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Give my regards to Broadway

Okay, maybe I never got to Broadway but I did get back to my high school theater.

This past weekend I performed in an alumni play at my high school for a fundraiser. I hadn’t been on that high school stage in 22 years.

I got to perform with more than a dozen other former students that spanned 30 years of  high school graduates. In one word, it was- incredible.

Here’s something that might surprise you. I loved high school. I know, weird huh? I loved high school because I was a theater geek. And proud of it. I spent hours upon hours rehearsing. I spent weekends until almost midnight running through dress rehearsals and tech rehearsals.

Would I have rather lived in the theater during my school days instead of going to Chemistry or Business Law class? You betcha.

I wasn’t popular, but I loved when people came up to me and said they saw me in the show. I made friends with everyone- jocks, brainiacs, band geeks, cheerleaders, wavers, stoners, whatever. They all did some type of theater for an English credit at some point. For the kids that figured out how much fun it was, they stuck around. And then we just became a family of theater kids. Our director/coach/teacher was a woman we called Gorne. Just her last name was enough.

So here we were, in 2012. All in the name of Gorne, who asked us to do this fundraiser for the Speech and Debate team, something else she coached and yes, I was a part of that too. She found most of us through Facebook and probably our parent’s phone numbers that she still had in some address book somewhere. Yes, I’m friends with some teachers on Facebook. Is that weird?

These are the teachers that made an impression. That treated me like I was a person. They recognized that I wasn’t just a teenager or a student, but a living, breathing, dreaming soul with the world waiting for me. They helped me make that step into the big scary world  and gave me the confidence in myself that kept me from hiding under the covers every day of my first semester of college.

When a bunch of us convened at the Little Theater, that’s what we call the school’s performance hall, to pick up our scripts, I recognized a few faces. Hugs and big hellos were exchanged and it was great to see friends that I had only seen through Facebook and hadn’t had the chance to see in the flesh for the last 20 years. A few faces I recognized immediately as alumni from grades that were before my years. But I knew who they were because when I was in junior high I would come to the high school to see the shows. I fell in love with those performers. They were my idols and inspiration to do theater myself.

One girl, Cindy, was in a performance of Gentlemen Prefer Blondes during her senior year. I loved that show and her in it. When I was face to face with her for this show, I told her how much I admired her. Here we were, both in our 40s, just regular folks, and I felt like I was 15 again idolizing the big campus Senior. She was sweet and humble of course.

The connection we all had, even if we were the class of 1983, 1990, or 2012, was that we wanted to be there for our teacher, Gorne, and for the love we have of that Little Theater. It’s like coming home. Writing this puts a pit in my gut even. It brings tears to my eyes. Because the feeling of being in that Green Room, doing our before show chant (it’s a secret) and walking through the back stage door for Gorne to give us that arm squeeze of encouragement, made me swell with emotion. Taking our places in the dark wings of the back stage, tip toeing around to our props and waiting to hear the audiences reaction, was almost enough to get me to sobs. It felt so good. I couldn’t believe that what I loved most about my youth was being recaptured in a way that wasn’t disappointing or a let down. It was just as much a thrill and a feeling of  family as it was back then.

I pulled myself together, shed a tear or two, but not much since I didn’t want to ruin my false eyelashes, and I swallowed that vomit-nervous feeling, and went on that stage to the bright lights I love so much. It felt good. And best of all, there in the front row, were my kids cheering me on. Does someone have a Kleenex? I’m all verklempt!

The crazy collaborative alumni cast of TUNA DOES VEGAS 2012. Can you find me?

My big Texas makeup for the play.

Vera and Pearl on the plane headed for doom. Well, Vegas. Yes, we played the hell out of those oxygen masks in a very theatrical, dramatic way!

Thanks to Gorne, and the whole cast for making this a truly remarkable experience. I’ll do it again in a heart beat!

I’m blogging about blogging and there’s so many others out there doing the same.

Blogging is a completely acceptable way of begging people to notice you and then tell you how witty and talented you are.  At least that’s what I’m learning. You get addicted to your site stats- when your readership goes up, when new people subscribe, when someone comments- OH that’s the best! It’s like my very own Christmas in my inbox!

I appreciate everyone that reads my blog. I really appreciate the one or two that tell me in person how much they enjoy it. I really, really appreciate it. Because I’m a Leo and Leos need compliments. All the time. James is still learning this.

It’s strange that there’s more people that I don’t know who are reading what is going on in my life.

But newsflash- there’s millions of blogs out there. Like stars. Too many to be numbered. On Word Press alone- there’s about 300,000 blog entries a day. So anyone that stumbles upon my blog and takes the time to read it, literally feels like someone finding me in a haystack and I’m the needle. The blogosphere is a very supportive community that understands how good it feels to be recognized. And let’s face it- there’s some dull blogs out there, preachy blogs out there and weird blogs out there. I won’t read about prophecies, hemorrhoid cream or ‘how to make this year the most successful yet’.

Blogging is even more liberating than Facebook. Facebook is a polite venue of conversation. Blogging is personal, (sometimes too personal) it can be rants, mushy sentimentality, ridiculous pictures of cats… I think what’s really weird about it is, I hated writing when I was growing up. I didn’t do very well on my essays in high school. The Beowulf midterm was a little sketchy. And I remember the Macbeth paper I was supposed to write in AP English. I don’t think I ever turned it in. Seriously. I had this aversion to writing. An English teacher in high school told me my writing was awful. Really. That’s what he said. He was proofing my essay on Shakespeare’s Julius Ceasar. And as he stroked his red pen all over the page, he shakes his head and says, ‘Gee, Rebecca, your writing is awful.’  He should’ve been fired. Well, okay, not fired. But I should’ve gotten all Glee on him and told him he isn’t supposed to wreck my self esteem like that. He needs to be more constructive in his criticism and not crush me.

I was an executive assistant for a start up company in my early twenties. The VP asked me to write an article for some environmental city official for some project we were working on. I froze. Don’t ask me to write! I can answer phones, do excel, expense reports, Microsoft Project, make coffee, whatever… just don’t make me write. In my own words.

I did. And I lived through it.

I was a theater major for crying out loud! I focused on acting. I never understood people who wanted to turn in screen plays or manuscripts. I liked to be told what to do. I was the puppet, the clay to be molded. I liked directors to tell me what to do.

I don’t know what changed. Facebook maybe? I am a constant proofer. I can’t stand errors and grammatical misuses. I like making up my own words though. Like ‘glowy’ and ‘thingy’ and anything else I can just add a ‘y’ to.

Blogging is like that annual Christmas letter you put with your Christmas photo each year and send to the relatives. Mostly the ones that aren’t on Facebook since everyone else knows what’s going on in your life. With a blog, each entry is like my annual Christmas letter. I get to brag, whine, gloat, preach, rant, rave whatever… Not that I would DO that in a Christmas letter. Maybe the brag part. Or the preach part.

I get to pretend I work for a fashion or beauty magazine and I’m the editor. I’m going to grace you with all this useful information! Suckers!!

I’m just muddling through really. And thanks for muddling along with me.

This was a boring ass post. My apologies. Here for fun- I will add a silly picture from the internet.