My apparent secret desire to be an actor has been a subplot in the PDP narrative for a few years, so I suppose it was natural that it would find its way into Rumors, especially after I stepped in during a couple of rehearsals to fill in for unavailable cast members. With that (to say nothing of the persistence of my boss), my professional stage debut was more or less an Inevitable Fate.
Of course, being inevitable and all that, Fate wasn’t exactly bent on making it easy for me. Buoyed by enthusiastic opening audiences and strong word of mouth (including a great review from Deborah Martin at the Express-News), our second weekend would see our best crowds yet, with Sunday’s show nearly filling the house.
I’ll let you guess who was scheduled to play Officer Pudney that day.
It didn’t help that I’d be following two more hilarious guest performances. Rita Verreos and Cassandra Lazenby took the role and ran with it (which couldn’t have been easy in those boots Rita was wearing). Following them, along with Jade’s opening-night turn in the same role, would be quite the challenge for any professional performer. So I was just a little nervous about it.
But I was blessed to have a supportive cast and crew to help me through it. Stephen walked me through the scene. Louisette worked with me to make sure our part of the scene (a highlight of every Officer Pudney cameo) would work. Angela and Alex and John and Homer made sure the backstage and tech issues were covered while I was on stage. And the rest of the cast encouraged me to get out there and make the part my own.
To be honest, I don’t think I did. I know I could have gone much farther with the material (and if you were there for Cassandra’s show on Saturday night, you know it can go REALLY far…), and I think there were moments when my stage fright got the better of me. But I had fun doing it. The audience seemed to enjoy it, as I heard a few laughs at my ad-libbed exit line. And my castmates had no end of kind words for me after the show. That’s the part that means the most to me.
So, I guess I did OK after all.
Would I do it again? I’m torn. The saner part of me thinks I should just Leave It To The Professionals. But I’m sure Nikki’s already looking out for something else she can cast me in. And I’d have a very hard time saying no.
Guess I’ll just have to see where this goes…
Until then, thanks to everyone who came to see the show this past weekend. And special thanks to my castmates for helping me through the more anxious moments. If I was any good at all, it was only through your support.
That said, the rest of you have three more chances to catch this superb cast in action. Our last shows will run Friday through Saturday, so to find out how to reserve your tickets, visit TRG’s website.
Thanks as always for sticking with me this long. See you at the theater…