“Enunciate to the Back Row”

This is kind of becoming “Confessions Week” on the blog, because I have another secret I’ve been keeping from you that just doesn’t feel right anymore. I’ve got to come clean.

I may have mentioned in passing that I am a recovering theatre geek, but I haven’t gone into any detail at this point. Really, it’s past time I dealt with this issue. There’s no excuse for keeping you guys in the dark any longer.

So, *deep breath,* I took theatre for three years in high school, and one semester in college.

I’ve always had a propensity for the dramatic, as evident by this photo:

Guess which one is me?

I wasn’t kidding about the Teddy Roosevelt costume. Nor was I kidding about my freakish height as a ten-year old.

Despite my pleadings with my mom as an awkward youth (she generally guided me away from careers that would roughly correspond to me working as a part-time waitress), I never got involved in theatre until I could pawn it off as part of my education.

It was instant love.

It involved everything good about life; reading, pretending to be someone else, analyzing scripts, being SUPER dramatic, costumes, creating stories, channeling emotions, camaraderie, sometimes singing, just ALL THE GOODNESS.

And did I mention I am dramatic? It was like having Christmas for an hour everyday.

And I consistently got 103% in the class all of those years; as if just being in class wasn’t enough, I had to cement my status as an overachieving nerd beyond recall.

A preview of my college years.

So I fell in love hard, and this kept me out of much trouble in high school. Can you see why I was not popular as a teenager?

Feel my rage, Ivan Vassiliyitch! Russian authors always feature such confusing names.


I’m the one in the foreground doing the splits, in case that needed clarification.

I’m Shirley Manson in this one. What, you don’t remember Garbage? 90′s band featuring Butch Vig? *Sigh*

I was having so much fun that I didn’t care, though.

My favorite roles in our productions were always the most memorable, and they all had one thing in common. Let’s see if you can guess the corresponding thread:

  • Natalia Stepanova in Chekhov’s A Marriage Proposal
  • An English Murderess in a one act play so little known I can’t remember the author or title or character name
  • Jean, a murdering drug addict in Juvie

Can you guess the corresponding character traits?

Yes, gold star for you; all my characters were mentally tormented bitches. Well, except the first. She was just a bitch.

I play a fantastic bitch.

As if this weren’t enough, I was also in show choir, an association known as, “Can This Girl Get Any Geekier?” Show choir meant not just choral singing, we would also dance and perform songs from our favorite musicals. Guess which girl always sang something from The Scarlet Pimpernel? Guess which girl also foresaw her fifteen-year engagement and fight against subsequent psychosomatic illness?

As “Adelaide” from Guys and Dolls

From a lack of community property
And a feeling she’s getting too old
A person can develop a bad, bad cold!”

Had I known how those words my young self belted out that night would foreshadow the entirety of my twenties, I’d have sung “Take Back Your Mink” instead.

As with most stories that begin with such happiness, sadly this story does not end well. I took one theatre class in college, then couldn’t pawn it off as “necessary” credits anymore, and had to give my theatrical ambitions the ax.

*Single tear rolls down my cheek as I stare wistfully out the window*

I still haven’t quite recovered from the premature demise of my acting career, though. Every time I go to a theatrical production, whether on Broadway or a high school production, I get very antsy to revamp my acting resume and pretend like I didn’t just take a ten year sabbatical from the stage.

Heck, I still remember the distinction between “stage left” and “stage right.” And “cheating out” is not something you do when you’re tired of your relationship and want a little sumpin’ sumpin’ on the side.

I’ll come back to the stage later in life. After all, I still haven’t fulfilled my life-long goal to play Lady Macbeth - what can I say, I play a good bitch.

However, I did get special permission from the English Department to take five semesters of Shakespeare, when only one is required. Hey, an addict’s gotta get her smack wherever she can.

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Comments

“Enunciate to the Back Row” — 12 Comments

  1. In the ninth grade I took intro to Drama and Mrs. Brewer made me stand up and speak from my gut, “I’m so glad it’s Thursday.” She made me do it three times, and all three times I spoke from my freaking throat I was so terrified to stand up and speak in front of the whole room. That’s when I knew I’d never be an actor. I loooooove the theatre but alas, unless I can hide and just play a voice, I’ll never grace the stage. Get back out there, you! Do it for the trembling fraidy cats who wish they had the guts!

  2. Don’t discount the benefits of community theater: 1) there’s usually a lot of talent and 2) no pesky contract negotiations because there’s no money! Yay! I started my acting non-paid career after college, and since then I’ve been type cast as the floosie. I can’t say s*x without blushing but I can be “naked” in a bathtub in The Women. Go fig.

  3. I love that you’re a theater geek too! I majored in Theater in college. I didn’t take as much Shakespeare as you did though. Girl, that is hard core – I like it! It’s fun to play bitches. Oh, and I’m right there with ya – I was a swing choir person. (And marching band – sshh – extra nerd points for that.) Damn, if I’d have known, we would’ve been singing show tunes at BlogHer. There’s always next year. ;)
    Linda Roy recently posted…Is Anybody Home???My Profile

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