Monday, October 1, 2007

So much to say so little. And cake.

You know when something happens that is humiliating or embarrassing and everyone takes that opportunity to remind you that one day you'll laugh about it? So not true.

In October, 1996, my college BFF, Kerri, and I decided to, on a whim, audition for a production at our small college. Typically these productions were the near-exclusive purvey of the theatre department, but we went to the auditions with relative confidence because we'd gotten it on good authority that the "real" actors - those souls brave enough to declare a theatre major - weren't interested in the show and therefore wouldn't be auditioning. We knew most of those folks socially, a few even a bit more than socially, and neither one of us wanted to make fools of ourselves with an audience. It was only under the condition of their absence we even considered it - we were sensible biology and psych majors whose only interest in college theatre up to this point was trying to score a little play with the actors themselves. (Bad pun, and really it was only me - Kerri knew better.) We'd just go for fun, we decided, because who wants to be in a play about Pentecostal snake handlers anyway? This would just be good practice in case we ever really did want parts in a show. Like My Fair Lady.

Long story short, we end up auditioning and - surprise! - were joined in said audition by every single member of the theatre department. It was an open audition and so, so embarrassing, and Kerri and I were going about it all kind of half-assed and badly, and all these cute theatre boys we were friends with and kind of liked (again, I guess just me) were staring at us like we were nuts and I went through the motions thinking, Oh my God - I just want to be home studying mitochondria.

People - they made us sing. Alone.

After that debacle she and I left the theatre clutching our abdomens in pain and embarrassment and I think I even threw up a little. Eleven years later the memory of that evening still causes bile to rise in my throat. It was so bad, it just never got funny. Kerri agrees.

My close friend Bo - front and center - was always the star of these productions (weren't 'cha, Bo? Don't deny it.) and true to form he was to play the Star Snake Handler. In quite possibly the worst consolation prize of all time, the stage manager asked me (after decidedly not being cast in the show) to be assistant stage manager. The show was quite dramatic, and at in one scene Bo had to violently destroy a wooden crate (you know - the kind they keep snakes in at your church. They do keep snakes in wooden crates at your church, don't they?). Taking one for Team Theatre (and we all know what team that is), he ended up squishing a finger which quickly turned a deep shade of aubergine. Ever crafty, I knit him a bright red finger cozy to hide his disfigurement. A bright red finger cozy. Beat that, Martha.

All of that to say that when Bo joked on my last post that I needed a finger cozy, he was so right. My middle finger on my left hand is agonizingly tender and callused after 3 straight days of crocheting pieces of fruit and flowers the size of my thumbnail. But aren't they cute? Norma Lynn gave me permission to recreate them and I'm donating the proceeds from them to an animal charity in her honor.

I made this cake as well over the weekend. It's the same one Kerri made for us a few weeks ago, and I spread the wealth to my visiting grandparents. It was prettier in life, and absolutely heavenly. You just can't beat a homemade cake.


Kerri said...

Remembering this experience makes me laugh. And throw up a little in my mouth.

Stafford said...

Thanks so much for the memories! I had totally forgotten about that play until I saw the newspaper article on your post. Fun, fun, fun!

Bethany said...

I love how you manage to go from from funny college days, to finger cozy, to knitted fruit, to cake...and it all pulls together perfectly!

P.S. I love them! Sosososo cute!

Orange Blossom Goddess (aka Heather) said...

Drool over the cake! Please post the recipe!

ahna said...

I agree with Heather... recipe? And those yummy little crocheted goodies are to die for. I wish that I had an ounce of that talent. I, on the other hand, was the theater geek at the audition... taking it all a little too seriously. :-)
Your photos are really lovely! Thanks.

by Johanna Brandvik said...

I could hardly speak up in class without breaking a sweat, let alone an audition...and singing! Great story, lovely crocheting and fabulous looking cake!

Bo said...

For the record, both Jill and Kerri had really great auditions. And Jill was quite the stage star back in Beckley, WV, where she wowed audiences as Helen Keller in The Miracle Worker.