On Valentine's Day this year, I will be onstage for one of the final performances of an evening of eight 10-minute, one-act plays (not surprisingly called Eight Tens @8). The play I'm in, called "The Sound of Moonlight," is a quirky romantic comedy about a woman who feels slighted and unappreciated by her husband, who is trying to please her while staying in his integrity: a hopeless proposition. Meanwhile there are these two crickets who are trying to mate but are disturbed by the humans' bickering. They speak in Shakespearean couplets. (Hey, it's a play after all!)
I've spent worse Valentine's nights, even and especially when in relationship. What I've loved about being a part of these performances is how it all came together. I didn't try out for this play, thinking I had no interest in such a big investment of time (many rehearsals, 20 performances). I was called in after one of the cast members left and, in spite of many time constraints I had—not to mention my lack of experience and self-confidence as an actor—the director kept saying, "That's okay, we'll work around it." I began to feel like the Jack Lemmon character at the end of Some Like It Hot ("But I'm a man!" "Well, nobody's perfect."), so I agreed to take over the role. If I've learned anything from The Work—and from being a student of improv—it's to say yes, to accept offers.
I was embraced from that moment on, by my director, cast members, the backstage crew and our audiences. I've loved stretching myself beyond my comfort zone. I love knowing that I don't really have an interest in pursuing acting and that I don't totally discount the possibility of doing it again, either.
If this isn't a metaphor for love—and life—I don't know what is.
Happy Valentine's Day to all my beloveds.
"I know everybody in the world loves me;
I just don't expect them to realize it yet."
©2009 by Carol L. Skolnick; all rights reserved.