The Therapy Journals of the Fat-Headed Klingon Woman

One woman's journey to becoming Her True Self

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!?”

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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.

 

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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.

 

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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.

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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.)

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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. 😀 ) 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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Until next time,

D.

 

 

 
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