All the World’s a Stage

Kids are natural performers. Our little guy comes by it honestly, of course. Both his mom and dad were active community theatre actors before he came along (actually, we did a show in our first trimester, so…). When he sees a stage, he bolts for it. Lately, he’s been inclined to frequently “a-tap, a-tap, a-tappa,” doing his own version of tap dancing. Before he could walk, I held him up in amazement as his little legs flailed, his brow furrowed, attempting to emulate an Astaire routine he was watching. It’s apparently in his blood, but I also believe that the force is strong in all children.  

There’s a lot of awesome to be had from this level of creativity. It builds social and mental development, to say nothing of the confidence it creates.

But, what if your child is a major introvert? Does that mean that he or she will miss out on all of the benefits of “performing”? Absolutely not. Our guy isn’t always “on.” He has his shy moments. There are tons of very different ways to get the best out of this form of play (I like to think of it as play, at least), and oftentimes kids come to them naturally. Just watch the next time they’re playing independently and see if they’re actually, secretly, performing by doing any of the following:


Pots and Pans Pretending. It seems like almost all kids gravitate to the grown-up pots and pans, don’t they? Our little one uses them for their intended purpose…or, at least, pretends to be a chef. Others use them to let out their musical inclinations. Still others use them for, well, whatever the heck they want. I know it can be a pain at times, but let them and even encourage it. (Oh, and providing their own tools to continue this pretend play helps, too. If they like to “drum,” give them toy percussion instruments. We gave Hadley some cooking tools of his own and his own “pantry area”, too.)

Dance Parties! Dance and general bodily movement is so integral to brain development, it’s crazy. Certain motions trigger sections of the brain to start synopsing, such as cross-over hand and foot motions and other slightly complex movements. Plus, it’s a fun exercise that you can do as a family! It definitely helps us take ourselves less seriously (especially if it’s silly music) and even gets the parents off their hineys. 

The Type of Toy Matters. I’m building a post specifically about this, but I’ll just put the premise out here: “character” toys are fine, but make sure there’s a good mix of simple and creative toys available, too. I have a definite love-hate relationship with purchasing toys because it’s a character on a show that our little man loves, or buying the whole Disney gamut of products. Additionally, lots of toys DO SO MUCH (noises! lights! letters! songs! colors! gah!) that they don’t allow the rationalizing parts of a child’s brain do their thing. So, this Christmas we’ve been sure to ask Santa for more Duplo Legos, Play-Doh (I know, I should be making my own or buying eco), a generic doctor kit, and my “homemade” gift for him is for total imaginative play.  

Dress-Up. We’ve been working on a “dress-up box” for Hadman since well before he was born. Um, yeah, we’re a little weird. I think part of the reasoning is that WE love playing pretend, so we hope to encourage it if our kid(s) feel an interest, too. For now, he has one or two pretend items (like a bandana and a soft pirate hat) in with the rest of his toy stuff for if and when he wants to use it. As he gets older, he’ll have a designated dress-up area that he can pull whatever he’d like out of. Oh, and you don’t have to spend a million dollars on this stuff — perusing your local thrift shop may turn up some fake glasses or an awesome artist’s beret (just wash it first…ew).

Pretend of Any Kind. Whether it’s structured role play, play time with a sibling or friend, or just letting your child play independently, this is crucial to their development. It teaches problem solving, the ability to work (and occupy oneself) alone, and much more. Plus, as a parent, the first time you hear your child talking amongst himself about the scene he’s playing out before him? Melt. This is how we first heard his rendition of the alphabet. They open up this new side to the world, a completely non-self-conscious little person who will lay it all out because either they don’t realize anyone’s listening, or they don’t care. Can’t we all learn something there?

See Shows. We have yet to take our guy to a show. He’s still at a very wiggly, won’t-sit-still age. He knows that Mama and Daddy like to see shows (rare these days, but still) and he’s asked to go, too, but I know full well that it’ll be a disaster of a night. However, we’re on the lookout for short, kidcentric shows (like “Sesame Street Live!” which comes around every year or so, or other short, live-action performances of famous story books) to give him his first performance. Another thing I’d like to try out is a public library read aloud or puppet show (I know, I’m a librarian and I haven’t taken him yet) since it’s so different than a one-on-one book reading at home.

Get Artsy Fartsy. Stock up on whatever art supplies suit your little one’s age and encourage an art project when you have the energy and time to do so. I lack in this department a bit, but even keeping around a little finger paints (I wait until about 20 minutes before bath time, strip him to his dipe and put him in his high chair to minimize clean-up) or crayons with a coloring book or two can help. I’m excited that he’ll be getting a Melissa and Doug kit for “early artists” where the color appears when you brush water on the coloring pages; perfect for our budding creative kiddo.

Listen to Music or Old Radio Shows. Not just for dance parties, we expose the whole family to a wide variety of music styles and genres (Dave has played classical in the car since he was an infant; I’m so proud!). I feel deeply that musical connection enriches our lives more than anything else, culturally speaking, in addition to opening up paths in the brain for deep development. Needless to say, I can’t wait until I get a piano in the house again. In turn, listening to old radio shows (usually the humorous ones, like “Our Miss Brooks” and “Fibber McGee and Molly”) opens him up to a new creative outlet and the concept that, not that long ago, this was the world’s most popular entertainment and news retrieval system. Not to mention, it’s still a stellar form of entertainment for the family.

Watch a variety of movies. We’ve fallen more into the “watching TV together” trap than we had initially hoped we would. However, we try to expose Had to more than just children’s fare. He’s totally fine with black and white (although, give him the option and he’ll pick color; can’t blame him too much), and knows who Shirley Temple, Andy Hardy, Robin Hood, Tiny Tim, Uncle Scrooge, and ALL the characters from “The Dick Van Dyke Show” are. He’ll see the Monkees and the old ’60s Batman, along with the Sesame Street we were raised with. I think the sensibility of these programs is a bit different and, at times, more thought-provoking and heart-warming than some of the stuff today. So, exposure to different cultures, realities, and even history helps broaden their knowledge (and gives them fodder for pretend).

Readers’ Theatre. If your kiddo is on the older side, just Google “readers’ theatre” (or any variation of the spelling), and you may be surprised at how much you find. This can range from the earliest reader’s abilities to a lengthy, multiple-person diatribe, from a fun, fluffy story to a serious non-fiction educational role-playing piece. The cool part of readers’ theatre is the fact that there’s no memorization involved (it’s literally just reading a script and adding some props and costumes if you like), and it’s highly flexible (you could have three people playing tons of parts of eighteen playing individual roles). Also, it helps readers of high and low levels continue to grow and increase fluency. I could go on, but instead, I’ll move to my next favorite subject. 

Read, Read, Read. Never underestimate the quietest bookworm, my friend. Their imaginations are often swimming with the most incredible ideas, diverse vocabulary, and problem-solving methods in the room. And, regardless of your child’s age, it’s never too late (or early) to start reading to them every night. I’d say that about 95-98% of Had’s evening routines have involved reading, from the time he was one week old. He might have been too young to understand the words or to even see the pictures, but the rhythm of the books and the nurturing sound of his father’s voice (Dave has read most of the books, although I sit nearby often) created a child who absolutely loves reading. At less than 2 1/2 years old, he knows all of his letters and recites the alphabet (with some issues getting from L to P, admittedly), and I attribute it completely to reading.

So, what do you think? What creative outlets do you and your family utilize? Anything to add to the list? Share in the comments!

Wordless Wednesday – Wardrobe

I told you I’d be back soon with my wardrobe update, and what better day than Wordless Wednesday to share it?

We had a quick read-through of the play last night, so we weren’t in wardrobe. Sorry these are lacking a model, but I’d look pretty weird taking selfies in the dressing room. Maybe. A tad.

 
Costume #1 is the above pants (LOVE these; they’re my own) and turquoise top. It’s worn for pretty much half of the show, along with metallic flats and a turquoise droop necklace. Costume #3 is the same pants and purple-magenta top (hard to tell in the picture, but take my word for it) with the same metallic flats.

To break up the two “same pants” days (it’s actually several days later), I’ve got a black blouse with a long attached tie, gray skirt (which I’ve used for numerous costumes over the years), and black flats.

So, whatchya think?

Acting Out – Tonight!

Taken by Dave Dellecese
ilionlittletheatre.com

(Place actually looks a bit different now.)

The time has come. Opening night. I haven’t had an opening night in over two years. We only had about 6 1/2 weeks to put this one together (the average is 8 weeks; just 1 1/2 weeks doesn’t sound like a big deal, but considering how quickly a show needs to come together on only 2-3 rehearsals a week…um, yeah, it is). For the most part, it looks as if we had over 8 weeks. Yep, lookin’ good! (jinx!)

I’m stupid crazy excited. Yes, stupid crazy. I’m surprised I’m actually coherent with my students today ‘cuz my brain is wackadoo.

Yet, I’m trying to reign myself in. Actors (and Irish, incidentally) are by nature a superstitious lot. So, just for fun (and since St. Patrick’s Day is on Monday, and I’m both Irish AND an actor), I thought I’d share a handful of the superstitions I’ve heard of and found more about when it comes to theatre. (Read: thee-AY-tre…ahem…just kidding)

Don’t say “good luck.” — Don’t you dare! It’s bad luck to say “good luck” and it must be “cancelled out” by either cursing or having the cast wish one another “bad luck.” The term “break a leg” is acceptable, although there are several possible reasons for its etymology. (Please don’t tell my students I’m citing Wikipedia. Mkay? Thanks.)

Similarly, no flowers until after your first performance. You haven’t even performed yet. How do you know if you’ll succeed? You don’t. It’s a jinx to accept (or be given) flowers before you tread the boards. It’s kind of like how I can’t get overly calm or “we got this, yo” because I’ve already jinxed myself. Nothing is definite, not until after our final performance. There’s always a new line that decides to jump your thought processes. Don’t. Get. Over-confident.

Ghosts haunt theaters and need one night alone on the stage. This superstition harkens back to the ghost of Thespis of Athens (6th century B.C.), although every theater supposedly has its own ghost. (Ours, we call George, although there is talk that there has been a female sighting in our attic from outside. I’ve seen and experienced George’s presence and sense of humor, so I know this one to be true. No foolin’.) I have just recently heard of the “one night alone” theory, but we try to have one dark night before starting the show’s run to rest up and be with our families before the “craziness starts.”

Ghost light. Linked to the previous thought, a ghost light (sometimes placed downstage, center) is put in place to keep the spirits at bay. However, out of practicality, this one makes a lot of sense. Ours is actually backstage near our electric box switches, which makes it easier when you’re entering a creepy, dark theater to see your way to the switches.

No whistling allowed. Okay, I just learned about this one quite recently from a fellow actor, although I’ve also read a different reason for it. As told, whistling (pre-walkie talkies) was a way to cue folks who were working above the scenery to a change. Allegedly, if someone was carelessly whistling, they were at greater risk of being nailed on the head with a sandbag. Alternately, I’ve read that it would miscue someone, leading to someone possibly losing their job. Either way, I get the evil eye when I thoughtlessly whistle…then Dick turns around three times, spits and swears. You can’t make this $%&# up.

Don’t say “MacBeth.” There are many reasons not to say the name of this play, as well as ways to amend your problem if you do. So, just don’t. 😉

Blue not allowed, unless accompanied by silver. Oops! I didn’t know this one until just now! Blue dye was such a valuable commodity that it could lead to the theater’s misfortune if it was worn onstage. The only saving grace would be to wear silver along with it to show your audience that you do, indeed, have a reliable backer (who could afford to furnish the blue dyed clothes AND silver). I, along with my “fiance” Jerry, are wearing a beautiful turquoise. Luckily, I’m wearing my silver engagement ring (yes, I take off my wedding ring when necessary, and hide it from George)…maybe I should suggest he wear something silver, too. Gah!

Side note: Green (blending with the outdoors when actors once put shows on outside; also corpse-like) and yellow (the color always worn by an actor playing the devil) are also bad luck. Jeez. What CAN’T we wear??

Bad dress rehearsal, good opening night. SOOOO many reasons this is used (scare the cast straight? Make them feel better if it’s a rough go?) Either way, it has made me feel better plenty of times. Our dress rehearsal went well, although there were areas that we could fix (I’m beating myself up over one line lapse that lasted a couple of seconds…but felt like 10), so I feel that’s enough to get us through. RIGHT???

If you find these interesting, check out the miscellaneous extras here. Neat stuff!

Oh, and for the curiosity-minded of you, I’m going to try to take a picture or two of my costumes this weekend to share what “style” I ended up going with. Or you could just come see the show and see for yourself. Either/or. 😉 (I know, quite impossible for most of you, but still…it’s a nice thought!)

For now, I’ll be getting to the theater early to do my hair/makeup and look over lines (hopefully “quietly”) before we begin. Can’t be too safe! DON’T wish me luck!! 😉

Wardrobe

So, the show is going quite well (I’ve still got nerves about the start date, but I’m trying not to let it bog me down too much). Everything’s been blocked, so now we’re just to the “let’s learn some lines and get used to our characters more” stage.

The only thing that’s tripping me up right now? My costume.

It may not sound like it, but for an actor, your costume is a big deal. I’ve been a ton of different characters, so I’ve worn a kazillion different costumes. Young ingenue? Sure. Historical costume? Yep. Young up-and-coming 1940s singer? Yes, ugh (the costume, not the part). Nightgowns? Swimsuit? Blonde Roman courtesan outfit? Check, check, check. The dowdy maid? Twice (one British, one traditional American).

If your hair doesn’t keep a curl (and you know full well that it’s drooping by the end of the first act), it hits you emotionally that you’re not “the character” enough. If your belt can’t be adjusted and you can’t get enough breath support for your songs, well, that’s just painful…but also affects the character. If you’re not historically accurate enough? Again…affects the character. It’s those details that help you pull the person you are and the person you’re trying to be/create together; it gives you a relationship, which then can (hopefully) translate to the audience.

At our theater (as with most community theaters, I assume), actors are generally in charge of their own costumes. In a few shows, we’ve had a seamstress or two either make our costumes or adjust — like the black number I wore in “Murder in Bogart’s Shadow” which was sewn to fit my body then adjusted further the week of opening (I couldn’t have committed the murder; where on earth would I have hid the gun? Logical explanation. I prayed for zero water weight.) — but, for the most part, we’re on our own.

ILT’s attic (second floor; it used to be the stables of a very rich fellow) is part scenery and props, part messy wardrobe. People have donated tons of outfits over the years, and the ones we’ve purchased (oftentimes at Goodwill or Salvation Army) also end up up there. The racks are overflowing and the odds of finding the perfect outfit that a) fits and b) works for your character is maybe 1 in 10…depending on your character. (I find myself looking at plays and thinking, “Oh! We already have the 1940s gowns for this!” We have furs and gorgeous old dresses that will most likely never see the light of day again; plays aren’t written for such elaborate scenes anymore.)

Usually, I find costuming the “fun part” of a show. The easy part. Even for the three-person show I did years back in which I had something like six costume changes, all in ’60s costumes, I had a blast looking through antique stores and thrift shops up and down the east coast with my mom (and stepdad, who tagged along). Sometimes I’ll find something upstairs; sometimes at Salvation Army; lately, I’ve found the right thing in my own closet. For this show, though, I couldn’t even wrap my head around what my character would wear.

See, she’s got a few character traits (and actions onstage) that imply what she should wear, but I’m over-thinking things thanks to my own personal experiences. Silly lady. Here’s who she is:

1) She’s a naive kindergarten teacher from Buffalo.
2) First time in NYC (she’s there with her playwright fiance as his show gets prepared for Broadway) and is meeting her all-time favorite star (who’s doing the show).
3) She likes to cross-stitch. (Yep.)
4) It takes place in modern day. MODERN DAY, folks.
5) I don’t want to give too much away, but in our show, she passes out cold and gets splayed across a table…so…yeah. 

6) She mentions shopping at JC Penney.

I asked for opinions on Facebook and got some great responses that have at least got my brain juices a-bubblin’. Ew, that sounds gross.

The thing that keeps tripping me up…well, THINGS…are that a) I know lots of kindergarten teachers (and you might as well switch it to “librarian” — which I am) and we don’t dress like a church marm these days, and b) we live in upstate and we don’t dress too darn outdated. (I’m still surprised at how unstylish so many New Yorkers sometimes are when we visit.)

And the only pictures I see of Arlene online are quite outdated (well, she LOOKS outdated; it’s a relatively new show, so it’s just how other folks have costumed her) — and most of the time she’s wearing a skirt. I just have this ultimate fear of “fainting” and giving an extra show. But, then, it’s not the first time such a thing has been worried about, be it me or another thousand actresses.

So, here are a few boards I worked up for Arlene. All is clearly negotiable. I’d like her to look, ultimately, sweet + a little ymodern…since that’s what she is.

***Oh, and if I knew I’d be meeting my HERO (*ahem* Peter Tork *ahem*), I would definitely wear a trendier outfit. Just sayin’.***


(Read in schmultzy 1950s male voice…since men had a major interest in fashion in the 50s…?)

First, we have the “demure” (read: kinda boring) black jumper-over-white-tee look. It’s accompanied by adorable black flats (since our actress tends to tower over the gentlemen onstage if not for flats) that scream, “I don’t want to be noticed.” Optional (unseen) cardigan available for pop of color…if that’s your sort of thing.


Option #2 screams “I want to be a soccer mom someday!” With just the right amount of drab-and-pastel color, it reads “blends just enough in with the scenery” while being present when need-be. Metallic flats (and accompanying cross-stitch tote) let the viewer know that she’s got a wild, artistic side just screaming to get out.

(Totally kidding. I’d wear this to school. *sigh*)


Option #3 is flirty yet innocent in that “kindergarten teacher” sort of way…with just enough “I might get to see up her skirt” excitement for any creepy audience members. (Plus, there might just be a dress that could be similar to this in the attic. Um, score?)


Say “hello!” to the 21st century, Arlene! This is just a thought for taking her into a more modern costume — I already have similar shoes and skinny jeans, but a cute tunic would cover things up a bit. (The one on the right is particularly innocent-looking.)

This is all, of course, just for fun. I don’t really mind any of these options (except maybe that first one. It’s so harsh and nun-like); I just need some help deciding which direction to go. And, heck, I’m sure we could mix elements of all of these together and get fine costumes (I need two).

So, if you have an opinion, feel free to share it! I’m all ears…er…yeah.

Scripted Wordless Wednesday

I can see that the ever-popular “Wordless Wednesday” blog posts so rampant in the blogosphere will be a best friend over the next few weeks. It isn’t that I don’t want to write; I simply haven’t much time or energy with rehearsals and toddler-parenting and life. So, to use a photo to give some insight onto my goings-on is a quick, thousand-word way of letting you know what’s up.



And, of COURSE, it’s of a script.

That’s what happens when you do a show; it’s with you everywhere you go. For superstitious me (Irish actor? Double threat…), I can’t go any place without my script. If there is ANY chance to look over half a page of lines, I’ll take it. But even when I know full well that I won’t have a spare moment to glance at it (this picture was taken after a full day of work where, needless to say, I didn’t look it over), I can’t be without it until the show is over.

Even when we’ve done a couple of performances and we know we’ve got things handled, it’ll drive me insane to know that my script is lying backstage there. Lonely. Not being used. (It’s happened.) My superstitious side also says that I’ve jinxed myself if I seem so aware of my lines that (gasp) I don’t even need to take my script home. I will inevitably go blank onstage. Again, it’s happened.

But, as crazy as this all sounds, I’ve mellowed. I used to sleep with the book under my pillow (particularly for one of my favorite shows, a 3-person one with lots of lines to memorize). 

I know this is Wordless Wednesday, but do you really expect me to play by the rules? AND shut up? Good luck with that. 😉

Any wordless things going on with you?

Don’t Talk to Meg, Acting Out

Once again finding my brain unable to formulate the words to do Grandpa justice, but trying to get back to living life with him in my head and heart. So…now for something completely different.


For the first time since having Hadley, I’m taking on an honest-to-goodness local acting role. That means it has been since around…hmm…the November before he was born…carry the one…a frickin’ while. A frickin’ while since I’ve tread the boards or learned a butt load of lines or tried to be anyone but “Mama.” Over two years.

Since I’m looking at this experience with new, dare I say baby-like eyes (as much as someone who’s been in a good number of shows can), I thought I’d give a teensy bit of vague insight into the goings-on behind-the-scenes. Nothing enough to piss off the fellow actors, but maybe something of interest.

We had our first read-through (well, the only read-through, but whatever) last Friday night. I always go into these things calmly; it’s never as bad or as great as your mind makes them out to be. There’s generally a varied mix of “yay! So-and-so is in this show!! Fun!!” and “Crrrrrap, we only have 5 weeks.” Um, yeah, that’ll be the worst part. Not sure I’ve been in a show that took less than 6 weeks to prepare. Should be interesting.

That said, I’ve also never laughed so hard at a read-through in. My. Life. The show, “Don’t Talk to the Actors”, is quite new for our theater (written in 2009), so the comedy is incredibly fresh and easy to follow…and borderline trashy. Okay, okay, it’s not one to take the kiddies to. But, GOD, it’s good.

The story follows a brand new, naive playwright and his fiancée (me, an also-naive, cross-stitching kindergarten teacher) as he sees his play rehearsed for the first time for an eventual Broadway audience. The two aging actors are well-known in different capacities and both cantankerous in their own hysterical ways. Let’s just say my character is smitten with the older male actor due to his earlier stint on TV (I can relate, having obsessively crushed on several very random older TV guys as a kid). 

Before opinions start to arise, the director urges my fiancé not to listen to the actors (who will attempt to change his work and, as predicted, do). Some hilarious scenes and surprises pop up, and overall should be a great night of entertainment for our audiences (and hopefully for the cast, as well).

I was on the fence about going for a part. I read up a bit about the show, but once Grandpa died I thought, “Well, I’ll just wait for next season.” Auditions overlapped with his wake and preparations, so I wasn’t optimistic.

Then, as often happens in community theater, the awesome director (one reason I decided to pursue it — I’ve never worked with him and he’s just a wonderful guy and performer) posted on the theater’s Facebook page that they were still looking for the younger female role. On a whim, I offered my services and the rest is, as they say, history.

Acting out once again.

I’m grateful to have a week off next week and hope to learn a crap load of my lines (if my aging brain can take it).

Now, to find some ironic cross-stitch that I can work on onstage but actually use later to remember the show by – you know the kind I mean, right?

And what the heck does one wear to show a modern-day naive kindergarten teacher from Buffalo? …Asks the school librarian from Upstate NY.

Acting Out Again

Ten little soldier boys…

Hello, dear readers. Here at meg, acting out, I talk about a lot — from home improvement projects and eating organically to married life and, of course, the cats. But, just last night it occurred to me that you might like to hear about something truly relevant to the name of the dang blog.

Last night, Dave and I went to the Little Theater for our first night working on their next production — “And Then There Were None,” an Agatha Christie murder mystery. Dave is playing the part of Marston, a snobby, spoiled brat who seems to care about nobody – except himself. I’m playing Vera, a secretary who gets wrapped up in the “mystery” aspect of the murder mystery.

Before this read-through, I found myself to be, sure enough, happy to be getting back onstage (and of my own accord, at that! The last show, I got roped into, and didn’t enjoy it in the least — ah, the loyal life of a community theater participant), but a little apprehensive. I hadn’t read the whole script and wasn’t sure how much I could do with my part. Luckily, the read-through proved to be not only a BLAST, but told me that my character has lots of ranges to play with – from calm, sweet and capable to downright losing it.

I haven’t done a drama on ILTC’s stage before. Dave reminded me that I did have the opportunity during “Clue” to have a mental breakdown (the night an audience member picked my “card” as the murderer), but I then reminded him that, while “Clue” was a musical, a comedy, a mystery and, yes, even a drama, whenever the chosen murderer for the evening gave their defiant, outrageous, “I did it! I did it!” speech, the audiences would go nuts…laughing. After reading Vera’s interactions with the other characters, I can be assured that, while there are amusing and even giggle-worthy moments, ain’t no one gonna be laughin’ at the wrong times.

I’m already proud of this show, and I’m not even the director. Speaking of which, our director is a very kind retired gentleman whom we (Dave and I) have worked with several times — including as our roles on the board. Regardless, it’s strange. I can tell when I’m really into a show when I suddenly feel that helping out won’t burden me or be a pain. I’ve already offered to create the programs and paint sets, and have a few other little jobs in mind if Art wants me to do them. That’s HUGE when it comes to ILTC. It’s hard to find anyone to do anything, and not for lack of caring about the place.

The show will be going up in March. I’ll be posting more information when things get nailed down completely, and I’m sure I’ll be letting you know how rehearsals are going. I’m not foreseeing any too-rough spots — the rest of the cast are pretty much pros, and we’re so excited to be working with all of ’em!

Blog Name Explained

Oops! I’ve realized that my blog name (which was chosen out of a plethora of ideas that were spewed onto one of my Facebook status updates) may be a little confusing to those who don’t know me. So, here’s a quick explanation.

I suppose there is a double-meaning (or maybe even triple) to “Meg, Acting Out” (or megactsout, whichever). The most literal comes from my involvement at our local community theater group, Ilion Little Theatre Club. I’ve been acting there, thanks to my sister’s earlier membership (and a desperate last-minute need for someone who could, heck, READ) for a few years now, with several shows under my belt. More recently, (a year ago) I became a board member – secretary – which takes up lots of time, but is something I strangely enjoy. In all honesty, this place is like home; a home full of strange, mostly-wonderful family members whom I care deeply for — and whodathunk I’d find a FUTURE family member there!? Yep, it’s where I met Dave, where we started as acquaintances, moved to friends, and eventually became partners. Oh, and although he doesn’t readily admit it, he’s the president. 😉

So, from the literal, we explore the abstract. I’m the youngest of four talented, unique individuals; we’re similar in some ways (particularly in twos — the older brother and older sister (1 & 3 in the line-up) are quieter and more reserved, in general; the younger brother and sister (2 & 4) share similar illnesses and allergies as well as their tempers and flair for the dramatic), but all quite different. I grew up known as the “spoiled one” — which is all relative. Compared to my siblings, yes. Compared to all of my friends, no.

I was also very vocal from a young age. For better or worse, and for all who truly know me, it’s who I am. My senior superlative was “Most Outgoing.” I’m slightly outrageous (but generally responsible and not prone to poor choices — can’t really do stupid things that’ll get you in trouble with the cops when you work in a school) and am known to say extremely random, at times slightly offensive things. I had a problem with interrupting family members at the dinner table. I’ve never liked being talked down to, and tend to speak up about it (can you picture a cute 4-year-old speaking up? Yeah, I’d want to give me a spanking, too). But, I was raised with enough sense to respect my elders (with exception to my mom back in the day, and my stepdad during my teen years, poor parents!) and never spoke rudely to teachers, grandparents or, well, any other adults. Regardless, my closest friends and family know that “Meg, Acting Out” just describes the person they’ve always known. I’m grateful that they’ve remained loving, and that I’ve been lucky enough to find a guy to put up with this quirk.

I suppose a third meaning could come just from living life, since that’s essentially what this blog is about. I could have just decided to write a blog about living green — but I’m not an expert. Or, I could have written about students — which I’ll, on occasion, do, but would rather not air their business too publicly. I could also have written a design blog — but, again, I’m no expert and would rather just share our renovations as they come. I could’ve written a wedding blog — but I’m not a hugely wedding-obsessed bride (although I’ll be writing more about the planning as we go along; besides, I’ve got a blog on our wedding web site). So, one reason the name appealed to me was in the fact that it somehow describes EVERYTHING I wanted to write about — which is, pretty much, EVERYTHING. 🙂

“All the world’s a stage,
And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances;
And one man in his time plays many parts….”

Have a great Memorial Day weekend, everyone! I’m a lucky duck; got an extra day off. Hope it’s as gorgeous where you are as it is here.