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OK, that was a lie. I'm totally panicking.
As with most things that freak me out, there are a couple of layers to this panic. Kind of like a wobbly layer cake, waiting to crumble.
The first layer is simple - stage fright. In rehearsal I am confident, but I know from my experience with the handbell choir at my church that when it comes time to do anything in front of an audience my knees turn to Jell-O. Actual Jell-O. Sweartagod. And just like that jiggly wiggly stuff, the shaking works its way from my knees through the rest of me.
I'm the first one out: I walk out all by myself onto an empty stage and speak the first lines of the show. I know I won't walk out and just stand there like an idiot...but what if I'm so nervous that my voice works itself up to chipmunk range and shakes uncontrollably? That'll be fun.
The second layer is my weight. Ironically, the play centers around five friends who decide to take control of their lives after losing their good friend, Vonda Joyce. Vonda Joyce had spent years telling them that "as soon as she lost the weight" she was going to...well, fill in whatever. Unfortunately, she dies before she does any of it.
I'm terribly self-conscious about my weight (even though I'm slowly but surely losing it), and there are plenty of things I choose not to do because of it, but I'm trying to change that. Of course, that means walking out on stage with that little voice in my head yammering away about how awful I look. I'm trying to beat that voice down, but it's like playing Whack-a-Mole - smack it down over here, and it pops up over there.
At any rate, this little adventure is the reason I haven't been writing. My brain is so wrapped up in the play (and my lines, some of which I would kill to re-write), that I haven't been able to sustain a thought long enough to write even the shortest of short stories. We've got three shows this weekend, and three shows next weekend, and then I'm done and I'll be back to writing.
The play is called "Hallelujah Girls" and I'm playing Carlene Hart Waldrip Mukewater Travis - a woman who's been widowed three times and given up on any kind of romantic life. If you are going to be in the Asheboro, NC area this weekend or next, come on by! The other ladies (and the two men) in the play are AWESOME, and it promises to be a fun night!