My (Limited) Acting Career
17 of 50
We’ve all been there. You’re cast as; a King, a Republican, a Prime Minister, a Shepherd, Jesus, Mary, Joseph or the wee donkey. It’s either the school play, nativity performance or some other “production”. You rehearse for what seems like months, and then the great and the good - your parents, other relatives, school governors and the local vicar come along and watch your performance.
I think I have a particularly impressive list of characters that I’ve played:
Slim the Cowboy (brilliant gambler, terrible pistol shot),
Part of The Dragon (slain),
Despite these successes I retired from acting at an early point in my career. Instead preferring the lure of outdoor life. Looking back I wonder if I made the right decision. If I hadn’t maybe I could have stayed the course, gone to Hollywood, who knows. I’m pretty sure though that I made the right decision.
To this day I can remember the line that I had to be prompted about in every dress rehearsal and performance when I played Slim the Cowboy - “But that’ll mean going all the way back to Sacramento again.” I can’t remember the context for it but despite not being able to remember it at the time I can remember it to this day, and it’s the only line I can remember from that play, from any of the plays.
Since my retirement I have kept my finger on the pulse of the up and coming actors. As a school governor I have attended a number of productions, and recognise myself in today’s aspiring actors. There seems to be a wider range of productions these days, although the old stalwart of nativity play still seems to be very popular.
They are of course there to serve and educational purpose, as well as entertain the legions of parents, siblings, grandparents, aunts and uncles who come along to
suffer through watch the performances. To transmit wider messages of good will, hope and happiness. I suspect that today they are an institution in schools throughout the land, like the school fete, carol concert and a wealth of other activities that make up the school year that are outside the straight lessons in classrooms that most people instantly associate with “being at school”.
So did you act when at school? If so who did you play? Or are you an actor today because of starting out at school? I’d love to know, leave me a comment.
Thanks for reading.