Friday, July 06, 2012

Just one of those faces, I guess


This is the problem with always playing parts where I wear a wig/mask. I was thrilled to play Lotty in "Enchanted April," because not only was it a beautiful part, but I actually looked like myself!

And I also recognize that this is a self-centered post. But it's my blog, so...so there. 

I had a rough day yesterday…no particular reason. A combination of waking up from bad dreams, the weather being rainy, and spending all day staring at a computer screen and completing the tedious task of writing cover letter after cover letter for writing and graphic design gigs. And designing something for a client, sending a draft, and receiving merely a cryptic “I’d like it to be more ______” in reply. (Welcome to the world of graphic designers.) I was just worn down and glum. But we went to BYU-Idaho’s production of “The Mikado” last night, and it was cheering (especially Brant), except for the things in between and afterwards. I can sort of laugh about these things today, coupled with a sigh. But they weren’t the kind of things that made my night any better.

First, I say this not brag, but to let you know where I'm coming from. Let it be known that I was on Comic Frenzy for 2 semesters, and have been in roughly 15 productions/theatrical performances on BYU-Idaho’s campus. But things like this always happen to me…

EXHIBIT A

Audience member sitting next to Jacob and I: (to Jacob) Hey, you’re in Comic Frenzy, aren’t you?
Jacob: Yes! Well, I have been. I was. I haven’t been for a while. But I’m hoping to do it again.
Audience member: Yeah, you were awesome. Are you in Academy of Comedy, too?
Jacob: No.
Audience member: Oh, well, I thought I recognized you. You are really funny.
Jacob: Thank you! I’ve done some plays too. So has my wife Liz.
Audience member: (to me) Yeah, I thought I recognized you. What have you been in?
Me: Well, I was just in Enchanted April last semester…
Audience member: Oh. I wasn’t here. Anything else I might have seen?
Me: We did a short version of the Tempest in the Fall, and I played Caliban in that.
Audience member: Um, anything last summer?
Me: Uh, yeah, I was in Waiting for Godot. With Jacob.
Audience member: Maybe that was it.
Me: With my long, crazy wig?

1 hour later…
Audience member: Oh, I know where I know you from! You’re the script librarian!
Me: Yeah.
Audience member: Yeah, you would always help me with stuff for my acting class.
Me: Yeah. Jacob’s taking over that office in the Fall, actually.
Audience member: Cool. Yeah, I didn't see Waiting for Godot. I didn’t know you did theatre too. 
Me: (sigh)

EXHIBIT B

Audience member: (to Jacob in the foyer) You are such a great comedian!
Jacob: Thank you!
Audience member: I’m _____’s mom (friend in the show we just watched), so I saw you in, what was it, “Life is a Dream”? And YOU. Are so so so good. Now I mean it. Are you going to do another play? Because you are so very talented. We would love to watch you again.
Jacob: Thank you so much.
Audience member: Really. You are such a talented comedian. (continues with intermittent bragging about her son coupled with exorbitant praise of Jacob for another 2 minutes)
Jacob: My wife actually does theatre too (indicates me). This is my wife Liz.
Audience member: Oh, I saw a ring! I wasn’t sure though. Congratulations. (continues with intermittent bragging about her son coupled with exorbitant praise of Jacob for another 5 minutes, pretty much ignoring me)
Me: (sigh)

I don’t begrudge Jacob the praise. He definitely deserves it. I love being married to such a talented person. And if I’m there while he's being praised, he always mentions that I do theatre too. Even though people rarely recognize me. I am so grateful that he does that...it’s not his fault no one ever recognizes me. I love Jacob, and I love that other people love him too. And it certainly feels selfish to want to be validated as an actress. But…well, all in all, not a great evening for my self-esteem.

I made some damn good brownies, though. I guess I’ll eat those to comfort myself.

13 comments:

Dani Yardley said...

LIZZZZZ!!!!! I totally saw you on a poster for BYU-I theater camps looking so cute and happy- It made me smile and I said to my Ryan, "I KNOW her:)" I love you and your writing- I can just hear you talk when you write. It makes me forever smile. :))))) And your hubs is pretty AWESOME too ;)

Jaggers Brain said...

Lizzzzzz...(I'm really not too sure why I put all those z's.) You are incredibly talented, and you bring that out in your spouse. The both of you are so talented and his gifts in some ways are your gifts.

You both rock my socks and I miss you! (But I met and loved your first so maybe you have a bigger place in my heart.)

xoxoxoxo

Anonymous said...

I think you are looking at this all wrong; it's actually a compliment not to be recognized in real-life. It means that you have a way of incorporating the life and being of your character into your body on stage that is different than who you are. I think you need to embrace the character actress that you are which is a reflection of this. (Note to Jacob: I don't mean to minimize your praise by saying this to Liz; I'm sure you know what i mean.) And, I'm not just saying this because I'm your mother! ;-) Love you!

XOXOXOXOX

Annie McNeil said...

Ouch.

I so wish I could have seen Enchanted April, to see you as a lead, with normal lines and interacting with Jacob (bless him) and with your real hair.

The best of the best have labored in obscurity. Audiences may not connect the dots, but your friends and the entire theater department know and value your talent and dedication.

Liz-a-nator said...

Yeah, I think I need to just embrace the fact that I get so swallowed up in the characters that I'm unrecognizable. I just wish it still meant that strangers gave me anonymous praise.

Liz-a-nator said...

Yeah, I think I need to just embrace the fact that I get so swallowed up in the characters that I'm unrecognizable. I just wish it still meant that strangers gave me anonymous praise.

K + J said...

Jacob? That guy's garbage! He's not even funny or charming or anything.

You're the one we want, Whittaker!

Matt Allen said...

This is Matt Allen. May I just say, I know the feeling! That happens to me ALL the time: "You are that one dude, from that one show, right?" It was only thanks to A Half Stick of Gum that people recognize me as an actor. I think you should get more recognition; I've seen you perform for years, and you're an amazing talent! I've learned much from you

Bidwell said...

Dear Liz, I am married to a Bidwell. I therefore can relate big time. It's a good thing we like them boys huh?!
Sincerely,
Lesley

Carrie Lynn said...

Try being best friends with Meredith Bellows.
Yeah.

Jules said...

FACT: Before we ever met in person/online/wherever it first was, I recognized you as that popular actress gal who was in all those plays at BYU-I and was too intimidated to talk to you.

Just so you know.

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