PHIL IN THE BLANK: Curtain falls

About now’s the time I get hooked on the theater experience, looking at one weekend more for the Clarkston Village Players production of “Self Help.”
I have a role in the comedy play, which started back in February during auditions.
Not so much during the weeks of rehearsal leading up to opening night a couple weeks ago. Those can be quite tedious, and may have led to thoughts of “what am I doing here,” and “why did I think this was a good idea.” But now, with seven of 10 shows under our belts, things are different.
Playing in front of live audiences is a big one. The Clarkston Optimists, who know me from my coverage of their many student recognition breakfasts, cheered my arrival on stage as if I was Fonzie on the set of Happy Days.
That was a bit of a surprise for Susan Steigmeyer, who was playing Bernice the maid. I meant to warn her that might happen, but I forgot.
Thoughts now turn more to “this is awesome” and “I’m going to miss this stuff.”
The show, which is soon to be no more, and the set, which will be stricken on Sunday, to be remade into something completely different for the next show.
But mostly the people. Susan, Steve and Sara Sanger, Diane Baker, and Mike Cavin, and director Al Bartlett, producer Vickie Pike, and stage manager Barb Curtis.
I’ve acted with Steve and Sara before, during “Lend Me a Tenor,” but actually exchanged lines with them this time. My character has to rub Sara’s leg in one scene, then chew her out in a later scene. Then she gets to smash my cell phone. It’s a weird play.
Mike’s my fellow second-act-only player, and does a great job keeping the green room stocked with snacks and beverages. They say the camera seems to add 10 pounds to actors. The stage adds an actual 10 pounds, at least to me.
One more weekend to catch “Self Help” – Thursday, Friday, and Saturday at Depot Theater. Call 248-425-5842 for tickets, $13 for Thursday; $15 for the last two shows.
Then the show is gone forever.
For me, too, at least until the next auditions roll around.

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