Saturday, August 2, 2008

Bobby Socks, Ponytails, and a Little Dream

Ed. note-This began as a short post about last night, but it turned into a small biographical novel. Sorry about the length...

When I was little, all I wanted to be was a dancer/actress/singer on stage. I dreamed of being a Rockette or performing on Broadway. When I was growing up, I can remember going to see the Nutcracker or a musical and fantasizing about being up there on stage with the performers. I took dance lessons-ballet, tap, and jazz-for years and loved every minute of it. We would have a recital each summer and I reveled in performing on those nights. In my free time, I would take my trusty tape recorder and armed with cassettes of various musicals, I would choreograph routines and pretend that I was performing on stage.

As I grew up, I continued the dance lessons, but I also became involved in various other activities in middle and high school. So my dreams of Broadway took a backseat, and by the time I was applying for college and deciding on a major, a more practical option was chosen. But there was always a part of me that wished I had at least tried to pursue a career on stage.

Fast forward a few years...I am newly married and have settled in another state with Mr. P. I'm teaching third grade and have become friends with the owner of the local dance studio named Anne. Anne was dating a man that owns and runs the local outdoor theater.

I met him one night and he said he was always looking for new people for his annual summer shows. He asked me if I was interested in performing in his theater that summer with Anne. He explained that he was the playwright for the 4 shows that he produced at his theater. Two of the shows were historical accounts of local history and two of the shows were 50's musicals. This was like a dream come true.

Well, later that summer, he called me and asked me if I was still interested. Interested?? Of course I was! So with huge butterflies in my stomach, I made my way to the first rehearsal. I ended up having a great time and I was hooked. And every August and September since, I have spent my weekend nights in bobby socks and saddle oxfords, singing and dancing on stage.

Last night was opening night, and I realized that I have been doing this for 12 years now. 12 years! It just doesn't seem possible. I've almost given it up a few times, particularly after Anne passed away from cancer a few years ago. But I've stuck with it and never regretted it, although I still miss her terribly, especially around this time of year.

I'm a pretty quiet person until I get to know you, so people are often surprised when they find out I do this. It's not one of the first things that I tell people about when I talk about myself, so it's kind of like a secret life I have. Sometimes people will come up to me and say "I saw an ad for -------- Theater and it looked like you in one of the pictures." I'll smile sheepishly and admit it was indeed me.

I don't know how much longer I'll keep doing it. It is a huge time committment, and I know that Mr. P gets tired of our weekend evenings being tied up for two months every year. But every time I think about taking a break from it, the little show diva in me won't let me give it up. Until then, it's going to be bobby socks, ponytails, and a little dream come true for me.

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