The Community at Large

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Since mostly all I do is read online and off, and am not working, I’ve been trying to push my boundaries.

That’s mostly been volunteering at the library and theater, or trying to make myself exercise. Or sending hand written letters to friends, which is all the harder when there is no subject matter because I do so little.

My brothers are good at doing community-type things. One such thing is acting. Both were in drama club in high school, and are excellent actors. When I was in high school I read all the time and never managed any extracurricular activities except when band had required events like playing for the football team. I just read all the time.

However! the Modoc Performing Arts Theater (M.P.A.T.) group is putting on The Curious Savage at the local theater. The play focuses on Ethel Savage,  a wealthy widow who checks herself into a sanatorium called The Cloisters, which has some rather bizarre

I really, really did. And actually, wasn’t as nervous as I thought I’d be. Whether that’s in spite of, or because, there were only the casters(?) and no one else showed up to audition, remains to be seen. At any rate, I was reading for the part of Mrs. Paddy, who is an uncomfortable character, in that she doesn’t speak at all because her husband ordered her not to years and years ago—except on the five occasions she reminds everyone that she hates “everything in the world” and then lists them in random order, like “broken glass [and] eels” (except she likes to go on). Or as I tried to read it, “broken eels”: although if she hates everything, that would still be perfectly valid.

Anyway, see that number? The five? That’s why I auditioned for her part.

  1. However random her lists, that’s only five times she has to speak, and only after being addressed. My brother assures me it’s easier to remember your cue when you aren’t the first one to speak.
  2. Despite the whole not speaking because your husband told you not to, she sounded like a fun character. Sometimes I hate everything too!
  3. This is not the same as the first. But only five lines! I like small numbers, when it comes to things I’ve never done before.

And it wasn’t much of a risk to try, because even though my brother told me they didn’t have many people showing up to the auditions, I’ve never had anything to do with drama before. Well, other than attending my brothers’ plays. It seemed fun to try out because it’s practically family tradition! At least I’m pretty sure both sets of grandparents were involved in the community theater. I need to look more into the details of that, although I’m pretty sure my paternal grandparents were once really active in their theater. But I’ve never been particularly inclined to act, am often shy (or at least oblivious), and have been told I’m inaudible in general conversation.

So I wasn’t particularly worried about getting cast. It’d fun to audition, yeah, but probably safer if I didn’t actually participate.

I just got the call a few hours ago. I’m not Mrs. Paddy. They cast me as Mrs. Willie.

She’s a better part. Mrs. Willie is part of the staff at The Cloisters, who is very kind to all the residents, and is even married to one. Except her husband has no idea who she is, so she pretends she’s single. Yes, she’s loyally waiting for her husband who doesn’t remember a thing about her, and resides in a sanatorium—but hey, the play debuted in the fifties. What more can you expect?

So I’m going to be on stage.

This is me not freaking out. Yet.


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