Posts Tagged ‘Wilmington Drama League’

January 10, 2010

I think I am a cartoon.

Sometimes when I look in the mirror it is almost as if I have changed right before my own eyes. I’ll look at myself, make a face, turn away and suddenly something is different. My nose looks smaller. I breathe in deep sucking it in, looking as if I have had plastic surgery. My ears have repositioned themselves, and that pimple, which was once a speck, has now grown three sizes. I turn away and look again and my lips have grown or my left eye is freakishly larger than my right.

I start to laugh as I knock on my forehead waiting for the hollowed out echo.  I give myself a grin and suddenly my teeth are a shade darker, and then lighter. I turn to the side and swear the slight gap between the fang tooth and its friend has gotten smaller. I think:

Are my teeth moving forward?

It’s almost as if someone is erasing and recreating my face as I stare and watch it change. It’s kind of funny. And then there are those times when I don’t even know what has happened. Like tonight at rehearsal.

One second I am standing on a chair doing my part and the next I am lying flat on my back staring at light fixtures and cords. My cast members are all mouthing:

“Are you okay?”

And I can’t help but wonder myself.

I nod, to give them assurance, not able to fully assess the situation. I rise, look around and wonder how it all happened. My elbow twinges and I know things are not good.  I straighten my arm and I feel a sharp pain. Then suddenly, I am back in character, bouncing around the stage as if nothing has happened.

I keep trying to resurrect my pain, but it’s gone. It reminds me of the day I walked outside to shovel snow in slide on, backless, shoes.

Suddenly, I am on my back, buried in snow, lying on the concrete. Before cold, pain or even embarrassment hits me, I am laughing so hard that my stomach hurts. I next wish my mother or brother could see the spectacle I am on the ground. They would enjoy the laugh. Yet, still, I get up; go about my task enjoying the wonderfully wintery snowfall. This all continues to lead me to the notion that:

I am a cartoon, somehow not reacting to the cold on my bare soles.

Everyone remembers Wile E. Coyote and the Road Runner. We all knew the Coyote would never catch the Road Runner and we all delighted in his ACME products that seemed to get him blown up, crushed or run over more times than not. Still, he always seemed to bounce back even though it was humanely impossible to survive the torture he put himself through. Not to mention the cliff falls. Yet, he always, in a matter of seconds, recovered.

No matter what he subjected himself to, you have to respect his persistence. His willingness to do whatever he could to get what he wants is inspiring, even looking beyond his foolish efforts.

what the fudge cake am I doing?

His passion!

Maybe that is why I am a cartoon?

When my passion takes over, it’s as if nothing in the world can detour me. Even now, as I type, my body is begging me to retire for the night, but something is pushing me to go forward, telling me it is okay to jump up and dance – think of one more move.

Often I feel my body getting caught up in whatever I do. It’s almost as if I lose total consciousness, my mind temporarily taking a vacation as my body takes over.

Again, at rehearsal, as I moved down the aisle, dancing to a song that was released before I could even write my name, my mind tried to calculate my moves, yet my body stubbornly shut my thoughts down.

I felt blind to the room, telling myself that I needed to panic because I had no idea what move came next, but my body was ignited, doing all the work for me. Suddenly, I am euphoric. Dancing to un-choreographed motions, wondering what exactly is going on. Still, I am in love with every muscle twitch and the feelings of electricity that are being sent through me.

The music, the blindness, the uncertainty, it is all lifting me telling me to move on, move forward:


And when I finally return to reality, to logic, I am just as stunned as the faces staring back at me. A bashful look on my face asking:

What exactly did I do?

Yet, in order to not sound foolish or pompous by asking questions, I immerse myself in the feedback. I turn, nervously laugh to myself, and think:

I really want to know what I did so I can repeat it. It’s like something is controlling me, throwing my body in all directions as if I am a rollercoaster on a hidden track.

Or that could be why I am a cartoon, because there are those times that I am so overtaken with joy or the atmosphere around me that I totally lose all concept of time and normalcy.  I fail to realize that not everyone can absorb my cup of energy or see things through my hidden developed mental lenses, my imagination. Sometimes no matter how hard I try to immerse them in it, I fail to realize that maybe; just maybe there is something, or someone directing my actions, my passion, my visions within, even unbeknownst to myself.

My own personal cartoonist.

It’s as if I want to randomly “moo” and expect others to think it’s a perfectly normal/logical thing to do. And then there are those times that I just want to sit in solitude, watch the same movie on repeat, read, exercise and sing simultaneously.

I guess I am a cartoon because the world is my playground, cars are my adult power wheels, steel structures are my jungle gyms and trees are my temporary homes. It’s absolutely commonplace to compliment somebody without a hidden meaning, to want to talk to someone simply because you think they look cool, nothing more, or lose to your four year old nephew in every Wii game you challenge him in.

Fortunately, he is still at the age where everyone wins and he doesn’t shove it in your face.

I am a cartoon simply because I like to see people smile. I enjoy wrapping myself in their merriment knowing that, in that moment in time, their heart is beating, pumping joy through their veins.

What is a life without those intermissions of joy, those moments that you wish to crawl inside hoping them into eternity?

I am a cartoon because I enjoy entertaining, helping others escape, even momentarily, from their serious world. And after spending 7+ hours with the cast of RENT, fighting delirium, fatigue and onion breath, yet still wanting to do more, sing more, dance more, bask in the presence of the theatre atmosphere more, studying its every discipline, I just may be something else.

I think I’m in love!

I think I’m an extraterrestrial.


“Honestly, at one time I thought Babe Ruth was a cartoon character. I really did, I mean I wasn’t born until 1961 and I grew up in Indiana.” ~ Don Mattingly