Coming off a chat  
on the phone with my mom, unceremoniously  
squeezed in between a nap and my dinner preparations,   
She's the one who  
dashed crazily out of the house  
met me on the front porch  
when I won 'Best Performance' for Miracle Worker at 16.   
She couldn't wait, she called the school  
asked who got it.   
Never mind there were only three nominees
the results were a tie between me and Jody Hilbun, who  
played Annie Sullivan.   
I thought I was pretty good  
should have been a dead giveaway; self consciousness  
creeping into my work,  
all I could think of was  
'I'll do better with the next one'.   
How to—not an issue. Mr. Gray was leaving  
whoever replaced him next year  
would cast me in something.  I would learn the part and do it.
My mom was the one with an itch to intervene  
when performing and rehearsing  
got too much and I lost my voice from misuse.  
pushed through an audition sounding like Mickey Mouse  
on nitrous oxide.  What was Mr. Gray thinking?   
Was he out to toughen me up?   
The Pacifica One Act Play Festival incident might have  
been in his mind.  The one where I missed an entrance.   
off stage left waiting for a blackout.  
lights went down—before I had a chance to think, my bladder simply  
chose to let go.   
There was nothing for it:  
lights back up
all the way across the darkened stage  
past the furniture in the other scene,  
to the platform stage right  
where Dave Horton was waiting for me. I was sure  
the entire audience could hear my shoes squooshing.   
How the devil did my shoes survive
a present brought back from France 
my mom said shopping was a welcome distraction from her duty  
at her mother's burial
Sometimes pee seems like just water  
I must've got lucky  
dried off through the course of the play, until  
the whole thing seemed like I had dreamed it. Only  
Karen Frankenfield, standing next to me, knew what had happened  
she wasn't telling.   
Sitting with everyone at the luncheon  
listening to the panel, piece by piece, give us their  
judgments; this group did well, that group did fine,  
reserved their highest praise for our effort  
and amongst our bunch, they accorded me their greatest compliments.   
such detail!
I carried the day.   
The class received an official letter some weeks later
reiterating the Festival's pleasure at our production;  Mr. Gray couldn't  
cover his disdain.   
Interesting that I had been singled out
considering that I was the one who had fouled up my blocking.   
Found out not long ago that he's still around,  
living in New Orleans.  Saw  
a picture of him at his 75th birthday, looking  
saucy as ever.   
So this is for you,  W. Grant
Now you know.


©2004 Claudine Jones

For more commentary and articles by Claudine Jones, check the Archives.

Like an orthopedic soprano, Actor/Singer/Dancer Claudine Jones has
worked steadily in Bay Area joints for a number of decades.  With her
co-conspirator Jaz Bonhooley, she also has developed unique sound designs
for local venues.  As a filmmaker, she is doing the final cut of YOUR EAR IS
IN YOUR NOSE, destined for release next year or whenever her long time
technical task wizard Animator Sam Worf gets his head out of his
latest render.



All articles are archived on this site.
To access the Archives

© 2004 AVIAR-DKA Ltd. All rights reserved (including authors' and individual copyrights as indicated). All copyrights, trademarks and servicemarks are protected by the laws of the United States and International laws Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.
For permissions, contact sc4contact