Don’t be such a goo-ch?


“Don’t be such a goose Agnes […] life is a banquet and most poor sons of bitches are starving to death!”


So it’s not the cleanest play.

Sorry ’bout that

Still, it’s a funny story…


One that I have no clue how to tell.


As I struggled to find words to explain the strange, strange, inter- inter- interlocking set of lessons that are coming out of this particular season, my mom comes up saying, “I found you in my book”.

She hands me her favorite, John Eldredge’s Waking the Dead and points of Nelson Mandela’s famous quote:

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.  Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.  It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us.  We ask ourselves, “Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous?”  Actually, who are you not to be?  You are a child of God.  Your playing small doesn’t serve the world.  There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you.  We were born to manifest the glory of God that is within us…And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.  As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.

Earlier this evening, I told her that I was scared of being trusted with so much;

that I felt quite exposed

and, like my character, the Gooch, was both intrigued and terrified by the concept.

A side story, perhaps to help this make sense…

  I played the violin from 5th- 12th grades in the school orchestra (and for one semester at Tri-C) and learned some pretty bad habits in the process.  I learned how to ‘fake it’.  I learned that my sound was often better off unheard and that if I couldn’t play the notes, which was often the case since I never took the instrument home, 20-30 other players would pick up my slack.  I could enjoy the long, largato notes- perfect my vibrato- and not build up the speed that the good people who actually took lessons enjoyed.

celloI never really learned to count.  I learned that if I lost my place, I could just stop, no one would notice/ care and I could pick up again when on solid, easy ground.  I could follow a conductor, for the most part but yesterday I found myself in an ensemble with no conductor and no one else playing my part.  I was an octave below the nine chin instruments and the depth of mine rang out regardless of how quietly I tried to sink below them.

I was playing eighth notes; they were playing something syncopated.

  I had the potential to either give them a solid beat or throw them off altogether.

What I did mattered and honestly I’m not really used to that.

Lesson #8929348? What you do matters.

I can take this a thousand directions, I’m still struggling to find my point, my opinion of the raunchiness of the play I feel God placed me in, my definition of ‘living’, whether I’m any closer to that elusive goal than a decade ago now that I’m forcing myself to be ok with hamming it up on stage for an adult only audience (generally kids are the only ones allowed to see me get silly), who to invite to this thing and how, what kind of message am I condoning and whether I want people to hear it, etc etc but for tonight, I’ll let that Mandela quote bear repeating.

“Your playing small doesn’t serve the world”

My laziness/ lax attitude in regards to the violin hurt the group, hurt the other players in the pits for the two musicals I was involved in.  Yeah they picked up the slack, but they shouldn’t have had to.  Sometimes my wrong notes were more exposed than I wanted them to be.

Exposure isn’t always a bad thing.

I’m going all out on this one- there’s no holding back.  The good bad and ugly – or more so the hideously conservative, shamelessly minimal and simply drop dead gorgeous costumes are all coming out.  One friend is quite excited that she gets to see what I’ll look like pregnant.

It’ll be quite a show!

These people- the acting people, directors, to me the pros who do this again and again, are really taking a risk by taking on a newbie- one who would sit down crying in the middle of a speech and debate tournament because of a poor memory and natural stage fright.  They’re taking on a huge risk by giving me the potential to wreck something important to them that they’ve put a lot of work into, but they’re also giving me the chance to share that sense of pride when it comes together.

They’re using some of my artwork (including some stuff from life drawing class…) and laughing at the rehearsals and its a strange, exhilarating feeling to know I’m doing something right and that even though someone else could have done the part, they’re really glad they took a chance on me.

I wandered into an open audition years after my first invitation to do so but the timing’s perfect.  The surprise audition came a week after daydreaming about making heads turn like the girl from A Walk to Remember and only a day after quietly grieving my lack of drama experience during early morning prayer.  An urge to look up ANTIC came over me, just out of curiosity of course, and the familiar voice of a reassuring (heavenly) Dad invitingly said,

“It’s not too late”