You know how you always hear that athletes want to make music and musicians want to be athletes? Well it goes for other professions, too.
About two months ago, I found out my homeless buds were putting on a play. It featured ten stories of homelessness. The Homeless Monologues! What Eve Ensler did for the vagina, these guys were going to do for the homeless.
When I found out about this...and it was by accident...my first thought was how do you not tell the one person you know that actually writes about this topic. Ummm yeah, that would be me. So I pretty much guilted them into letting me get involved in the production. All that Jewish mother training paid off, sorta.
I write a piece for this play and it's pretty good, if I say so myself. It's not a personal story but more of a quick look at how no homeless story is the same and how would you know if someone is homeless by how they look. Yada, yada yada but it's powerful if delivered by the right person. For some insane reason, I decided I was the right person.
I've read pieces of my writing in public before and I'm good with that...no problem. Apparently I need to learn the definitions of the words Play vs Book Reading! Book reading-Good! Play/acting-Not so much. I guess I should have known better when I heard there were professional actors actually acting out the pieces. OY!!!
There were a couple of rehearsals. The first was a table read and that went well...especially since the keyword there is READ!! The second was the Friday before the gig and it didn't go nearly as well. That left the entire weekend to sweat it out before the Monday night show....and the keyword there is sweat. There was a lot of that!
That brings us to last Monday. SHOWTIME!! I've got the words down, sorta. We did a run through on stage and it went okay, sorta. I figured the worst that would happen is I'd totally screw it up and I'd be embarrassed but at least it would be over. The best is it would be a command performance which would lead me to Hollywood/Broadway and Donald Trump would be calling me the most overrated actor ever. I guess it was somewhere in between. I think it was closer to suckville than Tony worthy but, and here's a pro tip..it's easier to just say thank you when people compliment you.
But that night really wasn't all about me although I've just spent four hundred words making you think it was. The shelter raised a nice chunk of change so they can keep providing beds and services to the people who really need them. That's the important thing!
I left the theater, and thanks to the Goodman Theater for donating the room, feeling pretty good about the night. As I was walking to the train, I saw two people sleeping under the train tracks. That was followed by seeing others sleeping on the train. It was a sobering reminder that although we raised money to help some homeless people there are many others that need our help. We have a long way to go....a very long way.
So that's the story of my acting debut. It's always good to try new things that take you out of your comfort level and this definitely did. I'm pretty sure that this was a one and done type thing and I'm fine with that. Besides....I really want to direct!
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