breaks down, their pants split, their dog ran away, their supper burned and their kid is driving them wacko.

*

And what I’m seeing is that for me personally there is a battle.  A battle to make an occasional appearance in the first category so that I don’t take up permanent residence in the second.  I’m not sure it’s possible to be all Sunshine and Light all the time, and I’m not sure it’s healthy.  I AM sure it’s an awful lot easier for some people to be negative most of the time.  I fight so hard against that.  I know I have a tendency to lean that way.  I know about myself that I am moody at best, mercurial and manic and sometimes positive and sometimes not.  I try.  I try to balance it, is what I’m saying.  I try to acknowledge the reality that sometimes it feels like MY particular life couldn’t possibly suck any worse, while also knowing, KNOWING in my deepest soul that there is beauty in the world.  There is goodness.  There is light. There is HOPE!  Overall, I have it pretty good. I know this, but it doesn’t stop me from feeling the other way in other moments.

*

I guess the main point here is that I’m asking for patience.  We need to have patience.  We need to be patient with the perpetual cheerleaders when we’d really like to punch their lights out, primarily because we feel that they just don’t understand our reality.  Intellectually maybe, they get it, but in their emotional place, they have never put their feet on OUR path.  But pay attention- here is where it gets real:  they have had their feet on their own path, and we don’t know where it has been and our feet have never been on their path either!  The same goes for the Gloom And Doom-ers. We have to be patient when we feel like finally, finally, we are in a good place, having a good day, and darn it if they are not dragging us down like a human crocodile.  Here’s the thing: we don’t wear their ‘perspectacles’ to steal a phrase from Momastery.  (Highly recommended site, BTW.)  We don’t share the events and feelings that they have walked through to get to their current scenic overlook of the world. We know our own path, and odds are it is very similar to theirs, but like snowflakes, no two people’s journeys have been the same.  AND…our own journey is not going to be the same every single day.  Some days we are going to feel like Pollyanna and some days we’re going to feel like Aunt Polly and Old Mrs. Snow.  But we journey on.  Yes.  We journey on.

Until next time,

D.

 

A Big Dream: A Big Move to a Big Place October 31, 2014

Filed under: Whatever — DDKlingonGirl @ 9:55 am
It's all within my reach!

It’s all within my reach!

Hello all!  Here’s hoping everyone is having a great day.  I, in particular, am having a great day because today is just a great day to have.  Ok, there’s a reason.  Several, really, but the primary one is that it’s COLD OUTSIDE!  Cool, anyway.  And thankfully, they haven’t turned the heat on in my office yet, and it’s a meat locker in here, but I have a hoodie, so I’m all good.

*

If you’ve been reading me longer than five minutes, you know I am a freak about Alaska. (Go here to read one of my previous posts about the Alaska dream.)  I have never set foot in the state in this lifetime and yet I am obsessed with the place.  I want to go there.  I want to live there.  I want to see the mountains and the lakes and the glaciers and the wild critters, and just… everything.  I want to drive a snowmobile and watch a dog sled race.  I want to see Point Barrow.  The whole shebang.

*

Always this weird obsession lurks under my thoughts, but in recent days and weeks it is breaking the surface and demanding I dream big and actually start thinking realistically about at least visiting the darn place!  I have lived the biggest part of my adult life in a state of feeling sort of trapped.  Tied down by finances and obligations, I stuff my dreams down in a sock and hide them under the bed and forget they were under there.  Every once in while I would pull the sock out from under the bed, brush off the dustbunnies, pull the idea out and stare wistfully at it for a while, then shove it back where it came from.

*

Not anymore.  I’m polishing it up, setting it on a shelf, and finding things to set up around it that will make it a beautiful reality of my daily life.

*

Ok, so in non-poetic terms, what exactly does that mean?  Saving money, planning for my adult children’s survival without me in the next room, thinking about career moves, and just generally believing in the fact that I can do this if I want to.  And believe me.  I want to.  This is going to happen.

Until next time,

D.

 

Just Breathe. And Trod. October 20, 2014

Filed under: General Observations — DDKlingonGirl @ 9:45 am
Tags: , , ,

Hello all.  It’s been a while, as it usually has.  You know, some days I feel like I have so much to say, and no idea how to say it.  Some days I feel like I should have much to say, and I just… don’t.  Right now, I’m feeling something I just don’t have words for.  I’m tired.  I think this tiredness stems from being too much aware of the complexities and eccentricities of this thing called Life, and humanity, and this world, and the things in it.  Things that are exquisitely beautiful, and things that are so ugly as to tear the heart and soul into tiny little jagged-edged pieces.

*

I wonder sometimes if we wouldn’t all be better off if we lived back in the frontier days.  The pioneer days where we didn’t have to deal with knowing what was going on in so many other places, days when all that mattered was whether or not there was going to be enough food on the table for that day, and whether we were secure from attack by outside forces like foreign soldiers or Native peoples or the unpredictable nature of the weather.

*

Life was always a battle, though.  Life was always a struggle to contend with, a path to be trod with unrelenting determination.  The reward for some was something looked forward to in the unknowable future- heaven.  For some the reward was simply the pride that came from continuing to survive and live to trod another day.  Maybe there are more rewards that I just don’t have the ability to articulate now.  Maybe the only reward for topping one hill is the gift of a brief, easy downhill stroll until the next hill starts to rise in front of us.   Maybe, just maybe, the reward is the view from the path, and the little pebbles and flower petals we reach down and pick up along the way.

*

So many little stresses.  So many things to worry about and think endlessly about.  So many things to try to figure out what’s going to happen about.  Jobs, parenting, friends, relationships, family, beliefs, society, the world.  We can drive ourselves bananas in a heartbeat.  There’s only so much room on a mountaintop in Tibet, or a cabin in an isolated woods in Alaska, two of my favorite locations for “escape jokes.”  We can’t all go there.  We can’t all run away and hide.  Eventually all the problems and stresses and things to handle would join us there and we’d have to find another place to run.

*

What do people do?  What do people do when maybe they don’t know what they think or where they stand or what they can lean on?  How do they keep trodding?  I know some don’t.  Most do.  How do they fill their lives with enough light to see the next step?

*

I realize this post is just chock full of the rhetorical, metaphorical, and vague.  I don’t really know what I’m even trying to say.  These are just my thoughts.  On a day when it feels like you actually have to push up on the air around you to have space to even breathe.  On the elevator to my office this morning I was thinking about some fairly insignificant things I needed to handle, and I sort of growled to myself and thought “Argh.  This is the day I’m going to have.”  And of course many of you might know what immediately happened when the Universe caught that thought and lobbed it back at me with a quick backhand:  “This is the day that the Lord has made.  I will rejoice and be glad in it.”  The words popped into my head as soon as my own thought left it.  So that’s the goal.  Just rejoice and be glad.

*

Until next time,

D.

 

Apologies: Another Opportunity to Grow October 3, 2014

Hello all.  This is a follow up to my last entry.

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My last post hurt my friend.  I didn’t mean it to, but it did.  I failed to point out a few important facts.

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I didn’t mention that she was not beating me out for these roles on purpose, trying to take them from me for no good reason.  I failed to point out that she began taking music lessons literally before I was born.  I failed to point out that she has been involved in theater and music since she was in high school, that she has done community theater off and on for years, that she has a degree in music, that she has taught music and acting every day of her career, and that she has yearned to be onstage her entire life.  I posted her picture of her in her first breakout role with ALT because I am proud of how awesome she is.  Despite the fact that I have held my talents and abilities up against hers and found them lacking through my own ridiculous insecure nature, I am proud of her.  She’s amazing to have as a friend.  She gets applause when she merely walks in to audition.  She is loving and kind and friendly and caring, and she’s a wonderful person.  Nothing in my previous post was meant to imply anything different.  She has wanted to be onstage like this her entire life.

*

I have only been involved in community theater for a year and a half.  I auditioned mainly on a whim a year ago, but I have always wanted to sing.  All I ever wanted to do as a kid was to sing and be a mom.  I used to stand in my bedroom for hours, singing along with cassette tapes of my favorite singers, pretending I was giving a concert.  The acting thing I have always thought would be fun, but I always felt like I would never be able to actually make anybody believe I was a different character, so I never tried to do it before.

*

My last post wasn’t really at all about her. It wasn’t meant to be, anyway. It was about me and how I have to decide how to deal with not getting what I want and how to know where to go with the knowledge that I am not as good as I want to be. It was about me dealing with a newly discovered issue, (as if I didn’t have enough already) and trying to figure out what to do about it. She just happened to be the person who cast the spotlight on the lesson. If it were one of our other much more experienced theater friends rather than my best friend, it wouldn’t be nearly as obvious that it was something I needed to realize and learn.

*

And I also realized, amazingly, I have never felt like I was in direct competition with anybody, much less someone who was my best friend. And it’s not like it is a direct competition between me and her, but the reality is this theater thing is somewhat of a competition and I’ve never really even been in ANY competition. I’ve never been in sports or really done anything that was individually competitive like this.  It’s just that I’m new to competition on the whole.

*

I’m really, really sorry, Mama T.  I’m new to all of this, and it’s no excuse, but I’m on the right track now.  Forgive me.  Love you bunches!

Until next time,

D.

 

 

Note to self: Grow, Darn You! Learn Something, Here! October 1, 2014

Hello, all.  It’s been a while, I know.  Life just gets away.  Computer problems at work, changes on the horizon there; keeping the Offspring in line, which is a full-time effort; continuing personal efforts with weight watchers, low carb eating, etc.  And today’s featured program, filed under the category, “Probably Should Have Figured This One Out Years Ago.”  Well, ok, there is likely a ton of stuff that falls under that category, but this one in particular is titled ‘How an adult deals with not being as good as she wants to be at something she wants to be good at, while someone close to her shines at it like the freaking Dog Star’, alternately titled “But Mommy, Why!?”

*

So I tried out for another theater show this weekend, the show I mentioned in the previous post.  There was no character I was desperate to play, but I thought if I were going to try to be in this show, there was one character I thought I had the best chance to get.  So I tried out, and for the second show in a row, was beat out for the role I wanted by… wait for it… my best friend.

Her breakout role... Madame Thenardier in Les Mis.

Her breakout role… Madame Thenardier in Les Mis.

 

*

I mean I really gave it my all this time.  I sang a character song that required me to attempt to have humor, and choreography, sort of, and to walk out on stage with a pillow under my shirt… it was just a complete step out for me.  Then too, I had to do a partner audition where I read part of the script with someone else, which was actually pretty funny.  The other actor and I had never even met before, and we were reading a part of the script where the characters are being very flirty and sexual.  So there we are, up on stage, pretending to play a kinky variation on the game of Twister, and he puts his hand on my rear end, and the whole audience of fellow auditioners was just ROLLING.  It was great.

 

Gooch

This was what I sang- It’s from the musical Mame.

 

*

The next night I had to sing part of a song from the show, something I had never really heard until I looked it up on YouTube the night before, and I did the best I’ve ever done, volume-wise.  I pushed it, I belted, I sang loud… my music teacher best friend said she was so proud of me.  We did a few other readings, and auditions were concluded.  I approached the director and tried to explain that I had been hoping for a particular role, but she had never asked me to read that part.  I said I had been trying to decide whether to even ask her to let me read it, and that I knew the character had to dance a sort of tango-like dance and I knew I wasn’t that great a dancer.  Then I told her about how in one show I was involved with, they had to do some creative editing to help cover the fact that an actress cast specifically as a big dance character actually was not a strong dancer.  I was TRYING to say I was sure I could learn it if she wanted to let me read the part.  Unfortunately I think what I communicated was, “I wanted this role, but I can’t dance, so you might as well not cast me.”  That really kills me, because when I first started talking, she did say she had considered me for the role.

*

Anyway, I have been rolling the situation around in my head, thinking about how there must be some sort of lessons I am meant to learn from all this.  As I mentioned earlier, I felt pretty discouraged with myself for the fact that this lesson is coming up at this late point in my life.  It feels like most people learn this sort of thing by high school or college at the latest, this lesson of how to deal with someone else (especially a best friend) being better than I at something I really want to be good at.  In high school my best friend and I were a lot alike.  We both were among “the smart ones” and our GPAs were always within a few tenths of each other.  She was on the academic team but I didn’t really care to be.  We both sang in the choir, but neither of us was just mind-blowingly better than the other, although she had had a lot more time in choir than I.  We were similar physically so no competition there.  I’ve always envied her sense of style and her ability to decorate and accessorize, but I’ve never envied it enough to make a priority to improve myself in that area.  Oh, and there was one guy in high school I liked who seemed to date, chase, or flirt with every single one of my friends except me, but that was a different type of thing.  Similar, but not the same.  (And that same situation has arisen in the theater as well.  The crush is pretty much resolved, but the feeling of, I don’t know, just sort of insult maybe, is still there.)

*

My two younger sisters had their own things they were good at, things that helped make them feel special.  Middle Sis is an athlete and Baby Sis was good at art and music.  She had taken lessons and had been in choir practically since she was a fetus, but I always thought each of us was good enough at singing in our own way.  I was somewhat envious of her opportunity to have taken lessons, but we weren’t competing in any way.

*

Since high school and college I have never had a friend or other person in my life who was better than I at something I REALLY wanted to be good at.  It’s just never come up until now.  Yesterday was pretty rough.  I was feeling pretty bad about things, wondering how I was going to handle this, what I was supposed to do to learn the lesson the Universe so obviously wanted me to learn.  What options did I have?  Just quit altogether?  Flip the time-turner and pretend I never heard of Ardmore Little Theater and take up stamp collecting or something?  Nope, I couldn’t handle that.  I love the place too much, and I enjoy most of the people, and it has really created an opportunity for self-growth and development.  (For proof, see current situation!)  Should I just be more choosy about the roles I try out for, waiting until something comes along that I just desperately want to play, prepare really well and just hope I get lucky?  Well, yeah, I could do that.  But it wouldn’t be completely satisfying.  I suffer from FOMO syndrome.  Fear of Missing Out.  I like to be there, I like being involved, I like feeling like I’m part of a team, a group.  So only setting foot in the theater once in a blue moon when they had a show I was strongly interested in just wouldn’t be enough.  My philosophy is if you’re going to be involved, be INVOLVED.

*

So what other options were there?  Decide I was just not good enough to be an ONstage presence and resign myself to only being involved behind the scenes?  Managing, tech crew, etc.?  Sure, I want to learn all that stuff- I still want to learn the lights and the sound board and the fly loft and all the things.  But never ever being onstage again?  Never singing for an audience?  Never conquering the nerves and the lack of confidence that keep me from really shining at auditions?  Nope.  Couldn’t handle that either.  I want to gain enough experience to see if I really love it.

*

Finally, what I came up with was this:  If this theater thing is for me, as The Golden Goddess (see Meet the Cast) told me yesterday, “not a hobby.  It’s a passion.” then I need to work on getting better.  I need to pick the brains of my friends at the theater and ask for feedback and critique and advice on how to get better.  I need to maybe take a few lessons and try to improve my technical singing skills.  I need to, as another dear friend told me, “make them see that you are impossible to overlook.”  Can I just say I love him for that? :)  So that is what I plan to do.  I’m going to talk to people.  I’m going to listen.  I’m going to observe and learn and soak up.  And then I’m going to get up there someday and land the roles I really, REALLY want.

*

Mask win Oscar

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chasing my own star!

Until next time,

D.

 

Not Quite Broadway, But Close Enough September 17, 2014

Filed under: Theater Obsession — DDKlingonGirl @ 12:47 pm
Tags: , ,
It's a regular Whodunit!

It’s a regular Whodunit!

Hello, all!  Well, you’ve had a break, and I haven’t mentioned a lot about the theater lately, so now it’s time to catch up on ALL the theater things.  Mwahahaha!  I mentioned in the last entry that I had a couple of new theater things looming on the horizon.  Neither one of them has panned out exactly as I expected, but I know they probably happened the way they were supposed to do.

*

Ok, so here’s what it is.  (Random Movie Quote Interruption.  Robin Williams in Good Morning, Vietnam:  I just want to begin by saying to Roosevelt E. Roosevelt, “What it is, what it shall be, what it was.”)

Sorry, where was I?  Oh, ok, the theater things.  The first Thing was that I was hoping to be given another opportunity to be a stage manager in my local, often-mentioned, community theater group, Ardmore Little Theatre.  Our next production is Clue: The Musical, which if I am reading it right, is a relatively small, likely all adult, cast, simple staging, and not a lot of complicated cues.  I was hoping for that, because although I tackled a big-cast, monster-set, teen musical as my first stage managing opportunity, I wanted to see what it would be like to do a much different type of production (with the qualities I described for Clue, obvs.).   Unfortunately, someone else was chosen, but that is definitely ok, because it gives me the chance to do the other thing I was kind of torn about when I was hoping for SM.  See, I’d also wanted to audition for Clue.  (Whispering: I’d kind of like to play the Detective. :D ) It’s really intimidating for me, because I don’t know if I can pull off the funny, but the other part is, she has to dance a tango, sort of, with Professor Plum.  Now in case I haven’t mentioned it before… I don’t have two left feet.  No, no.  I have at least three.  Seriously.  I have frequently been known to describe my attempts at dancing as looking like “the Tin Man getting electrocuted.”  So there is that.  Secondly, I have never had a role in a musical before.  I was in the chorus of Les Mis last summer, which I LOVED, but I have never had an actual role, one in which I would be wearing a mic and all that.  I know I can sing (although sometimes I tend to disparage my ability at that, too) but I don’t know about singing and dancing, on stage, while trying to be funny!  It might be too much, but you know?  I really, REALLY want to try!

*

When it comes to the theater, I want to do everything.  I have had a tiny moment’s experience running the light board, I’ve stage managed, I’ve acted (sort of), I’ve been in a chorus.  I want to learn the fly loft, and I want more experience onstage, and eventually I want to direct.  I’ll just throw that out there now.  I do.  I’ll admit it.  I know it will likely be a long time before I get the experience and knowledge and skill I will need to be able to accomplish it, but might as well admit I am going to be actively working toward that goal.  Definitely.

*

The OTHER theater thing that I was referring to before was helping another group of folks from a nearby community try to get their theater reorganized after letting it languish for several years.  The Way Off Broadway Players of Tishomingo, Oklahoma.  A couple of ALT friends and I have so far gone to two of their organizational meetings, and they are off to a great start.  It looks like if they can just get enough public interest going, they should be able to have a play in production in a matter of months.  I had ulterior motives for that, you know.  I was hoping to have another group besides ALT (a non-competitor) that I could also get involved with, get experience from, meet people through, and enjoy.  So when they get their group off the ground, you can bet your sweet patootie I will help them in any way I can.  And if they happen to need me in a leading role, you know… of course I’ll very generously volunteer.  I’m kidding, of course.  I think the ones who are getting it started are looking forward to being back on their own stage, but they also need help with sets, costumes, backstage, etc. which I would absolutely help with if it were at all possible.

*

There’s a reason it’s called COMMUNITY theater, you know.  It’s meant to be something that brings a community together and provides activity and entertainment for the whole community.  Sometimes it’s not easy though.  ALT is doing To Kill a Mockingbird right now.  They open tomorrow night, and it has been a rough road.  They often seem to struggle to find enough actors to fill the roles they need.  Sometimes it’s having child actors who are good enough for an important role, sometimes it is finding enough males for a cast, sometimes it is getting actors of various ethnicities to be interested in auditioning.  Sometimes it’s the piece itself that creates difficulties, like with language and content.  But even then, community theater is a great way to open a dialogue.  ALT is going to sponsor a panel forum on Sunday after the closing matinee performance, where the community can interact with some of the people associated with the production and ask questions and talk about the issues the play covers, which I think was a brilliant idea.

*

Anyway.  I know it’s not really a newsflash.  Ok, it’s not at ALL a newsflash, but I love community theater.  No matter where I go or what I end up doing in my life, I hope to be involved in community theater for the rest of my life.  :)  It’s just that awesome.

*

Until next time,

D.

 

 

 
Shawn L. Bird

Original poetry, commentary, and fiction. All copyrights reserved.

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