Sunday, January 11, 2009

Theatre talk

Tomorrow I am speaking at a luncheon for a service group out in Sun City; the PEO club, don't know what that stands for. But I do know they support education for women, have numerous scholarship programs and such. They asked me to come talk about theatre and acting. This has been on my calendar for months. Someone in the group was at a cancer luncheon I spoke to back in June and they schedule their meeting guests that far in advance. So I knew this was coming, but it still snuck up on me.

I spent the evening putting together a power point presentation with pics for the occasion. They want to know the ins and outs of it all - auditions, ways to prepare for a role, favorite shows, things like that. So I made plenty of notes and tried to find things to talk about that answer some of the questions people ask all the time. Like "How do you memorize all those lines?" And "How many rehearsals do you have?" One of the questions the organizer sent me was what was my most difficult production. That one is easy. Since I was trying to play Shelby in Steel Magnolias when I was diagnosed with cancer, I think that probably beats just about every other theatre difficulty I have encountered.

I had a hard time narrowing things down though. I could pull up slides and talk about shows all day long. But in the end I tried to keep it simple and light and then let them ask their questions at the end. I think it is going to be a fun time.

I am slightly nervous because I don't speak extemporaneously much and since I had chemo my vocabulary is sometimes held hostage in my brain. You know how sometimes you just can't find a word or a name? You know it is in there, you use it 50 times a week, it was your favorite movie in high school, but your brain just won't give it up till you relax and come back to it later? That used to happen to be occasionally just like everyone else. But since chemo, it happens at least once or twice a day. When I am talking to someone, I have a hard time accessing my full vocabulary. Seriously. This is a symptom of what cancer patients call chemo brain - this is something we feel is very real, but isn't always accepted or documented by the medical community. But trust me it is real. I don't have the short-term memory I used to and I can't reach my words like I used to.

But I am not too worried, cause I stuck to topics in theatre I am very familiar with and I think I can get through the luncheon without embarrassing myself. And if I can't find my words, I'll just tell them the story of chemo brain and place the blame where it belongs.

David and I accomplished a few things this weekend. We scrubbed both bathrooms, redid the grout in the shower that had succumbed to mildew, washed clothes, cleaned the BBQ grill and replaced worn out parts inside it. I have the sheets and duvet in the washer right now so we can crawl into clean, warm, sweet-smelling bedding tonight. I love clean sheet days.

I also decided to sign up for an audition slot for Grease at the Palace. There are over 30 women signed up already, so I understand the odds of getting into this one, given the level of dance I have. Which is basic/fake it technique. But though it is a long-shot, I have to audition because the number of awesome people I know signed up means that this could be a great and fun show to do and I would regret not even trying. You have to try. Sometimes the long-legged blond dancers beat you out, but you still have to try, right?

No comments: