Summertime and rainy days often evoke memories of reading. Growing up, we read a lot of books in Ingy’s House. Just because it was summer and there was no school or homework did not mean we were allowed to watch a ton of TV. In fact, one summer, Mom let us pick an hour of TV to watch a week. We’d get the TV Guide in the mail (yikes- anyone remember how life was?) and Mom would let my sister and I each pick an hour we could claim the TV for for that week. Small exceptions would be made if it was storming outside, maybe we were allowed to watch a movie in the afternoon but it would have to be pretty bad outside. Overall, it was nice to read and bike, play the piano, put on concerts, dance while listening to records and just play - indoors and outdoors.
With me being laid up for so long these past two weeks - I am a reading fool! Here is my current springtime stack:
I must brag a bit. I have a lot of very talented friends - a few of whom are now published authors. I am almost finished with the book on the very top of this stack - ‘The Princesses of Iowa’ - it is my friend Molly’s first published book. It’s a Young Adult novel and I am tearing through it, loving each page. It’s one of those that I can’t read fast enough but at the same time, I don’t want it to be done. You know? Bravo, Molly! Can’t wait to read more of your stuff! (http://mollybackes.blogspot.com/)
I am also working my way through ‘Between Heaven and Mirth: Why Joy, Humor and Laughter Are at the Heart of the Spiritual Life’ by James, Martin SJ. Tim gave this book to me for Christmas and I started it a few months ago. I am enjoying it as it gives me a lot to reflect upon.
Buddy and Gregg’s books just came in the mail. I’ll get to them soon. I wish I could say I knew them but I can’t. I have seen both of them live in concert, though. Yeah!
I zoomed through Rachel Dratch’s book. It is a fun, easy read and made me like her even more. I have had the pleasure of meeting and doing a show with Rachel Dratch. So, reading this book took me back to the late summer of 2005 when I was an understudy to the touring companies. One of my very first gigs for this theatre was a show in Milwaukee, WI, at whatever state university is in Milwaukee. My company drove up to Milwaukee in a fifteen-passenger van from Chicago in the afternoon. Rachel met us at the University. We had a few hours in the afternoon to rehearse the sketch scenes we were going to perform with her. Then we did the show that night in a huge gymnasium type building - there were hundreds and hundreds of college students in the audience, they did not have a theatre big enough to accommodate everyone so they put us on a stage in the gym.
I was to perform a two person scene with Rachel that she and Tina Fey wrote and performed together in the mid-90’s called ‘Wicked’. No, not about the musical. It was a scene about a rather salty mother and daughter from Boston who are having a ‘heart to heart’ while at a Merry-Go-Round clothing store. We had to have thick Boston accents and everything was ‘wicked smaaaht’, ‘wicked stupid’, ‘wicked awesome’, etc. I was nervous and a severe Mid-Westerner who had not yet traveled the country much, so I was paranoid about my Boston accent. (I had never heard of Friendly’s or a Fribble.) Rachel was super sweet and kind to me. We rehearsed it fully once and then didn’t do it again until we were on stage in front of the ocean of college students.
Before the show, I remember Rachel telling all of us in the cast how nervous she was. This is someone who had spent the past how many years doing Saturday Night Live and we couldn’t believe she was nervous for this!?! We were all encouraging one another backstage, the lights went down, the students went wild, then bam! The show started and it was so much dang fun. Total adrenaline rush - the sketches were great, the improv games within the show were great and the set was ridiculous fun. Rachel could not have been more nice or more fun to be around.
Here is a shot of us after the show. My director (lady in back) and stage manager (left side, back row, backwards hat) and musical director (guy in glasses behind me) are in the picture with us (the cast):
One of the most rare things in my life during this show: Being on stage with someone ‘famous’? No. Me being the tallest lady on stage? YES!
That NEVER happens. Thanks, Megan and Rachel :)