Theatre arts is my bag. It’s what I’ve done at every opportunity for more years than I care to name. Acting, directing, stage managing, every job backstage from props to sound to lights, I even managed the box office for two years at the Red Barn Theatre. You name it, I’ve done it. I earned a bachelor’s in Drama as well as SAG, AFTRA and EQUITY memberships. With any luck, one day, this is all I’ll do. This and play with my grandchildren.
In Costa Rica, I’m doin’ it with The Little Theatre Group. September ’06, I played Sissy in Come Back to the Five & Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean. Sissy, the brash buxom bleached blonde. I had to come out of my shell for that one.
February ’07, I played (a pregnant) Lea in Strawberries in January. Funny and confusing. Right up my alley. But, wait, there’s more.
Acting out at each and every opportunity that followed, often on stage, I earned a B.S. in Drama from The Lindenwood Colleges in St. Charles, Mo.
The road led to two years in L.A. (not enough theatre), then to six in N.Y.C. where coveted memberships in Actor’s EQUITY, AFTRA and SAG were earned. (Then later set aside. All that angst for nothing!) During the NYC years, I was a founding member of the Encore Theatre Company; we produced six expensive shows for friends and family members off-off-off-off-Broadway.
I starred as a frequent bar patron on The Guiding Light which paid scale… darn good money even then.
My claim to fame was in a McDonald’s commercial for a hamburger named the McFeast. I sang – solo, mind you – “He’s why they made the bakery role!” The hamburger didn’t make it, but the checks kept rolling in. I still have the last one for $.88. It’s around here somewhere.
In the late ’70’s, I started spending summers in Key West helping Mom run The Artist House guesthouse. In a fateful turn in ‘83, I appeared as Marty in Grease at the Waterfront Playhouse. It was a turning point: I discovered that being a big fish in a little pond beats the hell out of being one of 7 million at a cattle call in N.Y.C. I didn’t leave Key West or its stages for another 22 years.
Favorite roles include Babe/Crimes of the Heart, Betty/The Foreigner, Berdine/Psycho Beach Party directed by the legendary Ray Coates, and Rhetta/Pump Boys and Dinettes. I played the grieving widow in Three Little Comedies by Chekhov and Rose Ritz in I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change. My last show in Key West before moving to Costa Rica was Potshots, a hilarious cabaret review of current events with five other players.
Roar of the Greasepaint, Smell of the Crowd / Urchin
The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie / Sandy
Born Yesterday / Billie Dawn
Sweet Charity / One ‘o the Girls (“Oooooo, he’s so tall!”)
How I Learned to Drive / Mother & Aunt Mary
Heaven / The Wife
The Hostage / Teresa
Jacques Brel is Alive and Well… / Cast
Tartuffe / Marianne (you never forget your first… in ’73)
There are others, but I’m too old to remember them now. I do remember having a ton ‘o fun!
Oh, right. Some other things happened along the way: In ’89, I met and married Hal. In ’91 and ’93, Mo and Ryan joined the audience. In ’95, I decided I needed a real job and became a real estate broker to finance my theatre habit.
That’s the tale to date. More being revealed all the time…