I started my acting as most people do, at school, along with singing in the choir. The first play I was in at school was "Everyman," a medieval witch story. I always loved performing, even for relatives when they came to visit. However, I got married, immigrated to the U.S.A., had three boys, and became a stay-at-home mother.
It wasn't until my youngest was in 6th grade, and he was an Orphan/Pickpocket in the musical "Oliver," that my adult acting started. I was early picking him up one night from rehearsals and I was sitting waiting for him to finish. I knew all the songs from the show and started to sing along, when the director asked me to join the ensemble. There were other adults in the show, but they were teachers! Well, it just so happened that the girl who was going to play the part of Mrs. Sowerberry left the show. I was asked to please take the part!
Guess who the musical director was? Our own Paula Willis! She was so sweet to me, she praised my raw talent, and opened up the side of me that had been put on the back burner for so long. Since then, I have played Mrs. Sowerberry twice more, so I have to say that she is my favorite character to play.
I usually only try for parts that I think I might have a shot at.rejection stinks! So I gravitate
to British stuff! My first audition was for "Me and My Girl" at the Suffolk 'Y' Theatre. I managed to get a part in the ensemble, due to my accent, and ended up with a small part (Mrs. Brown, a great character), and seven costumes changes. Well, I was hooked!!
I prefer to do musicals for two reasons: I love to sing and you can usually get a part in the
ensemble! However, I have been in two plays: "The Importance of Being Earnest" and "The Unexpected Guest."
My greatest accomplishment was playing the part of Miss Prism, but I feel that I could have done better in the role of Miss Bennett (Benny) in "The Unexpected Guest." It was during the run this show that I experienced my worst feeling. I went BLANK. I had been perfect all through rehearsals and every show until that fateful night! I did manage to get back on track and some people said that they had not even noticed the mistake. But, the director said that it was a "whopper"!
This brings me to the subject of which L.I. actor I admire the most. I have to say that Bill Kahn is up there, because it was during a dialogue with him when my faux pas occurred. He was nice enough to tell me of others who had done far worse and this made it more bearable. His talent is also something I admire. In the musicals and plays that I have done with him and that I have seen him in, each one was great.
I also love Jack Seabury. He was in that first musical I did - "Me and My Girl." He was fabulous. Not many can sing AND dance like he can. We have worked together since then and I have seen him many times. Each one was a joy!
There was one other performance that I was proud of. I was in "Deepwells" Christmas Social. I played the part of Mrs. Mayer who was the mother of Mrs. Gaynor, the wife of the mayor of N.Y.C., back in the 1800's. It ran for 2 months (54shows) and each one was a joy as the other actors were so professional and one was an 8 month old baby. You know what they say about being in a live show with a baby? Well, everything you have heard is true.
I hope that I have not bored you with my ramblings. I love L.I. theater, however, I do feel that there are enough theaters around and that we are just about saturated. Especially when it comes to needing men! There just aren't enough to go around!