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Posts Tagged ‘community theatre’

It has been quite the week, so I’m blowing off some steam today, on the less serious side. Well, some of them are kind of serious when they happen. It’s sometimes hard to forget that they are just that: pet peeves. Still, they’re annoying as heck. Here are some of my biggest ones.

Not using a turn signal when driving. You are not James Bond. You are not evading or tailing a super spy. You do not need to hide your movements. I promise that I will let you over (unless you’re driving like a jackass) and I’d much prefer to know that you are moving into my lane rather than be surprised. This turn signal thing also bugs me when I’m waiting to turn onto a street and I’m waiting for a car to pass, only to have the car turn a few blocks before it gets to me. Super-annoying. My time is wasted and now I’m irritated, thank you very much. Really, how much of your time does it take to flip the little lever on your steering wheel? Sheesh.

People who talk during any kind of performance. As an actor and as a mom with kids who are involved in school performances, I see this a lot and it’s really rage-inducing. If your conversation is important, TAKE IT OUTSIDE!!! I want to hear what the performers have practiced for weeks or months, not a random conversation on someone’s extended family. It’s really, really, rude, not to mention distracting, to talk during a performance, whether it’s a band concert, a community theatre play, or a movie. Shhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Bicyclists who ride in the street but don’t follow the rules. This really burns me and it falls under the serious category. This is DETROIT, not the Tour de France, although one would think so from how these folks are dressed. You do not need to be aerodynamic in the city. If you are riding in the road, you MUST stop at stop signs and lights. It’s the LAW. I once sat at a green light while a 50-bike blob decided to go right through their red light like they were a funeral procession. A fast funeral procession in neon spandex and pointy helmets. Look, folks, this is Outer Drive, not the French countryside. I hope, I hope that a police officer caught up with them at some point and gave them all humongous tickets. Look, I’m all for bike lanes and giving bicyclists a wide berth. I wish I could ride to work. It’s great for the environment, it’s healthy, and it’s fun, but follow the frickin’ rules. It’s just not safe, in fact, it’s downright arrogant, to zip through a red light and assume that traffic will stop for you. Plus, the spandex looks stupid. (Sorry, but it does.)

And while we’re on the topic of driving…

Driving under the speed limit. Oh. My. Gosh. We have places to go. If something is wrong with your car, turn on your hazard lights and get thee to the nearest service station. Otherwise, drive the posted speed (at least), especially during rush hour.

Loud, obnoxious swearing in public. I’m no angel. I swear on occasion, but it’s not terribly often and very rarely in public. I’m not talking about that kind of swearing, when one is with friends or in the heat of anger. I’m talking about the people who swear like they’re twelve years old and out of earshot of mom, who think that every other word in public should be a loud f-bomb or something similar. Really, it makes one sound uneducated and ridiculous. There is a time and a place for such things and Target or your local family diner is not it, especially when there are kids around. Manners, folks, manners.

Parents who yap on their phones instead of parenting. Another serious one, I think I blogged on this at some point. This makes me crazy, especially when the child is being a hellion and no discipline is happening. Hang up and stop your angel from wreaking havoc in the restaurant or on the playground. It makes me sad when I see a parent pushing their baby in a stroller and all they’re doing is talking on the phone. Talk to your BABY! A baby’s brain is primed and ready to soak up knowledge. It’s amazing how they respond to you. Studies show over and again that talking to you baby promotes language development in the brain, it teaches babies how to read facial expressions and how to interact with other humans, and increases literacy potential. Those baby and toddler years are so precious and go by so fast, please don’t waste them on the cell phone. Really, who is more important than your child? Be a parent.

Using all of the toilet paper on the roll and not replacing it. My children. You know who you are.

And last but certainly not least,

Memes on Facebook that tell you to share this in the next twenty minutes and you’ll get money, share if you love Jesus, if you love God, share and you’ll have good luck, etc. God doesn’t care if I share a Facebook post and I would venture to say that Jesus doesn’t either. Not one friend who has ever shared these posts has ever suddenly become rich or lucky. Just saying.

That’s all for now. Of course, there are more, but people who complain too much are also on the list, so I’ll end here. Until next time.

Peace and love.

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Those that knew me in my high school/early college days know that I was not only a band geek, but a theatre geek as well. For a brief moment in time, I thought that I was ready to give it everything I had, to move to New York, to make it big on, of all places, Broadway! Alas, one learns the hard way that getting most of the leading roles in high school does always not a good actor make. When I got to Wayne State, I had a major taste of “small fish in a big pond syndrome”. I auditioned for plays and was crushed when I wasn’t chosen for anything significant. I finished out my year of classes with a crushed ego and decided to try something else.

At about that same time, I ran out of money for college, went to trade school, worked my butt off at several jobs, and went back to college. I fell in love (with a theatre guy, no less!), married him, and we started a family. I missed acting but there was no time for that in between diaper changes, homework, and working part-time, never mind trying to be a good wife! I was able to play a little at Greenfield Village, Katrina Van Tassel in The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, and as part of an angry mob finding the “monster” during the Halloween Walk, but I still envied friends who were able to actually act in the shows. I thought about going to audition once or twice, but many of those folks are professionals and they’re incredible performers. I knew that I wouldn’t stand a chance after all of their years of training and so, self-consciously, I watched and admired from the sidelines.

Fast forward to about a year and a half ago. A good friend of mine and Marty’s got a role in a play at The Players Guild of Dearborn. He’s about my age and hadn’t acted before, yet he was having a blast in his very first play! Marty and I went to see him and were very impressed. I began to think that maybe I’d go for something like that, too, but I was working in an incredibly stressful environment at that point, so adding one more thing to it all was not feasible then. Maybe one day…

I really began to think about it again this summer after landing a new job and seeing that a life outside of teaching might be possible again. Looking at the audition notices, I saw that they’d be auditioning for Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. I didn’t know the show well but saw that they would be having a large cast, a cast that maybe I’d have a chance of joining: you know, way in the background somewhere, but still getting to play.

To make a long story short, I watched the movie, learned some of the songs, auditioned (with shaky knees, stomach, and all; it had been about 18 years since I’d done a show), and got a role in the chorus! It’s been a little over a week since rehearsals started and I’m having so much fun! It’s a trick to learn the dance moves at 37 years old and learning to sing 2nd soprano is challenging, especially after losing my voice for a bit this week, but  everyone is so supportive and I’m far from the only new person there. Marty and the boys are excited to see it, although they have to put in the extra work at home when I’m gone at rehearsals and there are some absolutely fantastic people in the lead roles for them to see when they go.

I’m not looking to make a second career out of this and I’m at peace with the fact that I’ll only get to Broadway by buying a ticket, but for the moment, I get to play on stage and feel that excitement all over again.

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