Thursday, February 10, 2011

Maybe I Peaked at Elwood P. Dowd

Don't get me wrong, things are going well enough, and I'm lighter than I've been in well over a decade. I'm not meaning to complain at all.

But there are times when I wonder if I peaked my junior year in high school when I played Elwood P. Dowd in "Harvey."

Okay, I don't really wonder that... but I do wonder if I had a better experience with that show than I should have.

It would be unfair to blame my love of acting and performing on that production. Really it's all my older brother's fault. I blame him for my love of writing as well. He could probably get the blame for my love of reading, now that I think about it.

When I was in 6th grade, Todd (and the rest of his drama class) brought a production to our elementary school. I believe there were several skits, but the one I remember best was Cinderfella, penned at least in part by Todd. All the genders were reversed, and the wicked stepbrothers were those two "wild and crazy guys", Georg and Yortuk. I forget which one of the two brothers Todd was, but I knew that moment I wanted to make people laugh as much as he and the other guy (I have no idea now who it was, now that I think of it) made us laugh.

Which naturally led to my teaching 7th grade math.

I don't want you to get the wrong idea, however. I don't feel like I "missed my chance" or "missed my calling" or anything. In fact, I'm not sure I have a calling. I mean, I teach mostly because there's nothing good on t.v. during the day.

I kid. But I don't know that I have a calling. Or, if I do, they're calling the phone that's part of my cable package, and has no phone attached to it... and I'm not watching t.v. at the time, so I don't see it come up on caller I.D. (not that I could answer it if it did, but at least I'd know I had a calling--just not what it was).

I just wonder what that was all about. I can remember even now, about 32 years later, exactly what I felt like at that big moment. How I saw my purpose, my life's goal... I remember it so flippin' clearly.

Whatever. I was just telling someone last night I really do like teaching. It's dealing with all the b.s. that isn't teaching that wears me down. I figure I make it 12 more years and I've got my 80 and out (assuming 80 and out is still 80 and out at that time) and then I'll retire and maybe do something else for a while.

Or maybe something good will be on t.v. during the day by that time.

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