As I write this, I am mere hours away from a new “acting” gig (oh joy!) For the past few years, Steve has been doing more and more film work. Most of this to date has been the blink-and-you-miss-him variety; for instance, he's in Adam Sandler’s new movie, Hustle--as an extra in a basketball game scene. But there have been some bigger roles, and I’m proud of him for getting out there.
Which brings me to this morning. Steve was hired to film a spot as a tourist at Valley Forge Park, and the producer thought it’d be nice if I came, too, to play the role of…wait for it…Steve’s wife! At last! 45 years of training are paying off! We will be filmed roaming around various locations in the park. Rumor has it that a bicycle is involved as well; I think the original idea was that we would be riding merrily along on two wheels. As everyone in the world knows by now, I do NOT know how to ride a bike (nor do I have the remotest interest in learning). Deal breaker, right? Au contraire! It will apparently be OK if I merely stand NEXT to a bicycle (yes, they do sound pretty desperate). Stay tuned!
This (getting back into acting) was not how I envisioned spending my retirement. At all. Let Angela Lansbury accept her lifetime achievement Tony Award at age 96 (which she did the other night)! Hasn’t Angie gotten sick and tired of gracing stage and screen for those multiple decades? Wouldn’t her life have been much more interesting if she had switched careers at some point? Angela Lansbury, dental hygienist? Or maybe, school crossing guard? In contrast, I prefer MY life to be neatly compartmentalized. So: The Children’s Theatre Years, The Church Worker Years, now The Full Time Writer Years. This well-organized method of existence will make things much easier for my future biographers!
But seriously, life is all about the overlaps, isn’t it? When DO The Parenting Years end, exactly? Not when they graduate from school. Not even when they become parents themselves. I can still work myself up into a state thinking of Evan’s recent wilderness training school adventure—he spent five days with no food, no shelter, licking water off leaves, for Heaven’s sake! Had I been anywhere nearby, you can bet I’d have left a stash of granola bars and Gatorade hidden under rocks for my poor baby to find! And it’s the same with my other kids—I never stop being their (neurotic) mom!
And so, as is typical in this messy and overlapping world, I’ll put down my pen for today and become (briefly) an actor once more. It’ll actually be fun to work with Steve again.
But just to be on the safe side, I intend to do a really mediocre job, to prevent being called into service in the future. Hey, producers? Next time you need a bicycle-riding tourist, may I suggest...Angela Lansbury?