Alas, acting was not the kind of profession my (wise) parents were going to help me pursue, and I didn’t love it enough to suddenly become rebellious and strike out on my own. As a result, my opportunities on stage since high school have been relatively infrequent. And anyway, the siren song of the yellow legal pad and pen – later replaced by the laptop – was much stronger than the stage’s could ever be.
When I got involved with the school where I teach, and, more specifically, when my daughters got interested in the stage themselves, I started to have more opportunities on and behind the stage. I’ve volunteered as the assistant director, jumped into roles when students had to bow out, and even been cast alongside students when the role fit.
It’s been great fun, and not overly taxing, and I was able to keep writing all along the way.
Recently, though, I’ve been a little stumped. My first book is finished. (Okay, okay, it’s my second book, but it’s the first I’m really proud of.) I waited awhile to even start expanding on the idea for my next book, because I expect that if my agent finds a buyer, I’ll need to make revisions on the “finished” one.
But creative muscles atrophy, just like physical ones. A few weeks ago, when I tried to actually write out some of my ideas, which right now consist primarily of the main character and her problem, it was pitiful. I had very little problem, and without problem, there’s no story.
What to do?!
And then I saw that auditions were being held at my favorite local theatre, for a daunting, juicy project in which the same cast puts on two plays in the same weekend, for three weekends in a row.
Normally, I’m a chicken. A balker. But I have learned over the years that my acting muscle and my writing muscle are very closely related (like ab muscles and back muscles). This was too good to pass up, for the juiciness as well as the potential boost to my writing.
So I auditioned, and I was turned down.
No, I’m just kidding. That would be a really lame blog post.
I got the part of the weak-willed but manipulative queen; the mother whose choices destroy her son even though she desperately loves him; the woman of questionable morals who craves power, but also wants love.***
Let me tell you: exploring the depths of this character, and following her through her journey as she learns, and regrets, and changes (not soon enough), and sacrifices everything – all this has awakened the sirens that are singing my story.
***Yeah, that’s all one chick. If you can guess the character & play, post in the comments.