The community theater extrovert

I don’t know what it is about community theater. I become a whole different person. I’m not just talking about the role I’m playing as a character, I’m talking about me as a person. I become an extrovert.

In real life I am not much of a social person. I blog, does that count? You get the idea. I like to keep my opinions to myself. I shy away from the spotlight and become a wallflower. I am moody, melancholy, and not at all agreeable. But at the theater, I am an extrovert on stage and off. All or nothing, baby! My most redeeming social quality is that I have a quick wit. I love to make people laugh. After the evening shows, Paul and I rarely made it to bed before 1 AM.

One night after celebrating at the theater, we had a couple of people crash at our house. One of the actresses confessed that she has cancer and is going through her third round of radiation next week. How could I say ‘no’ to that? Come on over! That night I went to bed at 2 AM then got up the next morning and did the show all over again. That is life as a community theater extrovert I guess.

You tend to meet a whole bunch of eccentric characters at the theater. For a brief time, they get to be someone else too. I wish I could say that all other life stops for awhile during the run of a show, but it goes on. I lost my job during the run of the show. I wasn’t the only one either. A cast member had a funeral to attend out of state. One young girl got her first period and had to reach out to people that were basically strangers to help.

For that short period of time, we became like family and you know how it is with family…some people drive you nuts. Oh, and there is always drama.

There was this new lady that was very beautiful, nice, encouraging, optimistic, and cheerful. She also totally annoyed the crap out of me. Every time she was on stage she would over act and upstage me. It drove me nuts. Back stage she dumped my whole water bottle on my dry clothes. It was an accident so I couldn’t do anything but suppress my irritation. She apologized profusely. When we had only two shows left, she decided that she didn’t like the dance routine choreography and wanted everyone to change it without actually telling everyone who would be on stage at the time. I told her there was no way I would be changing anything.

My husband Paul had the lead part. He had somewhere around 200 lines to memorize. Most of them were a paragraph long. He did a great job. Everyone thought that he had a natural gift for memorizing. Does anyone?? I really want to know. He spent at least an hour a day going through his lines.

There were love triangles on stage and off. Did you know that the theater is also a good place to fall in love? My uncle Rick met someone at the theater for a first date and they are already engaged!

Sometimes things didn’t go as planned. Lines got missed or messed up. Once the curtain opened at the wrong time while a woman was changing behind it. One little girl got hit hard on the head by someone moving a prop. Three other people fell, one while tied up. Many people had sore throats. We wandered around the rest of the week like exhausted zombie versions of ourselves while life continued on.

Then after the show is over, the main characters have to de-role. It is time to say good-bye to the new family. There is a period of sadness and loss after saying bye to a beloved character that almost becomes you for awhile.

For that brief time, everybody loved you. You were someone special, a star. The anxiety of performing is a major adrenaline rush. It is thrilling! Did I mention the costumes, makeup, wigs, and hair primping? Fun!

Then when it is all done, we go back to our normal lives until the next show.

 

Widows weekend at home

Is it sad that I would rather stay home and clean my house instead of going out with friends? Is something wrong with me? Or am I just getting old??

This is the traditional widows weekend in Wisconsin. Tomorrow is the opening day for deer hunting. Tonight is the night that the girls go out whether their husbands hunt or not.

Tonight I am staying home and cleaning my house.

Growing up I lived in isolation and most of the time I enjoyed that lifestyle. I grew up in a house filled with introverts.

Now I am surrounded by a family of extroverts. There are always people coming and going. My kids constantly ask if friends can come over for the weekend. It is busy, bustling, and loud.

Is it wrong to want silence??

The last couple of times out with friends, I was completely bored. I had to yell over the crappy music of an untalented band. People ran into me and spilled their drinks on me. I have a hard time dancing and having fun if the music sucks. I get hit on, grabbed, and groped by guys that I would have no interest in dating even if I was single.

Even the best of friends sober are annoying when they are drunk and the non-drinkers are a drag to hang out with.

Yesterday I ran into an old friend at the grocery store. I don’t know if she recognized me. I pretended that I didn’t know her. I was in a hurry and didn’t want to waste time talking about superficial things. I hate small talk.

If you are going to be my friend, you will be there in the good times and the bad times.

But frankly, I will probably push you away in the bad times because I don’t like to talk to anyone about my life. I am a very private person although you wouldn’t know it here. It seems safer talking to you folks, all complete strangers, that I have no chance of running into in real life.

Then during the good times, I will be upset that you weren’t there for me in the bad times even though I probably pushed you away.

It’s not that I have social anxiety or poor social skills. Sometimes I just want to be alone. Maybe I am not a good friend.

The shy lie

I am a complete and total liar. I will try to give you an honest explanation. I grew up in a house full of introverts with the exception of my youngest brother. Being an introvert, this was very pleasing to me. On the introversion scale of -10 being the most introverted and 10 being the most extroverted, as a youth I was at a -8. I didn’t start speaking in front of people until I was about 30. (There is hope for you). Then I got married and found myself in a house full of extroverts. This can drive the introvert in me a bit crazy at times always going somewhere always having people over. It did bring me out of my shell and I would say that on the introversion scale I am now about a -2 and so is my son. My husband and daughters are all rather extreme extroverts.

That being said, I had the unique experience of spending half of my life surrounded by introverts and the other half surrounded by extroverts. But I am a liar in an introverted way. If someone asks me if a dress makes them look fat and it does, the first thing I try to do is change the subject. If that doesn’t work, then I will indirectly answer the question by saying something related, but not the truth, like the dress is a good color on you. I want to scream out that the dress looks like crap on you but instead I sweetly say that it does not make you look fat. Instead, it looks good. Yes, it looks good. I lie when everything inside me screams to tell the truth. To make matters worse, I hate confrontation.

I think that blogging has given me an avenue to say what I really mean. Something I find difficult to do in everyday life. Since a majority of you don’t know me, what do you care? Everything within me is telling me that the truth should be told. I really don’t want to be silent anymore. I won’t sit silent and let others think I am an idiot, that I don’t have an opinion.

Yes, the dress makes you look fat! Okay, now can we change the subject?