Summer theater

6 Apr
I was always too shy to do drama (and always worried on the several occasions it was suggested to me as a means to overcome shyness. A few years ago, my boss told me I should consider “improv” and it freaked me out so much that my instinct response was to think about quitting, which I didn’t do). However, I did go on stage, three times.

I don’t have many recollections. Shame must have taken care of blanking them from my memory.

The first time I went on stage, I was between 3 and 6 years old and the occasion was the celebration of the end of the school year. Our teacher had decided our class was an Indian tribe. I was the squaw (i.e. the chief’s wife) and I was to present our newborn baby to the tribe. I don’t know that these memories are mine or based on hearing my parents recounting the story, but I do remember waiting in the teepee –with the baby doll– for the signal my teacher would give me. At the signal I was to come out of the teepee and present the baby. I was told that I came out of the teepee holding the baby by an ankle, presenting the newborn upside down.

During the summer of 1985, I was visiting my aunt in Corsica for a month, and I was in a play for the second time. Someone in the village had decided that keeping the kids busy with a theater play was better than letting us wander the streets and woods around in search of some trouble to make. I was to be a maid. I practised long and hard, I remember that much. I also remember that the representation was to occur only a few days after I turned 10. I don’t actually remember the play or whether it was a success. But my aunt remembers things. Like I was very unhappy that I was to be a simple maid. That she had to reveal to me the importance of maids at the time the play was set in. She also remembers that she helped me with reheasals. If I had been a promising actress, I’m positive she would have complimented me wink

The third time I was on stage was, similarly to the first time, at the occasion of the school fair. I was almost 12 and it felt like the last school assignment I had to do before being rewearded with the summer holiday. Our teacher had picked an episode of “The Love Boat”. I was the goffer. I remember a few things, but none related to the play itself. I remember being glad I was wearing a white outfit because it was a really hot and sunny day and we were not acting in the shade. I remember wishing I would not trip when I climbed the stairs to go on stage (I don’t think I did, otherwise I would remember). And the other thing I remember is the make-up artist telling me the shape of my eye-brows was perfect and how pleased I was by what he had told me. I was also surprised because never before had I considered that eye-brows shape was something to have an opinion on. (I’m totally digressing but I have to note that either fashion changed since then, or the said shape changed and became not so perfect over time. Or the guy made fun of me in the first place.)

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