Monday, September 14, 2009

I Was a Steel Magnolia

It's been a little more than three years since then.

I don't remember now what made me want to do it. Maybe I saw an ad somewhere or maybe it had been my recent stint back on the stage dancing, but I decided to audition for a local theatre production of Steel Magnolias.

To tell you the truth, I really didn't think I was going to get a part. I had never really acted before, I'd always been in the chorus or the dance troupe in high school... and well, that had been quite some time ago.

But it was either my skills learned while working in TV or maybe it was the fact I had red hair. It turns out the young woman who landed the role of Shelby (the Julia Roberts character) was a redhead so it must have made logical sense to select me. Or, maybe I actually did a good job in my audition.

Either way, I had NO IDEA what I was getting myself into. I hadn't seen the movie in eons. I mean, I really didn't realize which character I could be getting. I was just going to go and read some lines and well, just see.

Ha! Well, this is what happens y'all when you aren't paying attention. I was given the role of M'Lynn, the mother of Shelby. (The Sally Field character.)

So to my surprise one night while going over the script with the cast I discovered I had to portray this scene below. Oh yes.

My first reaction was. Oh no. Oh no no no no nooooooo. I can't do this. I CAN'T!!!!

The directors just looked at me like "oh yes you can."

And over the course of time I learned my lines. I went over that scene and over that scene... until finally I made my peace with it.
They even had "Shelby" and I go to a bridal shop together and get into character and act like we were gown shopping. What a hoot! It actually helped give us a mother/daughter bond.

But I think now I would have played out that scene a lot different. I understand the feelings of having a daughter of my own. I think I would have been sobbing real tears.

Maybe I'm a Steel Magnolia after all.


Lisa said...

Oh what a great story! How cool you were in a play! I did the scene in the beauty parlor where they discuss the "pinks" in an oral interruption of Literature class in college. it was fun but I worried over forgetting the material. THEN she tells us we could READ it! Now I can read really well. (years of teaching pre-school) so I was bummed I didn't do it better! Thanks for sharing this really cool memory!
Hugs, Lisa

MJ said...

It's interesting how life experiences make us grow in ways we never could have imagined. That scene would have been so much more difficult to do now.

Anonymous said...

And you were wonderful!!!! I was so proud of made me cry!

kab said...

that was from your sista!

Michelle said...

What a great story ~ you are multi-talented!


Ms.Daisy said...

I have to agree with KAB, you did make me cry and you were wonderful!

Love you,
Ms.Daisy Mau

Dawn said...

Oh, what a wonderful thing to be involved in!

Ashley ~ said...

I LOVE that movie*!!! It's one of those movies that no matter how many times I've seen it, if I'm surfing channels and see it on, I MUST stop and watch. I'm excited you were in the play, only wish I could have seen you*! ((hugs))