This past December I had a small part a play at little Bedford Theatre. I had never done anything plays and it was a small role about six lines. So I thought, why not, my 16 yo daughter has memorized whole scripts. Surely I can memorize 6 measly lines. It turned out that it was harder than I thought. I had to focus really hard on my 6 measly lines. I’m sure glad it was a small role. I asked my daughter for tips on how she memorized so many lines and even some of the other players’ lines… she was no help... Basically she told me “geez mom. It is only 6 lines”. So I practiced at work, in the car and home. My co-workers and my 8 yo grandson had my lines down. You see, I had trouble remembering this line…. “Nail down the church, lock up the silver service and hide the collection plate they will clean them out”…it was silver service that me threw off… I have never used silver service in a sentence… who says that?
It was finally opening night and I was so nervous. My heart pounding hard and fast and my knees were literally shaking. It was my time to come out on stage. With my stomach churning, heart pounding and knees knocking, on stage I went and I nailed it, I was perfect. I didn’t miss a word. My second queue for my next few lines was right after the choir sang silent night. I didn’t miss my queue or my words... such excitement and rush after knowing you did it! Oh how fun... a star was born! Next 2 nights... was a blast, I was relax enjoying feeling confident and feeling somewhat disappointed that we only had two more nights to go.
Fourth night, when it was time to say “Nail down the church, lock up the silver service and hide the collection plate they will clean them out”… I said Nail down the Church…. I think I experienced what it must be like to have a stroke. I think if I was asked my name, birth date and current president. I could not have told you. My mind was totally blank. I could see the look of pain and encouragement all over the actors face. It took all I could do to save myself. I had to reach way down inside all the way to my toes just to be able to find some words to save myself... any words.. What seemed like forever I was able to blurt out “or they will clean them out”.
I was horrified. I began to panic that I wouldn’t remember my next lines after the Christmas carol, Silent Night…. Now I will never be able to hear silent night again without my heart pounding, knees shaking and an intense desire to run out the back door. I can’t remember my characters name but I can assure you “Nail down the church, lock up the silver service and hide the collection plate they will clean them out”… is forever engraved my mind. Yeah stage fright I had it.