This month I have been immersed in a production of The Sound of Music. Perhaps “immersed” isn’t the right word. Hollowed out, taxidermied and plastered are better descriptors. I play the rich/snobby/fabulous Baroness Shraeder, or Elsa, which means I get a big blonde wig and wear about 12 pounds of sequins. It also means adults treat me coolly after the show but little girls want to touch my vintage Bergdorf Goodman ball gown. What else does it mean? That I never see my babies.
What were their names again?
Since September 8, I have been gone every evening for rehearsals/performances. I leave at 5:15 so I can arrive for our 5:30 call in time to start the pin-curling process. You never realize how overrun your scalp is with follicles until you must get them up under a wig. Then some nice men weave a tiny, $6,000-a-pop microphone through my scalp and tape it to my forehead, then my neck, then my back, and then surgically implant the end of it into a tiny pacemaker they’ve installed inside my left ventricle for power.
Then on goes the nude wig cap, the look of which chills me to the core — a hairless, tan-headed turtle. Then the 25-minute process of putting the actual wig on my head. If I’ve forgotten to take 3 Advil before the process starts, I’ll be up a creek by Act 2. A wonderful lady named Karen has been re-styling my wig every 3 shows/rehearsals so it looks perfect every time. Here’s what I finally look like:
My friend Glenda took this picture, which is ironic because I feel most like Glenda the Good Witch wearing this dress.
I love performing. It runs in my blood much as the Advil and vitamin C I’ve been slamming down in preparation. But I’m starting to miss my babies. I think they miss me too.
I snuck into Madeline’s room the other day just to get a look at her because I feel like I never see her between her daytime nap schedule and my late-afternoon disappearances. Here’s the picture I took:
She is apparently holding her head in place as she sleeps. She’s at that wonderful physical junction where her head is still about 1/3 of her length so her arm is completely straight when she touches the top of it.
Here’s another picture from when I invaded Drew’s nap time — Gordon took this one. It’s especially awesome because if you hold your head just right, it looks like his tiny arm might be MY arm, and my giant arm might be HIS arm. If you don’t think this is hilarious then I don’t think we can be friends:
The show closes Saturday the 24th after our 1 p.m. performance. I will miss the costumes, lights, music, cast mates, applause, hitting my high B flat, and my favorite line about the harmonica.
But as Maria says to the Captain, “There’s no place like home.”
(Or was that Liesl?)