52 Projects is an adventure in discovery. Every week, for 52 weeks, do something. Something you’ve never done before. Something you’ve always wanted to do. Something that scares you. Something that inspires you. Something that inspires others. Something that tickles your fancy. Something that caught your eye. Something that just popped into your head. It can be big. It can be small. It can be whatever you want it to be. Find out how doing something can lead you to discover things about yourself, your world, your God. Then, come here on Sundays and share it with others. I'll write about mine here, you write about yours on your blog, then use the tool in my post to link to your something. Please feel free to jump in and participate anytime throughout the year!


Sunday, July 18, 2010

Week 26: Thanks Jim Carey, now I'm an F@#KING actress!

Raise your hand if you saw Yes Man with Jim Carey. I loved that movie! In case you didn't see it, the basic premise of the movie is that Jim Carey's character goes to a seminar with a friend who is a follower of a group of people who say Yes to everything. The idea being that you never know where life will take you unless you say Yes to every opportunity that comes your way.

A few months ago I was outside on my front porch when our neighbor Steve walked by and asked if I knew any actors. I told him my husband is an actor. Steve, an old white haired pony tail toting hippy with a local jazz band told me that he wrote the outline for a play called Hard Blues in the City of Love and that it would be performed in the fall at a bar and restaurant in the city. A very laid back play that would be performed one night only, he told me. In fact, the dialogue would be made up by the actors in two get together sessions before the play. He asked me if I acted and I said "Absolutely not but I'm sure Breen would find it to be a fun little project." He asked me if I would be willing to just sit at the bar and pretend to be a fan of the band. No speaking involved. I could handle that. Breen was signed up to be the bar owner.

Fast forward to yesterday. We met at one o'clock at Marilyn's house (another member of "the cast") for a laid back meeting so that we could all meet each other. When Breen and I arrived and took our seats on the couch we quickly realized that there were stacks of scripts on the coffee table and the "A word" (audition) was being thrown around faster than one dollar bills at a stripper convention. Shit. Steve never said anything about auditioning. Of course Breen was in his element since he's had quite a bit of experience in the theater community. I, on the other hand, was in need of a pair of Depends because I was about to soil myself. I've never read a line from a script in my life. My heart was beating out of my chest. Did I mention that I've had a recurring dream since childhood that I'm standing on a stage to act and suddenly I freeze like a deer in the headlights? So I protested at first. I made it very clear that I was there to be a NON SPEAKING support role at the bar. But they asked if I would help out and read some lines so that they could get a feel for every one's speaking voices. So I did. It was awkward, especially being in the presence of my husband who has acted with some seriously talented women. To add to the fun little surprises, Steve hired a director for the play. Apparently I didn't do too badly because I had at least four people looking at me and telling me I was a natural for the role of Lindsey, the 1950's drugged out, sex crazed band groupie. PLEASE, you have to do it! That's when Breen leaned over to me and whispered, "Say Yes. Remember Yes Man." I knew in that moment that if I said NO that I would never overcome my fear of public speaking. Perhaps there was a reason why Yes Man popped in to my head out of nowhere last week. Perhaps there is something to learn here and an opportunity to grow.

Thanks a lot Jim Carey. This week's project was supposed to be making dill pickles. Now I'm a fucking actress.

What did you do this week?


  1. I think I would have fainted. I do not like public speaking at all even when I had to do it a few times. I still hate it so good for you!!!

  2. This is fantastic Jane! I am having a good old cackle to myself! Sorry, but I can't help. Just the way you wrote about it was terrific - especially the second to last paragraph! I look forward to the dill pickles next week! lol

    But seriously, what a wonderful opportunity you have been given. Overcoming fear - sheesh! Always a challenging project. Remember my flying one?

    I wish you all the best for this project. You will obviously have a wonderful teacher and support in Breen. I look forward to hearing the results.

  3. HA! You're also a writer - your dill pickle paragraph cracked me up too. Wow, this is pretty major in terms of "Yes, Man"ing and 52 Projecting and overcoming fears. And also will be a cool way to share a creative experience with the hubby and watch him in his element, which is always cool (or hot). ((Speaking generally here, of course.)) And as a non-actor who tried to act as a project already, it was a very empowering thing to have done.

  4. I think it is a brave and exciting thing to do, Jane. I think you will grow by continuing to challenge yourself with new things. I'm so excited for you. You MAY enjoy it after all, you never know, especially since you are doing it with Breen. Can't wait to hear the tales of your acting experience! xoO

  5. Wow that is great! I love this idea. I'm visiting from Sunny day to day mama's blog. I think I will start this the first of August. I need tome to get my list of things in order. I'm following you. Can't wait to check out your other weeks. Have a great week!

  6. Oh cool! I'm a fairly shy (formerly intensely shy) person whose husband dragged her into acting. And I LOVE it. Have done lots on community theater in my pre-motherhood days, and would love to get involved again, although the options are slimmer in this small town. I bet you'll have a blast. And some of the friends I met while acting are still my best friends!

  7. I have just downloaded iStripper, and now I enjoy having the sexiest virtual strippers on my taskbar.