Archive | October 15, 2012

Reason To Live Friday #19

Okay, so what if it’s Monday. I was tired. See previous post.

But thank you to those who noticed that Friday’s RTLF was not posted. And you kept me on my toes. So four days late, here it is.

My RTLF gratitude ranges from friendships, James Bond, and brunch.

Friendships come in so many varieties and packages, it’s really very exciting. I realize as I get older that I constantly make new friends. Through Facebook, my blog, other friends, my kids’ activities, there’s people everywhere who will be a friend. When you’re a kid you worry if you are going to make friends. Now, I am excited wondering what people life has in store for me.

I have friends I am still in touch with from 30 years ago. My best friend, Kristi, actually. We met in 5th grade. But then I have a dear friend Jen, who I met not even 2 years ago. And then there’s all my blogging friends, who I haven’t even met in person, but are near and dear to me through the interwebs. Who knows, I might meet someone tomorrow that could end up being an amazing part of my life. I’m open to anything. Thank you people, for being my friend. Even if I do chew loudly.

James Bond. HELLOO!! You don’t have to like all the movies to know that this year marks the 50th Anniversary of the franchise. And dang bless it, if I’m not a lucky girl that Daniel Craig just happens to be the Bond of the moment now so he’s everywhere. Saturday Night Live, 60 Minutes, Jimmy Fallon. How fabulous will it be as that release date in November approaches? Swoon.

Look who got to snuggle Daniel. If only!

Brunch. I would watch Sex in the City and be jealous of Carrie and her gal friends and their standing Sunday brunch date. How fun to swap Saturday night date stories, sex romps and career anxieties over eggs and mimosas? Maybe it was because my Sundays were always about packing the gold fish crackers and the coloring books in the church bag for the kids and then swinging by Denny’s on the way home for pancakes.

But this weekend I got to go on a real live grown-up Sunday brunch with friends. My friend Jen had a 40th birthday celebration over the weekend and some friends flew in from Chicago, Alaska and Florida to celebrate with her. I missed the party because I had my show, but she had me join them for brunch in the big city on Sunday to catch up with them. I didn’t know what to be more excited for, the mini French press pot brought to my table, or the grown up chit chat that did involve sex, snow blowers, and organic chemistry. It was a varied group of people! The pommes frites were fabulous. I only had to fight the pregnant gal for them across me at the table. I went easy on her, the rest of the group was imbibing with mimosas and bloody Mary’s and she just got an orange juice.

Once again, I’m full of gratitude, sentiment, and food. Hoping you are too. Namaste.

Give my regards to Broadway

Okay, maybe I never got to Broadway but I did get back to my high school theater.

This past weekend I performed in an alumni play at my high school for a fundraiser. I hadn’t been on that high school stage in 22 years.

I got to perform with more than a dozen other former students that spanned 30 years of  high school graduates. In one word, it was- incredible.

Here’s something that might surprise you. I loved high school. I know, weird huh? I loved high school because I was a theater geek. And proud of it. I spent hours upon hours rehearsing. I spent weekends until almost midnight running through dress rehearsals and tech rehearsals.

Would I have rather lived in the theater during my school days instead of going to Chemistry or Business Law class? You betcha.

I wasn’t popular, but I loved when people came up to me and said they saw me in the show. I made friends with everyone- jocks, brainiacs, band geeks, cheerleaders, wavers, stoners, whatever. They all did some type of theater for an English credit at some point. For the kids that figured out how much fun it was, they stuck around. And then we just became a family of theater kids. Our director/coach/teacher was a woman we called Gorne. Just her last name was enough.

So here we were, in 2012. All in the name of Gorne, who asked us to do this fundraiser for the Speech and Debate team, something else she coached and yes, I was a part of that too. She found most of us through Facebook and probably our parent’s phone numbers that she still had in some address book somewhere. Yes, I’m friends with some teachers on Facebook. Is that weird?

These are the teachers that made an impression. That treated me like I was a person. They recognized that I wasn’t just a teenager or a student, but a living, breathing, dreaming soul with the world waiting for me. They helped me make that step into the big scary world  and gave me the confidence in myself that kept me from hiding under the covers every day of my first semester of college.

When a bunch of us convened at the Little Theater, that’s what we call the school’s performance hall, to pick up our scripts, I recognized a few faces. Hugs and big hellos were exchanged and it was great to see friends that I had only seen through Facebook and hadn’t had the chance to see in the flesh for the last 20 years. A few faces I recognized immediately as alumni from grades that were before my years. But I knew who they were because when I was in junior high I would come to the high school to see the shows. I fell in love with those performers. They were my idols and inspiration to do theater myself.

One girl, Cindy, was in a performance of Gentlemen Prefer Blondes during her senior year. I loved that show and her in it. When I was face to face with her for this show, I told her how much I admired her. Here we were, both in our 40s, just regular folks, and I felt like I was 15 again idolizing the big campus Senior. She was sweet and humble of course.

The connection we all had, even if we were the class of 1983, 1990, or 2012, was that we wanted to be there for our teacher, Gorne, and for the love we have of that Little Theater. It’s like coming home. Writing this puts a pit in my gut even. It brings tears to my eyes. Because the feeling of being in that Green Room, doing our before show chant (it’s a secret) and walking through the back stage door for Gorne to give us that arm squeeze of encouragement, made me swell with emotion. Taking our places in the dark wings of the back stage, tip toeing around to our props and waiting to hear the audiences reaction, was almost enough to get me to sobs. It felt so good. I couldn’t believe that what I loved most about my youth was being recaptured in a way that wasn’t disappointing or a let down. It was just as much a thrill and a feeling of  family as it was back then.

I pulled myself together, shed a tear or two, but not much since I didn’t want to ruin my false eyelashes, and I swallowed that vomit-nervous feeling, and went on that stage to the bright lights I love so much. It felt good. And best of all, there in the front row, were my kids cheering me on. Does someone have a Kleenex? I’m all verklempt!

The crazy collaborative alumni cast of TUNA DOES VEGAS 2012. Can you find me?

My big Texas makeup for the play.

Vera and Pearl on the plane headed for doom. Well, Vegas. Yes, we played the hell out of those oxygen masks in a very theatrical, dramatic way!

Thanks to Gorne, and the whole cast for making this a truly remarkable experience. I’ll do it again in a heart beat!