"I'd do everything for this bliss...yes, I'd do anything...anything for you."
Rehearsals for my stint in the musical Oliver! began last November. On March 4th the final curtain came down, following the cast's full-boogie reprise of "I'd do anything for you." We had our third standing ovation (in a town not known for ovations) and 4 curtain calls.
The life of an author is one of isolation--- "Writing requires a loner's temperament, a high tolerance for silence, and an unhealthy preference for
the company of people who are imaginary or dead"---so, for me, Oliver was medicinal. I'll miss it.
It seems, to me, as though I've been doing theatre forever. To put it in perspective, my first serious role was as Millie in Picnic. Millie is Madge's little sister, played by Susan Strasberg in the movie. Today I'd try out for the role of the mom. Or Mrs. Potts.
I've sung in South Pacific, Oklahoma, Kiss Me Kate, The Pajama Game, Damn Yankees, and a slew of other musicals. As a chorus member in Jesus Christ, Superstar, I even performed the Superstar number on roller-skates, to which I can only say "Oy" -- or "Ouch!"
That got me thinking. . .
Many artists have other creative outlets. For example, Keanu Reeves has his band, Dogstar, and Jamie Lee Curtis writes children's books. So does Madonna.
Curious, I posted the following on some of my internet lists: "I'm writing a blog on authors with other creative outlets. For example, I have a degree in art, which usually makes my cover artists tear their hair out :-) And, I'm appearing in a Victoria Music Society production of Oliver!"
Like the lady in the Jimmy Choo, I had so many responses I didn't know what to do. So I filed them in a special folder and will use them at various intervals. Meanwhile, here are a few of the responses.
Annette Mahon says, "My alternate creative endeavor is needlework. I do all kinds, but my passion is quilting. There's nothing like sitting down with an appliqué project, especially a Hawaiian quilt top, to relax me and help me think."
Also into quilting is Vicki Lane - author of the Elizabeth Goodweather Appalachian Mysteries. She says, "In response to your question re authors' other creative endeavors, I make quilts. I have three baby quilts going on at the minute. In fact, it was the fact of having a quilting book published in 2000 that gave me the urge to pursue the writing shtick further and on my own in a fictional fashion. And those quilts keep popping up in my mysteries.
Alexandra Sokoloff said, "Responding to your question about non-writing creative pursuits, I grew up doing musical theater, too, and I still dance all the time - jazz, ballet, swing, salsa. I've taught dance and I perform in an LA dance company when I can. And of course it's my great pleasure to sing as a Killerette in the ITW's Killer Thriller Band.
For the record, Alex, I'm thinking of starting a group and calling it "The Cozy (or if you prefer, Traditional) Killer Band."
Hailey Lind says, "I have run a decorative painting studio in the San Francisco Bay Area for more than a decade -- I paint murals, portraits, and apply faux finishes for a living. My idea of heaven is writing in the early morning, walking my dog, painting in my studio, and then writing again in the afternoon. It hardly ever works out that way, but it's my idea of bliss! Drumroll. . .Hailey's first novel has been nominated for an Agatha!
Mary Anna Evans says, "I'm a musician when I'm not writing books. I sing and play piano, clarinet, electric bass, and violin (in descending order of ability) and I'm just now taking up electric cello.
Mary Welk says, "I've played the guitar since I was 16. I met my husband because of the guitar -- mutual friends thought we'd get along because we both played that instrument, although he was more Bob Dylan while I was more Joan Baez.
I heard Dylan and Baez play together, Mary, on the U of Wisconsin campus, behind the Student Union, near the lake. It was an experience I'll never forget.
Tony Burton says, "When I have time, I like to act in the local little theater. Last summer I was in "And Then There Were None" by Agatha Christie. (Apropos for a mystery author!) I played the villain in the piece, too. If you have seen or read that story/play, you know that means I got to act suitably off center. AND... I have done voice-over work and am presently working on producing audio presentations of some of my short stories...in between everything else.
Julie Hyzy says, "I paint a bit. My medium of choice is watercolor. I *love* watercolors. I adore the way they feel on the paper, the way they look, the transparency...everything.
Julie asked me what part I played in Oliver. All I can say is that, without me and my fellow "adult chorus" members, they wouldn't have had a show.
I'm happy they called us an adult chorus. A "grown-up chorus" would have been a misnomer. (I'm on the left; my friend Annie is on the right.)
On The Actor's Studio, the host asks his guests what line of work they'd like to be in, if they weren't acting. Someday I'll write a blog on what kind of job authors would like best, if they weren't writing.
My secret (or not so secret) desire is to have my diet club mysteries become a TV series and receive a hefty paycheck every week for doing nothing.
Quote of the Week: "More, please." Oliver Twist.
Over and out,