My family made up a group of 11 for my show Saturday night! I was surprised by tears that threatened to fall when the curtain rose. The Overture was well on its way, but that curtain lifted and I was ready to cry! It meant so much to have them there. (They boycotted me and saw none of my shows in 1993, when I hit my mother back for the first and only time after a lifetime of physical, emotional, and verbal abuse, so it’s a really charged, emotional issue.)
I’ve never had such a large crowd rooting for me all at once. Mom really came through for me. I asked her to bring “all the girls.” 2 aunts came with 1 uncle, my GRANDMA, all 4 nieces, my sis, sister-in-law, and mom. ❤
My aunt made fun of me for not acting at all. “I’m uniquely qualified to play a neurotic showgirl,” I agreed. (One reviewer wrote, “The real standout is Adelaide.” She doesn’t need to know it’s not an act.)
Tech week was officially the worst of them all. They kept us after midnight every night before opening! One night I got home after 2am! I was livid. The next day, 2 hot box dancers fainted onstage. I was one of them. When they advised me to take care of myself, I nearly walked off. Let me SLEEP! And when am I supposed to be feeding myself (or shopping for groceries) if you keep me for 7 hours after I work 8?
I’m still annoyed.
I’ve never rehearsed for 7 hours when I wasn’t getting paid. This is community theatre. You have no right to ask more than 3-4 hours after work, and whatever you like on Saturdays. Or you start sooner. I wondered from the beginning how they thought they were putting on such a big show in less than 2 months. I was furious to be proven right, and then completely dismissed and mildly chastised.
“You have to take care of yourself.”
You better take care, right now!
Then we opened, and it all went away. (I was surprised. I was pissed.) I felt united, excited, and full of togetherness and nerves.
I was terrified. I’ve never felt less ready to open, but we just needed our audience. There’s nothing like that symbiotic energy. It’s magic!
I love this part. “Guys & Dolls” is just great, classic American musical theatre, and Adelaide is my love song. You know what else? I’m good in this role. I don’t know why. I’m not the best dancer, singer, actor, anything, but I have heart.
I guess that’s it. I feel it. I’m not faking. You can feel me all the way to the rafters. I hold nothing back, and theatre seems to be the only place that’s appreciated.
Also, I’m hilarious. I got props in the review for comedic timing. In any case, I crack myself up. (A friend described me in 1995. “The thing I love about Christie,” he said. “is she laughs harder than anyone at her own jokes.”) There’s one other guy whose ad libs are funnier than mine, and we’ve been competing all rehearsal long.
More than anyone, my Nathan has become a dear friend and confidante. I love him. I love that he’s on the planet. I love that he’s raising children. He’s been so kind to me. He’s a good, kind person who humbles and inspires me. I’m so glad he’s my Nathan.
Theatre has been so generous since my return at 40. I hoped to be a dancing secretary in the ensemble of “How To Succeed,” and I got Hedy Larue! That was far beyond what I expected. I just wanted to play, to feel that particular expression of creativity again. Meeting Maurie, my director, is forever one of the greatest gifts.
I did “9 to 5” for Maurie 2 years later, upon request, just because I love her.
“Avenue Q,” at a community theatre in UTAH? Come on! Bad Idea Bear? Best part!
And now Adelaide, who’s all I ever wanted. Everything else has been a surprise and a freebie along the way. I’m so fortunate. I’m proud. I enjoy my talent, finally, and I feel honored by the generosity of those who chose me and worked with me.
I don’t know when I’ll do another show. I’m satisfied.
In 2018, I’m looking forward to centering and simplifying. I want to sing for old folks again. I’m excited for yoga, belly dance, Afro-Brazilian/Samba (easier on the body than full-on African), drumming on Saturdays, guitar (songwriting will fall out of me if I just commit to getting those callouses and chords), and mastering the didgeridoo after 10 years of knowing Marko. It’s all right there, and I just sat on it.
I’m not sitting anymore.