Tag: Central Michigan University

Exit Stage Left

Exit Stage Left

I walked out from behind the curtain, found my mark on stage and delivered my line.  As I turned to take my exit, the audience broke out in laughter.  I was paralyzed. It was the first time performing for a live audience.  I wasn’t prepared for their reaction.

I played the maid in George Washington Slept Here, the basis for the television show Green Acres.  I was comic relief inside a comedy.

Summer Theater was a six credit course at Central Michigan University.  Two directors were staging three productions.  They required every student to work on two shows.  We submitted our credits and read some lines.

I loved my backstage experiences, making sets, sewing costumes, calling light cues from the booth, and changing sets between scenes.  I had no desire to perform on stage.

stage 2

Assignments were posted on the bulletin board.  Stage Manager for Our Town, that makes sense.  (Jeff Daniels played the lead.)  But my name next to a stage role, surely it was a mistake.  My eyes flew open, I held my breath.  Dr. Smith, the Director, can fix this, he must fix this.  I begged, pleaded, bargained.  It was not optional.  He wanted me for that role.

In George Washington Slept Here I had maybe two lines.  No big deal, until the audience reacted.  I knew then, for certain, that the theater was not calling to me.  It was my first last and only acting experience, or was it.

In my career(s) as a trainer, consultant, yoga teacher, fundraiser, and community development speaker I put myself in front of one audience after another for decades.  It may not qualify as acting, but I was most certainly always performing a role.

stage 3