Saturday, May 26, 2012
I Was Peter Pan But Didn't Fly
But this wasn't to be their careers. They were just having fun. And I did, too. There is nothing quite like the camaraderie that develops in a cast. You work long hours together, emote together, and produce wonderful work together.
One of my last stints on the stage before I started going to real auditions and had my head handed to me, was a production of The Comedy of Errors at Cal State Dominguez Hills. I played Adriana and got to perform my two loves: Shakespeare and comedy. And I had the most gorgeous Italian Renaissance costume that I got to wear. We had a blast in the production. I got a boyfriend out of it, too...not the man I married, though...and the eye of the director for a particular role. His next production was to be the musical Peter Pan.
During The Comedy of Errors, the director told me of his plans to stage Peter Pan, and he asked me if I could sing and dance. First rule of the stage is always tell the director "yes" (get your mind out of the gutter!) But actually, I can sing and I can move gracefully, or could, anyway. He liked the physicality of my performance and I felt I was a shoe in.
And as the years past, and I grew older and dumpier, I knew that the chance was gone forever. But as they say, when one door closes, another door opens. I gave up the dream of the stage (and anyway, unlike Rachel Berry, I didn't have a plan past college. I didn't have the slightest idea how to proceed.) But I did see a future elsewhere; in all those posters and programs I was designing for plays over the years. I realized I had other talents and changed my major to art and left with an art degree and became a graphic artist in Los Angeles for the next fifteen years. It was somewhat later that I switched careers yet again to that of a novelist.
But I never forgot the career that could have been. And whenever I see a poster for Peter Pan--Cathy Rigby is performing it again here, where I live--I think of that lost chance to fly, that may or may not have amounted to anything at all. I don't think there is room today in Barrie's play for an overweight Jewish mother, flying around over the stage, chasing after Peter, telling him to wear a sweater because it sometimes gets cold in Neverland.
That just wasn't going to fly.