Stage Fright For Dummies

I'm going to act in a dramatic production for the first time in my life. The play is called "Our Town" by Thornton Wilder, and our church is putting it on as a fundraiser for a high school service trip to Paraguay this summer. I'm playing the stage manager/narrator role and I'm scared to death.

The main reason I agreed to try out is because of my sons, who had seen another version of the play at school. "You can't play that part," they protested. "The stage manager's supposed to be a white guy!"

WHAT? HELLO!?!? Are they NOT trying new things because ridiculous thoughts like that are limiting THEM? And why didn't I try out for plays when I was in school? Probably because of the same kind of thinking — I assumed that brown-skinned girls need not apply. No, I thought, we can't let this continue. I'll have to be a stereotype-shattering example for the next generation. Sigh.

Now I'm realizing what a VERBAL person I am. It's all about words for me; I don't know what to do with my slab of a body and the stiff, useless appendages called arms that feel like they're made of wood. And since when did my feet get so big and heavy? Who would have thought this micro-crusade on behalf of immigrant actors would be such a terrifying, humbling experience? HELP!