Tonight I Take the Stage

So most of us have seen The Bucket List with Jack Nicholson or have at least heard the term to understand what it is. I have a journal in a dresser drawer that holds a few of my Bucket List wishes. The rest are in my mind for long car rides to and from children’s sporting events.
Bucket List Item: Audition for Community Theatre……….Check
Get called back (wasn’t even on the list)……………. Check
As I broke the good news of being cast as the eldest sister in Close Ties by Elizabeth Diggs, everyone was shocked but happy for me. Well, almost everyone. The Husband was not impressed but it is important to remember he tolerates my venture into the Art world only in hopes of it being something that will one day contribute to the monthly income. This is the burden he carries as head of the house, the bottom dollar. Everyone’s shock came from the fact that I am a busy Mom of a total of 8 children. I am starting a business from home for my Art work, mostly reborn dolls for now, and I have never been involved or even hinted to friends that I was interested in becoming involved.
Last night during our final dress rehearsal I was thinking about my husband and I, vocationally over the course of our relationship. He has had the same job, the steady one, the backbone of our income. He has had side job ideas like lawn care, rebuilding cars, and a bait shop. Then there is me. Not the reliable income by any means. I was in college when we married, then was a correctional officer (a “where did that come from?” move), then factory work before finally starting in my degree field of teaching kindergarten. Only a few months into that and the universe threw us a curveball. I’ve been home with little ones ever since. I have so many ideas that go through my mind that it surprised me that a man like my husband can follow. In my defense, he was warned. I only have one tattoo and its meaning is that I’m sweet and unpredictable.
I was most excited to call and tell my Grandmother who has always enjoyed live performances. She thought I was calling to tell her I was pregnant again. Uh, NO, six kids in the house is enough. That night I got the script and as we did our first read thru I found words like dildo, hell, and asshole. My character was to say that D word in the first scene! So I put out feelers to my Aunt and Dad to see if Grandma would pass out. Last Friday, a week before the show, she called to give me love and apologize that she wouldn’t come. I accepted gracefully, hung up the phone, and cried.
This is the first time in my adult life I am doing something just for me. It feels AMAZING! I have never done any acting aside from my back-up dancer during the High School musical Oklahoma. I have learned about theatre and myself over the last 6 weeks of preparing. I wish I could let go and really become Anna. There is a shyness within me that holds me back from going complete Chris Farley. We are a small cast which is nice because it means I only have about a dozen people giving me advice instead of 30! I love feedback, it’s what helps me fine tune. It has been entertaining watching the different personalities of our motley crew, a truly refreshing change from my normal stay-at home life with small children. Someone told me after the birth of my second child, everyone will give you advice on how to raise kids, just smile politely and file it away because you never know when that tip may work for you someday even if not today. I have held that tip in every aspect of my life whether it be working at a factory, raising kids, or now, being an actress. Did I just say that? Well, it IS what I’m doing.
I find it ironic that a good portion of my role is about sister relationships. This of course makes me think of and miss my own sister. Six years now that she wrote the letter saying her religion would dissolve our sisterhood; Years of babies being born, loved ones being buried, ups and downs of one week to the next. Now this, my theatrical debut will be without my sister’s presence. However, our brother will be there. The man I love most in this world just past Husband.
My Thank you’s
Theatre
To the Terre Haute Community Theatre, where adults go to play, thank you for this opportunity! I’m waiting until after the show to ask why me.
The Cast: Jack Ciancone, Kendall Murphy, Pam Virpilio, Linda Green, Matt Schludecker, Mick Mack, and Mikaela Fish have all been so supportive and understanding of my learning curve. Thank you!
Sonni Crawford and Doug Lunn as our Director team has been the bomb! I have learned so much from both of you!
At Home
Amber Parker has been my greatest supporter from the beginning. Being back-up Mom on my rehearsal nights has made my load so much easier. I would have been driving girls to Mom or Brooke every night and these last couple weeks would have been awful without you! I am so proud of you for the changes you have made in the last year, I love you!
Husband, thank you for not complaining too much about all the housework I have got behind on, and thank you for giving me a head cold the week we open. Haha

My Bio!!
Jennifer Parker is debuting as Anna in CT’s Close Ties. A wife and mother of 8 she feels blessed to have a husband who provides for their large, blended family so she can pursue her love of being an Artist. She operates Jennifer Parker’s Art Shed from her home where she creates an eclectic array of original pieces. Jennifer also writes an online blog under the same name. The late David Bowie was quoted as saying he never saw himself as a Singer but as an Artist. Jennifer feels the same way; she auditioned for CT to open the door to performing as a way of expressing her inner creativity. It has proven to be a wonderful experience!
I dedicate the show too…..
John R Parker
There have been so many nights I drove home thinking of you and how you won’t be in the audience.
I am taking care of the boys as best I can, like I promised.
They miss you everyday.
And so do I.
Words for you, Dear Reader
Make a list of wild things, from when you were 9 years old that you daydreamed about: being an actress, a roller derby girl, a singer, an artist, whatever. Then look at your life and carve out time just for that daydream. I’m 37 and I just got started on my impossible dreams.
and

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Little Leprechauns

I started the daunting task this morning of clearing and cleaning off our family computer desk. It sits by our entryway which means it easily becomes a catch all for everyone in the house! In the de-clutter process I looked at the huge stacks of teaching stuff from my brief career as an educator. I don’t see myself going back to education since I have started to pursue my artwork, so what to do with all this?

What is knowledge if not shared? I know when I was in college, in the classroom, then a homeschool Mom I loved finding nuggets of teaching help on the web but it could be overwhelming. So in an effort to de-clutter my desk and maybe help out parents and teachers everywhere I will be posting, hopefully weekly, ideas I find worth a share.

Next Thursday is St. Patrick’s Day so how about some little songs and poems for the pre-school/ elementary kids?!

Catch Him if You Can

(The Muffin Man)

Oh, have you seen a leprechaun, A leprechaun, A leprechaun?

Oh have you seen a leprechaun, Who comes from Ireland?

Among the shamrocks he may hide, He may hide, he may hide,

Among the shamrocks he may hide,

So catch him if you can!

leprechaun

I’m an Irish Leprechaun

(I’m a Little Teapot)

I’m an Irish leprechaun,

Tiny and wee,

I hide in the forest,

Behind a tree,

If you ever catch me, you will see

A wish I’ll grant as quick as can be.

The Leprechauns are Marching

(No tune in mind, words a might creepy to me)

The leprechauns are marching

They’re marching down the hall,

They’re marching on the ceiling,

They’re marching on the wall.

They’re marching two by two,

and now it’s four by four,

You say you still can’t see them?

Move back! Here come some more!

The leprechauns are marching,

I think it’s three by three.

Just close your eyes and try now

To visualize with me.

Their merry little feet

Will never miss a beat.

They’re very tricky fellows.

Look out! They’re under the sheet!

wind

Never Mind, March

Never mind, March, we know

when you blow

you’re not really mad

or angry or bad;

You’re only blowing the winter away

to get the world ready for

April and May

Tea with my Sister

A couple of lifetimes ago (yet I’m only 37) my sister and I would sit down and have tea together. I do not recall any of these dates being at my house. Her house was always more tidy than mine. She would boil some water to put in one of her tea pots. The tea pot would be sat on a tray next to two cups with saucers under them. Silver spoons would lay on the saucer, secured by the bottoms of the cups. Honey and lemon were sometimes added on a small plate to the side, or sugar perhaps. She was more honey while I was more sugar. Two or three different types of tea would accompany the array of items. We would talk about our parents, our brother, our children, the husbands, about God, people in our congregation, our childhood. We would laugh. We would snort, then laugh some more. We would yawn. We would have slowed conversation only long enough for one of us to remember a story we had started but not finished. Then we would usually laugh some more. We had jokes no one understood even though she was eight years older than me. She always had overstuffed couches. We both always sat with our legs tucked under us.

We do not have tea together anymore.

We are both still breathing. Sometimes the air burns my throat and I can’t swallow because we no longer have these mid afternoon sit downs.

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Today she became a Grandma for the second time. We were in the same room but exchanged just barely more than formalities. There is little point. I have my beliefs and she has hers. We will have separate yet equally as important roles in the lives of her Grandchildren because the bond I have with my nephew has proven to be just as unbreakable as her bond with her son.

I suppose as a reader you are hoping this will be the beginning of a series of revealing stories or rants as to why there isn’t a relationship between us anymore, but alas, dear reader, even I do not have the answer to that. This is one of the parts of my heart I like to ignore because it feels too much hurt.

For now I do know I only have to wait about a year before I can have pretend tea with my beautiful, freshly hatched Great-niece!