Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Too True Tuesday Two


I thought my last TTT post was really well-written. And I was rather proud that I came up with a topic that both fit the requirements of the assignment, while also having some greater merit in terms of "discussing values" and "revealing character" and so on. But so few comments! When I don't get comments it is like getting a bad grade on an essay. Depressing. Anyway...this time my TTT post may have less literary value.


A few years ago I casually let slip in conversation something which apparently startled my listeners a great deal more than I expected. And what was startling? My brush with fame? My wild past? That I had any past that didn't quite "fit" with my present? (Don't we all have pasts that don't quite fit with the present???) Here are the two points to be considered:




Which aspect of this sparks more (any?) interest?


Someone brought William Hurt up in conversation...in such a way that it didn't seem at all braggy or weird (I don't think!) for me to offer "I once went skinny dipping with him." But, woweee! That put a screetching halt to the normal course of the conversation! Then later I referred to him as "Bill" and that added a bizarre level of fuel to this particular fire. How intimate can you get? "Bill" indeed!


I was once a professional actress. I don't talk about this much now and didn't when it was actually my career, because the really dreadful thing about being an actress (or artist, or musician, I suppose, too) is that when people ask "What do you do?" and you answer, "I'm an actress." they expect you to be able to tell them that you are in a) a movie, b) a sitcom or, at the very least c) you are in a soap opera. NOW. Not last month or last season, but NOW. If you are not working NOW the look you get is that you are a pretender. And in this country we don't even have that lovely British conceit that a non-working actor is "resting".


So, revealing that I was a stage actress, and usually working in a) a show touring to schools and community centers, or b) in a Shakespeare Festival, or c) in a regional theatre....and that (as often as not) my show had closed a few weeks ago and I wasn't sure what I was going to do next....well, that elicited looks of pity from my listeners! Since pity is not a nice thing to be shown, I kept my career path as mum as I could most of the time. I continue to do this now, because, frankly - the response is usually the same. "So, what were you in?" Saying I toured the western US doing childrens theatre by Brian Way leaves blank, yes blank expressions - the same expressions on your faces right now. What if I said, "I played Madame Arcati in Blithe Spirit at the Idaho Summer Rep." Right....same expressions. Uh, huh. Worse is when I mention something that (to me) has a bit of sheen... "I was a member of the Oregon Shakespeare Fesitval company the year they won the Tony Award for Best Regional Theater." (Doesn't that sort of mean I won a Tony?) Nope. No excitement generated. It is the really, from my point of view, the stupid stuff - commercials, a stint as an extra in "The Shining" that gets people excited.


From my own point of view, one of the brighter points in my theater career was a season at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, and while there Mary Beth Hurt, Bill's wife at the time, came to visit someone she knew....a director we'd both worked with, as I recall. [Wow; I'm amazed I found that link!] Bill came, too, and one afternoon someone suggested that a group of us go on a picnic. So we went up in the hills, and had a fun picnic by a lake, with lots of theater gossip....all very pleasant, but it got hot, and the lake was inviting. Of course, we were adults. We were not anxious to drive back to town in wet clothes...and someone stripped down and jumped in for a swim and we all did, and we got out eventually and modestly dressed and got ourselves back to town in time for the evening performance... And that was that. Except that, apparently, mentioned in passing at a family lunch after church, many years after the fact, it makes more of a conversational bomb than I ever would have imagined.


All very innocent. Really.

21 comments:

Molly C said...

It's too funny that out of all the people you mention, You talked about Mary Beth! I rode with her on the Volunteer Ambulance in my town, and her son went to school with my brother. It's a small world!

Annie said...

Now, THAT IS amazing! Or, funny. Ironic? Goes to show.... you're right about the small world!

Hevel said...

William Hurt is the cousin of someone I know. I can't remember who it is, but I remember being at a location with a bunch of my friends and William Hurt being there. I was a young kid, and I didn't even know he was famous or anything, but he played ball with us kids, so I assumed he was a nice man.

Also skinny dipping? :)

Rachael said...

I will give you an A+ for that revealing (ha!) essay.

I'm going to do TTT on Wednesday too.

Essie the Accidental Mommy said...

WELL THAT revelation should get your comments fired up! Dang girl, I would not have expected skinny dipping unless there was a baptism involved!
I don't know any famous people. That is all so cool!

Essie the Accidental Mommy said...

ps, don't forget to put your story on the mr linky thingamajigie!
Look, now you have 6 comments already!

Essie the Accidental Mommy said...

Oops, there you are, we must be on each others blogs at the same time LOL!
(7 comments now)

kristin said...

Oh Oregon Festival is AWESOME! I'm very impressed! I grew up in Eugene, so I know it is one cool place and very neat you were in it!

MamaPoRuski said...

I'm actually impressed I have seen Blithe Spirit...wonder if it was you..LOL! I like to hear about your life whether or not you can 'drop names'. :)

Tina in CT said...

You sure knocked my sox off as I thought you were super conservative.

I've skinny dipped in my youth but it was with a girlfriend at the lake when it was dark out.

Elizabeth said...

I think your writing is ALWAYS interesting and well-written! I think that your posts are full of "too true" moments, so you don't necessarily need a separate category! But I think these posts will be helpful later on for explaining certain things about you and your family.

I guess I read a lot of blogs about families who "break the mold." So the TV thing didn't surprise me, and I didn't have any reason to argue with it either! :)

Nora said...

Come on Annabelle....no more "confessions"??? hmmmm.....

More details on the skinny dipping please...what was seen or not seen? How clear was the water???? hmmmmm....I thought so!!!

Now, we just have to sort out the paternity suit and all will be well in the universe.... ;)

Hugs sweetie!!!

Jojo, Julz, Julianne said...

I too have a secret Theatre history, only in college..."Company of Wayward Saints, Antigone, You Can't Take it With You, all very far in my past, but fun to secretly share!!
I won't ever tell if I have been skinny dipping or not, but if I did, it wasn't with anyone famous!
Good for you having that WILD SIDE!!!

Elena's Mom said...

I remember reading this before. I thought it was odd that you had gone skinny dipping and with William Hurt. I remember thinking, "Why him and not George Clooney or Brad Pitt?" I mean if you were going to do it at all.....

I'm glad you cleared up my confusion ;-)

Annie said...

Elena...my friend Nora on facebook brought it up the other day.... I bet that's where you read it.

That's a great thought! WHO should I have gone with????

I think it would have been a certain British antiquities expert who is now in prison for selling forged Egyptian artifacts to museums....I was idly watching this documentary when all of a sudden - there! in front of me was my dream man! I told my daughter Lydia - There! You want to know who is my type - it's HIM! She thought that was sooo funny. But, a brilliant man! Handsome, charming, witty, exquisitely looking in a very British autocratic way. Just have to clean up that little problem with ethics...

Nora said...

Um...no Annie, on FB I was responding to Nastya's wall where I think it was Aidan who said "ask Mom who William Hurt is..." The rest of your family (and me!) chimed in...;) I just wanted to know how Jack Nicholson fit into the picture...

Fioleta said...

A stage actress. How cool!
While reading this post I actually double-checked that I was on the right blog :-). I wonder what other cool secrets you are hiding.

(and I had to check who William Hurt is - I'm so bad with names)

Wife to the Rockstar said...

I always feel bad when I don't get comments either.

It was fun to learn more about you today. You always surprise me!

kate said...

no blank looks here. ;>

the thing i did that gives me the most street cred--a voice-over in a video game. it was a BLAST, though. would love some more v/o work.

Annie said...

Kate - v/o work is fun! I did a Planetarium program and that was really interesting! Lately, I've also had a lot of fun doing religious programs for our local stations - and directing a few DVDs for children. i.e. "The Catechism for Teens" which won an award. I love it all!

Ginny said...

Annie, is your name Annabelle? That is my paternal grandmother's name, and my younger sister's as well...saw Nora's comment.