Monday, February 7, 2011

The Understudy

I used to love acting when I was in school. I always took a drama elective, and tried out for school plays when the opportunity arose. I decided to quit when I was in grade 12 because sports were more my forte and I invested most of my time in that area.

The role of the understudies always fascinated me. You had to do all the work; line memorization, blocking, rehearsals, but chances are you probably wouldn't even get to participate. Being an understudy looked like it would kinda suck.

The funny thing is, since my daughter was born, I have been an understudy and didn't even know it. And since I was unaware of my role, I was ill-prepared when the main player went down and I was asked to take over the role.

When the curtain raised on opening night, the spotlight threatened to blind me. Diabetes... WHAT? Beta cells in the islets of WHERE? DEATH OF A PANCREAS??? I've never even heard of that play! I didn't know my lines. Where to stand. Talk about stage fright.

But thankfully, I have always loved improv and I'm pretty good at thinking on my toes. And so here I am; with a pretty big role in a very important production. We're 2 1/2 years into our run and even though I've flubbed a few lines, been late to rehearsals a couple of times and had some diva moments where I've refused to come out of my dressing room, I think I'm doing a pretty adequate job in my role of pancreas.

But in this case, I sure wish I had remained the understudy.

me circa 1992 in my junior high's production of Our Town. It's okay... I give you permission to laugh


  1. I'm a stinky understudy, too. I was looking back at pics of Isaac as a baby today with him and started crying, realizing that I never knew how easy things were those days.
    And I love your picture of your acting!

  2. I love that photo of you! And I think you are a terrific understudy!!! Especially considering you had not even studied your lines prior to taking over the lead role!

  3. Love your post! Now that we know you have an acting background, I think you should be the lead DOC Housewive in the reality show that Rose at Diapeepees recommended on her latest post!

  4. GREAT post Jo!! What a perfet analogy!

  5. Ok, are awesome! I love this post and I love the analogy. You have such a way with words and really get me thinking :)

    And no, I'm not laughing at your picture...I love it!

  6. I am happy you gave me permission to laugh, because boy howdy did I! Nah, nothing special about your funny photo . . . we all have a shoe box full of our own ;)

    Good idea you have going here . . . I think we can expand on the DOC Housewives and make ourselves a series.

  7. OH MY GOSH!! I lurve that picture! LOVE IT!

    Understudy is a brilliant analogy! I'm tucking that one away!

  8. I missed this glad that it was included in the Blogger Basal! I love this analogy!


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