Irony, Theater, and Even More George Bailey

Yes. As you can likely guess, a lot has been going on in life that has kept me from writing. Many, many wonderful new things have entered my life and they require nurturing and careful attention. (There is, of course, a smattering of SSDD at several WTFs an hour, but that doesn’t even bear discussion–also I know when to keep my mouth shut.) One of the emotional-whiplash inducing effects of being a proper magical-type is that we get what we want, but it doesn’t always arrive in the vehicle we imagined.

And, in my experience, the universe lurves the heck out of some irony. Not that I don’t appreciate a good cosmic guffaw–I can laugh at myself as well as the next witch. Or at least as well as the next witch should–we know what we’ve signed up for. And I often get a hearty belly-laugh from the way the universe chooses to dole out “blessings” (typically with my fists raised, alternating between gratitude and utter confusion, and with “WHY” in the back of my throat). I love irony. We have to in our line, right? Remember always, “The Witches’ ‘Duh‘.”

Irony is the way of the aether.

That’s about what’s what up in here. Everything is truly good–but everything truly good requires a lot of fecking work. And appreciation for irony. And emotional-whiplash.

But, I thought I’d take a break from this magically delicious week and fill you in on a few things. If the ins-and-outs of my (rather humdrum at times) life amuses you–read on. Because that’s all this post is really about. No deep insights. No flowery language. Just me, shooting the breeze.

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If you’ve been reading this blog for very long at all, you know how I feel about George Bailey. (If not, here y’go.) And if you’ve read even this far in this post, you know how I feel about irony. I hate one and adore the other.

So, get this.

A couple of months ago a dear friend came to my door and said, “We need to do something just for us.” Of course, I agreed. This friend and I have spent years wrapped up in our childrens’ lives and never really bonded over anything other than child-rearing and kindred-building. “Just us” sounded splendorous. “How about instead of trucking the kids to theater practice all the time we try out for a play?” Dude. This friend and I have been buds since our grown boys were in grammar school together. She knows my sweet-spots.

Side Note: The play was changed at the last minute. Charles Dickens was scheduled but there was a copyright issue. So the play was changed to something that made me laugh so hard I cried.

I spent all of my high school and most of my undergraduate years on some sort of stage. I joked that I went into teaching for the “captive audience.” My theatrical resumé is both impressive and embarrassing–as most theatrical resumés are. I’ve played everything from Velma Kelly to Dr. Einstein in Arsenic and Old Lace (with full-body fat-suit to make me look less apparently female). I’ve played boys. I’ve played girls. I’ve played mystical creatures. I’ve been the trollop. I’ve been the unkissed virgin. I’ve been the crone. I’ve been the vaporish-aunt. I’ve been the vindictive daughter. I’ve been the lead. I’ve been ensemble. Ain’t much I haven’t done. One thing I never played was an elderly man.

Well, ladies and gentalmen? It was thisclose.

Another side note: My daughter is playing the male lead in the high school Fall play currently running this weekend. She’s magnificent.

I went to audition for that play. And as I sat reading the monologues, I wondered just precisely what role I even cared to play. I mean, I kinda hate this particular story and fairly all of the characters involved. That’s when the director announced that she had licence to “gender-bend” the roles. And I had it. I knew. In my bones. Even before I introduced myself to a director who had heretofore only worked with my children. I knew I had the role.

By now, you may be wondering what play our little community theater is presenting this holiday season.

By now you may have guessed if you have payed attention to my thoughts about irony.

Wait for it.

This November, my community theater group is presenting It’s A Wonderful Life, adapted for stage by Anthony Palermo. And I will be playing the role of “Ms Potter”–who hates George Bailey.

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I won’t be cross-dressing for this role (much) nor be in a wheelchair (much) but will be taking a rather Cruella Deville in Prada tack on the anti-George Bailey–complete with a thick white streak in my hair (per the costume director’s suggestion–I squeed). The big problem has become that I adore the young man playing George. It’s kinda hard to hate him.

So. Irony. Yes. But where’s the magic?

In a life that’s often overwrought with (actual) doctors, (actual) lawyers, and (actual) Indian chiefs, I stole a moment for myself. In days that often leave me asking for divine affirmation–this. This is the highly ironic answer I was given: “A’right, you wanna venture back onto the small stage? Here ya go. You wanna know if your life is on the right track? Oohkaaay … but don’cha know all divine answers are like a slap upside the head? Quit asking.”

With all the fun of Mercury in Retrograde and upcoming Winternights/Samhain celebrations, I’ve felt pulled in more directions than C3PO on Bespin’s Cloud City. But the silly, ironic, time-consuming reward of being part of this little production is knowing that my gods can still laugh at me and yet allow me to laugh along with them (both at them and at myself).

Obviously, It’s a Wonderful Magical Life. Even when it feels like Pitfall! level 50. Some misguided angel may just show up and save your life by jumping off a bridge in front of you.

See? Told ya. Nothing profound to see here this time.

Hee-haw and Merry Christmas, Bedford Falls.

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