One of many lessons from my acting debut

The first words in the play came from me, “Turn on the lights, sweetheart. Makes it less lonely.” And so commenced the wide open step I took out of my box on Saturday night.

I had imagined that with a twenty minute play and by marking “None” under acting experience I would have gotten a few lines, maybe five or six, in a play. But when I received my script, “Hi, Rebecca? Nice to meet you. You’re Daria,” I realized that when you sign up for Blitz, those folks don’t care.

I had a real part, with A LOT of lines. From 10:00 am to 9:00 pm, I practiced my lines, we ran the script, over and over, we practiced blocking (action on stage), we talked about fake blood, dead puppies, lifting your leg up, sex beads, nervous eating, nervous peeing, beer, surfing in Nebraska. I lucked out – I had the best director and the best cast mates.

Oh, and I got to practice my first stage kiss, at least ten times, with super-cute-actor-boy. Yeah, that was hard. When he decided we should have the most passionate kiss in the bunch, and practically make out on stage, I didn’t blush. I was an actor, now. I could do that. No problemo.

They promised me I would be able to avoid the audience since I wouldn’t be able to see them from the stage as a result of the SUPER BRIGHT STAGE LIGHTS. I was doing a good job of just that when I stood up for one of my longer monologues and got a glimpse of all. the. people. holy. crap.

And promptly forgot my lines.

S#!t. S&*t. F@^K. I felt there was a long bout of silence, but everyone assured me later there was no such thing, and suddenly I saw super-cute-actor-boy smile at me from off stage, a smile that said, “it’s okay you just royally f’ed up. We’re here to have fun, remember?” Right. Okay. And then I started babbling trying to get the gist across that I had never seen Jim work once for a living, so how could I trust the jerk when he invited me to his beach house, and that’s why I broke up with him THEN AND THERE. Those were the important words, THEN AND THERE, the words I knew I was supposed to end on, so the others could save me from sinking with their own lines. I heard myself say it. Whew. I was almost shaking.

The rest of the lines came naturally. Somehow I realized I had made my mistake, and didn’t have to make another. Kind of like when I crashed into another car THE SAME DAY I got my license and my mother said, “That’s okay, now you never have to get in an accident again,” and I haven’t.

Then it was time for the last words in the play, or rather, utterances. I tried to run, but I tripped, and Lucia grabbed the back of my head- OH NO! She pulled me to the back of the couch, turned me around to face her. She cut my throat! Blood! Blood! Everywhere! I fell back, slid down over the front of the couch, my head drooping, upside down, over the seat.

I lay there, my hair falling to the floor, thinking how I had pulled this off. I was funny, sexy, rude, obnoxious, horrified, excited, confused. My intuition as an actor, they said, was fabulous. I was Daria and I was dead.

Fake it until you make it, sweetheart.