Friday, November 19, 2004

Doctor Who, Jesus Christ and Me

I heard this quote once (or I should say half-heard it because I’m not sure it was right) where someone said “The acting bug crawled under my skin and hatched some eggs.” Other than the automatic “Ewwwwwww!” that kindles in my heart, I get it. There is something about being on stage, being another person that I love.

When I was in 4th grade, I got my first part ever in a play. It was great. In fact, I had multiple parts! Obviously it was a sign of great things to come. The junior high in the town I grew up in decided to The Wizard of Oz and needed munchkins, trees & cornstalks. They found them in the 4th grade choir.

Believe me, it was an eye opener for me. Here I was, wearing this cardboard tree & my mom was in the audience snapping pictures like mad. Later that evening, I was told how wonderful my performance was. There was attention focused on me. And I liked it (This is, by the way, not an indication that I was neglected in any way. My mom was pretty awesome).

Yes, it’s shocking, I know, that I would like attention. A woman who refers to herself as the Queen of the Universe is an attention hog. Who would have thunk it?

When I was 13 or so, my mother, in search of guidance, brought us to a church called Saint Andrew’s, in Mahtomedi, MN (removing another layer of protective cloaking – not a very large city, Mahtomedi). I loved it there. One of the things I liked the best, they put on plays frequently. Mostly religious but not all of them.

When I was 16, I landed a part in Jesus Christ Superstar. Nothing major, just choral but the great thing about Saint Andrews is that they didn’t expect you to just stand somewhere & sing. No, we had choreography (Dancing? Yeah, so not my thing. But I did manage to do a step or two without killing myself) and marks and all sorts of technical dramatic terms. I was in my element & extremely happy.

If you have never seen a production of Jesus Christ Superstar, never heard the music, I am suggesting that you run out right now and buy a copy of the soundtrack. Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice are geniuses. The music is so moving and imaginative that it reaches out and grabs you. Plus, it’s funny. I like funny. Herod’s song, hilarious. Watch the movie if you don’t believe me. This reminds me, I so need to find out if it’s on DVD. Oh, look, it is.

The guy that played Judas was on a camping trip out west when we first started. I did not know him but I was hoping he might decide to not come back. I had fallen for Judas, his songs were the perfect range for me, I liked the way his character was portrayed – as someone who was trying to protect Jesus and hadn’t expected everything to go so wrong. But our 2nd male lead returned and I learned to appreciate him, Roy (all names except mine are fake names, not ready to strip all protective layers away) was really a nice guy.

There was also Roland. And I had it bad for him. He was 26 to my 16, a little taller than me (maybe 5’7), slight but muscular build, dark hair, dark eyes and beard (I realized that when I said I didn’t know I was attracted to men with beards that I was wrong. I’m not attracted to many men with beards. Roland was the first). This was about a year after everything that happened with Dean (this is actually his real name. I don’t protect him. Bastard) and I was confused about sex and emotions and was a complete wreck (not that I knew it then. Oh, no, I figured this all out what? 20 years later?) and thought I was in love with Roland. I wasn’t. Just totally infatuated.

So you’re now thinking “Okay, Dana, we get the Jesus Christ part of the title but where does Doctor Who come in?” Well, I’m glad you asked.

Roland and another guy (Baron (it’s German and means Free Man. I love in the play were Doctor Who fanatics. I would hang out with them because I was obsessed with Roland and they were fun. Even though Roland treated me like his little sister instead of the object of his burning desire (you know, now that I look back at this, I laugh at myself. Roland was a great guy who dealt very well with my adoration by treating me like his little sister instead of doing something horrible and warping me even more and putting himself at risk for statutory rape) as I wanted. Baron was about a year or two younger than me and his dad looked like an older version of Michael DeLorenzo (does anyone remember him? He was hot!). It is amazing the things that I remember from 21 years ago and yet, I can’t remember the balance in my bank account half the time.

Anyway, back to Doctor Who. Roland and Baron would talk about Doctor Who and I would scoff. Why would anyone want to watch a show about some guy who travels along in a phone booth? I just didn’t get it. I thought they were crazy for liking it so much. Of course, I had never seen the show but that didn’t matter. I was skeptical that I would ever like a program like that.

You know what happened when you make a judgment without first checking it out? It’s the same thing that happens when you make an assumption. I found a copy of one of the Doctor Who books at the library one day (after the play was over and school had restarted). I thought “Oh, what the heck. I’ll read it.” Yeah. I got hooked. I was walking down the hallway with my nose buried in the book (which isn’t that surprising, actually, I will still do this). I had, at one point, almost every single Doctor Who book written (I moved a few times and have no idea what happened to them). I also saw an episode on PBS one time and loved the show; forcing my friends to watch it (they were not pleased). I would watch whenever I got the chance. My favorite Doctor was played by Tom Baker.

I don’t remember ever seeing Baron again after that summer. He may have moved. I did see Roland every once in awhile. I eventually got over my major crush and moved on to falling for someone else. But I will never forget that summer and how much fun I had being on stage.

Anyway, this is a long ramble about some happy memories for me and I hope you enjoyed it. Maybe next time I will tell you about some memorable experiences that took place during some of the plays I’ve been in. They were interesting. I miss acting. I think it’s one of the reasons I like blogging so much, I can be as silly or as dramatic as I want and get attention for it. I love attention. But I think we covered that.

At 8:52 PM, brooksba said...
Dana,I liked your post. It is very sweet and thank you for sharing the happy memories. They are good to hold onto and reflect with a smile. It's worth keeping the good memories and purging the not so good ones. On a side note, I misread the first quote because I'm strange. Instead of "acting bug" as in being on stage, I originally thought, "acting bug" as in acting president, or acting manager. Like someone stepping into the role, but not on stage. Yes, I'm strange.Beth
At 11:59 PM, Robert ~ Marlénè said...
There's nothing like attention... except a standing ovation, of course (I've gotten a couple of those, and had to walk sideways through doors to accomodate my swelled head). And how I wish I'd been involved in drama in school... last year I was in a musical, I didn't have any lines (I can't act for shit and have an impossible memory for dialog) and I sang soooo poorly (I always got thrown off by whoever was standing nearest me, so unless I was surrounded by other basses, I went off key), but I had so much fun in rehearsals that it was all worth it. I'm thinking about doing the musical again this year, it was strenuous and grueling and took over my life, but I felt so alive in that minute or two right before I made my entrance and actually felt nervous stepping onto the stage, something I hadn't felt in ages.I don't get Dr Who. Nobody cute on that show, and the story-lines were much too dense to just dip into them, you have to really commit to Dr Who before you can understand the series. I did like the scarf, though.
At 1:04 PM, Rev said...
You gotta love Jesus Christ Superstar. My grandparents saw it on Broadway years and years and years ago. They also own the LP as does my dad. I went out to purchase the CD a few years ago(actually it's a double CD thing...the LP is double as well but because of the whole side A and B thing it's like get the picture) and bought the one that most resembled the LP cover. I wanted the same recording as the LP because as it turned out there are several different versions with different singers and stuff. Well, I ended up with a different version. Oh well. Still good but not quite the same as the original. However, the funny thing is that Alice Cooper is Herod. How nuts is that?The movie is great. I've only seen it once but really should see it again.Dr Who? Who? What? Am I too young to know about this? I think I remember it being on TV but never watched it.Good post. I should blog about my good memories. Speaking of memories. Have you seen Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind? If you have you'll know what I mean by "Speaking of memories" and if you don't know what I mean you'll have to see the movie. Anyhow, we rented it last night and I love it! I should blog about it. Ok, this comment is longer than most of my posts. Love your blog. Love your posts. Later!
At 4:40 PM, Matt said...
Incredible post Dad, I loved it. However I do not like being considered a loyal subject, I thought that I would at least be considered like a confidant, or something along those lines. You know my feelings about religion and such, so this might be a shock, but I also loved Jesus Christ Superstar it is a truly amazing movie. How could it not be directed by Norman Jewison (he also directed one of my all time favorite movies Moonstruck-sue me I'm Italian) and I remeber watching it and as I grew up on MTV and such I would look back at that movie and Tommy (which was released around the same time) as the first time I was ever introduced to videos. The songs are incredible, and I would like to hear Alice Cooper as Herod, that would be something I'm sure. Doctor Who, I watched him from time to time, I remember one episdoe that scared the bejesus out of me, a marionette doll with a big knife was chasing some woman around, it was kinda creepy. Oh well, gotta fly, talk to you later......Your Son
At 11:02 AM, The Lioness said...
I can definitely see you acting, I do! Wouldn't it be great? I'm just happy you blog now anyway, acting would go straight to your head you'rd be too busy snubbing us to deign to post. Maybe when you grow up.
At 6:42 PM, angelia said...
dana...ahhh good memories...thanks for reminding me of my fun musical/theatrical days! Just a random thought...I love scarf season, I make 'em, others wear em! How beautiful!
At 3:13 AM, DeAnn said...
Aw, I like hearing your tales. Maybe you should be an actress? Or does karaoke satisfy the performing bug in you?
At 6:54 AM, Rev said...
Hey, I love wearing scarfs. Would you make one for me?!?