Nov. 4, 1983
Dear Diary, After the play tonight, everybody told me I did good, that I was funny. I was glad. It made me happy. The play went OK. We made a few mistakes — but of course. We had a wonderful audience.
Nov. 5, 1983
Dear Diary, Our audience tonight was dead. I wasn’t so “up” afterwards. I was hyper instead …
Nov. 6, 1983
Dear Diary, We striked the set this afternoon. “The Curious Savage” is over. I can’t wait until the One Act.
Looking back 27 years, I feel a little like Marlon Brando’s character in “On the Waterfront”: “I coulda had class. I coulda been a contender. I coulda been somebody, instead of a bum, which is what I am, let’s face it.”
Well, I might not be a bum — I sleep in a bed I own, not a gutter in the street — but I think nostalgically of my theatrical career in high school.
In “The Curious Savage,” I played Fairy May, a crazy young woman who wants to be everyone’s friend and needs to hear she is loved. The play’s synopsis: Mrs. Ethel Savage is a slightly eccentric, extremely wealthy widow trying to spend her money charitably; her greedy stepchildren commit her to a sanitorium in the hopes of shocking her to her senses. There, she meets a variety of social misfits (including Fairy May), all needing exactly the kind of help Mrs. Savage can provide and who eventually appear more sane that those outside the walls of the institution. Mrs. Savage ultimately confounds her stepchildren with the help of her newfound friends. It’s described as a lovely story about what it means to be a family.
I honestly don’t remember anything about the story (except in one scene, the stepson character chastised my best friend’s character’s insensitivity by saying, “You’re hard” which amused us teen-agers to no end), but I do remember I got to literally let my hair down in the last scene, and I remember feeling pretty during the final applause.
I had lines like, “I was stolen by gypsies when I was a child and rescued just as they were about to dye my skin with walnut juice” and “My dentist said I had perfect occlusion. Do you think he was telling me he loved me?” and the line in the title of this post.
Sometimes lately I feel a little like Fairy May — like I’m surrounded by crazy people. And then I wonder, maybe I’m the crazy one?