Arts Quote We Love #2–Art Enables Us



Some quotes really speak to me. Art does enable me.  How about you?  In every role I have portrayed, I have found another part of my personality which I had not discovered on my own or gave attention.

I have spoke about the roles I’ve played, but this is something else.  If you want to check out a resume (abbreviated), go toa;

You do lose yourself in a role if you are totally committed to the part.

I was raised in a conservative mid-western community.  I attended church.  I was a Girl Scout for ten years.  Just that accomplishment explains a lot.

I knew very little about “worldly” whiles–you know sex, drugs and rock and roll.  All the evils of my generation, the late sixties and early seventies.

In college, my roommates were far more worldly than I was, so I lived vicariously through their escapades. HOnestly, it wasn’t until I graduated from college that I discovered some part of myself I hadn’t noticed. (You might say I was a late bloomer in that regard.)

If you want to learn about how theatre saved my life, go to:

Early in my marriage, I was cast as Nancy in Oliver!

It was such a feather in my cap to have been cast as Nancy.  I thought it would be wonderful to portray this very strong woman who sacrificed herself for the life of Oliver Twist.

Little did I know what that actually meant until I portrayed the role.

If you know the show, you’ll recall Nancy dies at the hands of her lover, Bill Sykes.  Although this violence is not dramatized on stage, merely hearing her scream sends shivers up your spine.

Try being Nancy and realizing what that scream really meant.

I had no problem with the singing and dancing in the part, but the emotional and physical abuse was startling to me.  It was the first time in my life I truly understood what a battered woman survives each and every day.

It’s not pretty.

Although, thank goodness, I have not lived a life like Nancy’s, I have had moments of emotional abuse.

Everyone has if you think about it.  This is where the acting comes in.

When I was portraying Nancy, as I spoke her linfes I reflected upon these moments of people saying hurtful things to me and merely amplified those feelings in my mind.

Even though that sounds painful to do, it is actually very cleansing.  By remembering those moments in my life, I dealt with them which I may have stuffed in my memory otherwise.

That’s what Thomas Merton’s quotation means to me.


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