I belong to a most fantastic theater group called The Players, both as a member and as a member of the board of governors (which sounds way more fancy than it is). When I tell people this, they assume it involves key parties or something along those lines, but it's really about getting together and putting on literal plays in an historic Indianapolis theater, dressing up in black tie attire, dining at a country club, and dancing to the stylings of local easy-listening bands. The bands almost always feature a woman who thinks she can successfully cover "Rolling in the Deep" by Adele. PSA: Unless you ARE Adele, you have no business singing that song.
But I digress. I'm in the throes of my second play this year. The first was a very funny rendition of "The Newlywed Game," in which I played a gal named Megan who was a little controlling and into S&M. I got to wear a black wig, leather (okay, pleather) leggings, and a chain around my neck (see pic above). In just a couple of weeks, I'm performing in the "It's a Wonderful Life" radio show. I do the voices of young Harry Bailey and Tilly the secretary (who has a great Boston accent) as well as sing the radio theme. It's not Christmas, but this story is good all the year long. Bonus - I get to wear 1940s garb. I've always been convinced I would've been most happy living in that era.
I adore being onstage. It's so fabulous pretending to be someone else for a few hours, and, to be honest, I thrive a bit on attention. Okay, maybe more than a bit. I draw my energy from an audience, which explains why I love teaching literature. It's like a permanent acting job with a salary, benefits, and a captive audience.
But the best part of this little club is the people. Theater people are my tribe. They're creative, weird, a little off, slightly inappropriate, and the funniest people on the planet. They push me to be the best I'm capable of, and are brutally honest and quick to point out shortcomings (but in a good way). In the end, there is something magical about working so hard to create something that other people want to see; to draw them into another world and make it believable. There's magic in the applause and magic in the bonding of the cast. The acrid, dry smell of an old theater is nearly as perfect as that of an old book. And theater people provide endless entertainment and material for anyone writing a book... (subliminal plug - Book 2 of the Cate series is nearly finished and due to publish in May/June).
I love being a Player. And I'd encourage you all to be Players too, wherever you are.
Courtney is a most fabulous writer and teacher of gifted middle school students. She is the author of two novels - see the "Cate Books" page of this site for information! Watch for updates about future books that need to be part of your personal library. In the meanwhile, enjoy her pithy life observations.