Tag Archives: community theater

you can’t possibly be an agoraphobic, judy says to me

judy wilkinson (f2fb #119) got out of bed today precisely because she knew she was meeting me.  otherwise she spent the day in bed reading.  me, i got out of bed today precisely because i knew i was meeting judy wilkinson.  otherwise i spent the day in bed reading.  judy and i both said to ourselves that we didn’t want to disappoint the other!

judy and i have known each other since the early 1990s when my two sons did children’s theater.  you haven’t lived until you’ve seen a production of guys and dolls performed by fourth through eighth graders.  and judy was (and still is) on the board of the winnetka children’s theater.  i was a stage mom.  judy was at one point involved in three different theater companies while working and raising her children.

this prime time woman is fearless.  for instance, she has gotten up onstage two years in a row in winnetka’s village follies benefit show as a, ahem, cougar.  she vamps, she sings, she acts, she dances. but claims she can’t dance anymore.  she can do anything she sets her mind to.

judy has had several incarnations.  she was a medical technologist, an antiques shop owner, a realtor, and she’s a lifelong sailor.  on most wednesday evenings, judy can be found at hackney’s restaurant and while i was dining with her, several people came to pay their respects and get a little love from her.   i felt like our new mayor rahm emmanuel could learn from her the exact way to deal with the populace.

and i’m thinking maybe agoraphobia isn’t the correct term for me.  agoraphobia comes from the greek words agora (place of assembly in a city state, or the marketplace) and phobia (fear).  it tends to describe people who get panic attacks when they are out and about and then the anticipation of a panic attack causes them to avoid being out and about.  until they finally learn to shut themselves up in their homes and put out the white flag.

maybe a better term is panophobia.  fear of everything.  everything would just about sum it up.

this morning, i’m feeling way better.  and i have to because i am going to see a special facebook friend who is battling back from a stroke.  she is learning to walk–and i want to be at my most helpful.

in any event, i feel so good and i have to ask. . . .

f2fb #114 and when am i getting my modeling contract?

in every community theater production, there is the fantasy:  that the nondescript man in row three will turn out to be a new york producer who has found himself with nothing to do for an evening as he ambles across the country on some business errand.  he is enchanted by the plumber’s rendition of henry higgins if they’re doing my fair lady.  or he’s smitten with how the head of the girl scout troop sinks her teeth into the “who’s afraid of virginia woolf”.  a note is sent backstage during intermission:  would said plumber or said girl scout troop leader consent to be part of his new production, an avant garde rendering of music man to be premiered at carnegie hall?

no one ever says it.  everybody in community theater says they’re doing it just for fun.  but truly, everybody would like to be discovered.  i would.  damnit, i’m still not sure why an agent from the ford modeling agency hasn’t approached me as i wend my way through the produce section of lakeside foods.

well, i’m here to tell you that the whole “discovered while doing community theater” thing happened to eastman when he was doing lost in yonkers for winnetka’s community theater.  and the new york (well, okay, pittsburgh) producer was ken kaissar.  ken was bringing the play “ritual of faith” to chicago and when he saw eastman onstage, he wanted him.

the play may have been a bit of a, well, ahem, critical and commercial failure, but eastman loved it because he got to go downtown every evening, stay up late, hang out with other actors and drink slurpees every intermission.  can’t beat that when you’re nine.

ken went on to other shows and right now is doing his own play “the man stanley” at the walnut street theater in philadelphia.  it opens june 14 and is part of a partnership called “two guys making theater”.  you can take a look at http://www.twoguysmakingtheatre.com/TwoGuysMakingTheatre/Welcome.html

facebook has allowed us to keep up a bit but it was the first time ken and i had seen each other since the play closed.  we had lunch at ted’s montana grill in philadelphia’s theater district!  oddly, nobody stopped me on the street and said “hey, are you signed with a modeling agency????”

tomorrow, an account of the one meeting i feared the most on this eastern seaboard trip!

on friday, i’ll be seeing the drowsy chaperone, a piece of community theater that is going to surely produce some great stars–it’s produced by my friend nancy flaster!