Ever since 1979-ish, I have had an on again-off again affair with theater. I have mentioned my love of performance and directing in live, volunteer, community theater. Unfortunately (for me, anyway), Austin and its environs are chock full of theater venues. This town has about 20+ different venues and companies performing live theater. This should be great news for theater lovers, and for audience and professional or semi-pro performers and techies, it is great news. Starting with the big houses (3000+ seats) (e.g., Bass Concert Hall (UT), Long Performing Arts Center, the Paramount, Erwin Center, down to small makeshift spaces made to work with imagination and just a little bit of money.
The reason this is not good news to me (and others like me) is because these venues are restricted to professional, for-profit companies. The employ ONLY Equity or Equity-eligible (them's the pros, folks)actors. There are only 3 true non-professional, volunteer, community theaters that operate on a non-profit basis. All of which are more than 20 miles from where I live. Thus opportunities are slim for the non-professional actor or director. In, fact, only one of the three theaters is a true community theater, in the standard of community theaters across the nation.
About 2-3 years ago, I had a very unpleasant experience with that community theater, the group I had been working with for several years. I removed myself from the group due to my frustration and disappointment and I have spent the last three years, thinking that my theater "career" was over. That made me very sad and I missed being able to do what I love.
Well, as we all know, life is waaaay too short! We have to take advantage of opportunities when they come along because who knows when your last chance is coming along! So, I auditioned for a role in a play called "At First Sight", a comedy in two acts. The play is being done by the group I pulled back from not quite 3 years ago. Aaaand, I was cast!
I will be playing a Senator who is the male lead's mother. (the guy playing my son is, in reality, old enough to be my.....brother!) My character is a strong-minded, tenacious, outspoken, and larger-than-life kind of character (Think Bella Abzug.) It isn't a huge role, butI have three good scenes and that is just fine! My rehearsal schedule is a lot easier than that of the other principals. Considering the time of the year coming up, that is very good news. Rehearsing around Christmas is very stressful. Luckily we don't open until 1//21/12 and will run for 4 weekends (total of 14 performances).
We had the first read-through tonight (Monday). Even though we have a lot of work ahead of us, it's a cute play with some pretty funny moments. I gotta tell you, it felt just great to be "Back in the Saddle Again". I'm going to try really hard not to get thrown again!
This may (or may not) have an impact on my blogging. I won't know for sure until we get further into the play. But if (and that's a big IF) I seem to disappear for awhile, that's why. It really shouldn't be a problem, after all I used to do this several times a year, while I was working a full-time job, Ratchlet was still in high school, and I was active with a couple of singing things. It's amazing how much energy you can find to do what you want to do!!
I'm hoping that is still true when one gets to be my age. We'll see! And if you happen to be in Austin, around the end of January, you could come and see the show!