🎼 Time, Time, Time, See What’s Become Of Me… 🎶

Credit: Michael Horta.

Hello Gentle Reader!

Happy holiday season if you celebrate it in any fashion and for those that don’t I hope you are having a fantastic time. I am usually only a Halloween and New Year’s kinda guy, but with my last project, you can say that I am in the Xmas spirit, I suppose.

I have a question for you my Dear Reader. What is the difference between the following line:

“… my very own legendary official Red Ryder carbine action 200 shot range model air rifle, with a compass and this thing which tells time built right into the stock.”

“… MY very own legendary official Red Ryder carbine action 200 shot range model air rifle. With a compass! And this thing… which tells TIME built right into the stock.” 

The way that I see it, the first version has the same sort of half committed involvement that the narrator from the film uses.  He is invested, but it just feels like he has told this story before to other people so it isn’t novel or new to him anymore. In the second version, I play it so that it feels like actually owning this present is a dream that I don’t want to wake from and the details of the gun that I have been going on and on about are highlighted since they are referred to 99% of the time the air rifle is mentioned. But I think the Time emphasis was me bringing my life experience to the piece. 

Christmas Eve was the first day since closing night of A Christmas Story that I could say that line without feeling the burning sensation in my nose and eyes of tears that wanted to be set free. 

I can’t exactly say when it happened, but I suspect that it was some time during week 2 of performances that the line above began to morph from the previous to the latter. 

I don’t know if I had mentioned it here yet, but I had so much work to do with the script that I read it multiple times a day on the weekends and at least once every day. I listened the the audio version I made while I was in traffic on the way to rehearsal. I listened to it at work when I wasn’t in meetings.  All to share this memory for this character.

But what is a memory? It is a snippet of time that you are recalling at a different point in time. Sometimes it is purposely done and other times it could be involuntarily triggered by sound, scent or emotion and situation. 

On closing night, I said that line, and before I could continue with the rest of the scene, I had this magnificent surge of love, heartache, stress, fondness and a few other emotions, all at once. I became aware of the symbol of authoritative and parental figures and friends (that my cast mates Shawna and Keith represented) had turned into a focused source of those people in my life that I don’t see, can’t see, won’t see anymore or haven’t seen in a very long time.


It was an overwhelming sensation. Then it circled back to the sadness that this little show of ours had grown to become something so special to me and it was taking the last breaths of life.  I took a few moments to try and force my voice back “into character” but as a proponent of “feel your feelings” I delivered the lines “The greatest Christmas gift I had ever received…. Or ever WOULD receive” with that bubble in my throat and powered through “pranging ducks on the wing and getting off spectacular hip shots.” I could only hope that through my quaking voice the audience could understand what I was saying, Kind Reader. 

I felt a wee bit foolish but there was nothing I could have done.  In far away voices, I could hear the backstage manager and some of the others, waiting to enter the stage for bows, commenting or gasping that this moment was happening. 

During the first attempt at creating an audio aid, which I recorded on a whim, I can hear my final speech get a little emotionally shaky. I wish that I had paid more attention to that moment so that I could steel myself of this and present the show to the audience  just as we had done the rest of the run. 

Even before this show began I have been fighting with the fleeting nature of time and the ideas that some people had about it. And I took on some of their baggage from them and still shoulder. So couple that baggage with the reminiscing of friends and family and a storm was inevitable.

It is a lot of energy to process and keep in check in the space of the 15 seconds that it takes to say that line and I did well every other night. But time will find a way of catching up with you.

With that, let me just shut off this light on 2022 and the wonderful production of A Christmas Story that I was so fortunate to be a part of. Thanks for letting me bend your ear one more time this year, Dear Reader. Take care of yourself and those you care about! Stay safe and alert and I will see you in 2023. 

Closing time…

The last thing that I saw just before strike.

Now that “Shakespeare 3 Ways” has played it’s final performance, and the set has been taken apart and stowed away, and the theatre has been dark for a day or two.  I am getting a little anxious at the thought of the coming weekend arriving and me without a show to perform, or even any rehearsals to ease the withdrawal I tend to feel during those first two weeks away from a show.  I got so used to seeing the people that I was working with that it’s almost the same as “coming home.”  I guess it’s that sense of familiar that I crave.  I know that at a certain time, I would be on the road to the venue, and then I will have odd things to wear, whispered conversations behind the curtain as the audience files into the house.   This weekend instead of the above mentioned scenario,  I’m gonna be either at home watching a movie, or hanging out with friends which is always fun, or maybe reading, or writing.  But I know that it won’t be performing, and that makes me a wee bit blue.

At the end of the show last Sunday, Craig asked for a few minutes to get some closure on his work being brought to life “officially.”  As he began walking the stage, in one archway and out another, around the back of the main curtain, at the far end of the stage nearest the emergency exit and up onto his kingly throne once more, I wondered what was happening in his head.  He first steps on that stage at that particular time had so much of “something” in them that I felt compelled enough to grab my camera and shoot some pictures.  I couldn’t say what that “something” was, but it felt major.  So much so that now that I’ve seen the images I’ve gotten, I almost feel embarrassed for taking them.  The moments seem to private that I don’t feel like I should share them.  On the other hand, I can’t delete them.  So they shall sit in my computer as a memory for me.  A memory about the time when a group of people took a chance and cast me in two roles that originally called for someone quite the opposite of, well, me.  And when I see those pictures, I will wonder “What is going through his mind?” Is it happiness that a new theatre company that you’ve helped to create is up and running?  Is it panic, regarding the turn out of the audience?  Is it sadness that the show has come to an end?   Is it regret that the show was different than what you intended? Is it a combination of all of the above?  Maybe it’s similar to the withdrawals that I will have this weekend, but he’s just solving that problem with true closure.  Maybe one day, years from now, I’ll ask him.