Originally, Randy and I were going to continue exploring South America after our trip to Peru but after he and I discussed remaining in Mexico for the duration of the play, it was decided. I would need to dust off my acting skills and get ready to audition!
The only other play I had been involved in before this was Steel Magnolias. I played the role of Truvy in my first ever stage debut while we lived in Misawa, Japan. It was such a special experience that I even auditioned for the same play during our first year of retirement in Chiang Mai, Thailand!
I was super nervous as I arrived at the first day of auditions. It had been awhile since I'd done one, and this one seemed to have lots and lots of local ladies who were interested in being part of the play too.
The Calendar Girls audition was an "open audition" which meant that, instead of privately reading for the director and maybe a stage manager, everyone was trying out on the main stage in front of each other. Whew! That made me doubly nervous. The butterflies quickly became bats in my belly.
Pushing aside my nerves, I went up to the stage when I was called forward and read for the parts of Celia and Elaine. I felt strongly attracted to both roles but Elaine was the part I knew would be best for me. It was a supporting role, but one that allowed me to play the "bad girl", which is always fun to do!
The director asked all of us to return the next day so that she could put us together onstage to see which characters best matched up with each other. So, I attended a second day of auditions, and I was not as nervous as the first day, thankfully.
After a few hours onstage in various roles, the director dismissed us and told us she'd be in touch within the next 24 hours. Luckily for me, I ran into her in town and she happily told me that I had the part of Elaine! I was thrilled to be part of the play and promptly went out to celebrate with Randy.
The morning of my photo shoot (at a local beauty shop before opening hours), I needed to guzzle down two beers before I could get the nerve up to pose for my shoot. All I ended up wearing was a beautician's apron, pearls, and a smile. It turned out to be lots of fun, and all of us were quite happy with our individual photos.
The most amazing thing to me is that since Dr. Gallegos began his very unconventional and creative medical practice, recovery rates for childhood leukemia at this hospital have risen from 34% to 85%. A miraculous increase in the number of kids who are getting better each day, thanks to Dr. Gallegos and his 'superhero powers'.
I feel really blessed to have had this experience and am proud to call these ladies, my fellow Calendar Girls, my new friends.