Eva T. Made Vaudeville

Eva T. Made Vaudeville
New York, New York, USA
April 25
Reverend Mother (yes, for real!)
Interfaith Minister/Progressive Episcopal priest.Actress, poet, essayist; fitness freak/geek. Part time acting and dance teacher. Writer for various LGBTQ publications (from my bisexual perspective.) Bronze level competitive ballroom dancer.Extreme Cat Person.Native New Yorker who is madly in love with my city. Currently living in Dyker Heights, Brooklyn and missing Manhattan a lot. Married to my Beloved, the fair Lady Lucia, who works, with me, for the God Squad and for our feline employers, Alice and Gracie.Daughter of some-time OS blogger, Rosy Cheeks.

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NOVEMBER 18, 2012 3:33PM

At This Stage: Shakespeare, Ballroom; Who-Knows-What?

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Sometimes I feel strange having a blog named for a mega-famous performing artist (albeit one whose fame was at its height 100 years ago) while no longer being "in the biz" myself. When I started my first blog, I was in my last semester of seminary but was also still really trying to "make it" as an actress. A sister clergy-woman had introduced me to the term "bi-vocational" (she was an ordained minister/theatrical lighting designer) and I figured that's what I must be. Ministry had an acting element, after all, and entertaining people was a ministry in some respects; a healing modality....

Circumstances have conspired to make it very hard for me to continue pursuing a show biz career (living so far from where the "action" is, being over 40, struggling just to get by, financially; losing many of my theatrical alliances in the process of divorcing a man who was also my performing arts collaborator.) I will also admit that I'd just been feeling tired of it. Not tired of the on-stage part but of the marketing and hustling parts, which are extra-difficult in a place like New York City, where there is so much cut-throat competition.

That said...I have not completely given up the roar of the greasepaint and smell of the crowd. On rare occasions, I still perform in staged readings of Shakespeare plays, with the Instant Shakespeare Company, of which I am what the founder/Director calls a "Charter Member" (meaning, one of the actors he cast during his very first round of auditions, back in 2000.) A couple of weeks ago, I played the Duchess, Eleanor, in Henry VI Part II (a sort of low-rent Lady Macbeth, conspiring to murder the king so her husband can take the throne.) Yesterday, I played the role of Arviragus (yes, a young man; there are too few female roles in Shakespeare) in Cymbeline, which is, in my opinion, one of Bill's bloodiest and bloody silliest plays. There is beheading.There is drug dealing. There is deus ex machina. And of course a bunch of guys (I was one of them) falling in love with a girl disguised as a guy...
  In a couple of weeks I'll be playing Valeria (Best Friend of the requisite princess, Virgilia) in Coriolanus. The requisite queen in Coriolanus is Volumnia. The V-girls. I'm surprised he didn't name one of them Vagina.

After Coriolanus, this year's Instant Shakespeare season will end (we have shows from March through December every year) so I probably won't be performing again for a while. What I will be doing, though, is ballroom dancing! Lady Lucia and I have started taking lessons at the Dance With Me Studios in lower Manhattan, which are co-owned and managed by Maks and Val Chmerkovsky and Tony Dovolani, of Dancing With the Stars fame. (The first Dance With Me studio was opened by Maks and Val's parents.) I called first, to determine that they were willing to teach a same sex couple. They said yes, and we have been dancing there together for two weeks now (so far, we've been learning waltz, rumba and hustle; will be adding foxtrot and cha-cha next.) This is something we've both wanted to do for a long time (Lady Lucia just because she thinks it's classy and cool; I because I miss dancing and am a huge Dancing With the Stars fan.) We also have a goal to work toward with our dancing. Thanks to the repeal of "Don't Ask/Don't Tell," we can be open as a couple at military events now, so, in February, we will be attending a military ball together, with Lady L wearing a long-skirted dress uniform and a gown (which I have yet to find; I'm scouring thrift shops) for me. Just a couple of silly middle-aged Cinderellas; it's going to be fun!

And so...that's show biz.  Break a leg (or two) y'all. Bowing out now with the usual...

Blessings and well-wishes,

Eva T.


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Wow! So much going on! I'm so glad that you haven't left the life of performing - it's clear from your writing that you love it so much. And how wonderful to be able to recite the Bard's lines among like-minded people now and then! Just wonderful. Enjoy the dancing - and when you find your outfit for the military ball, I'd love to see a picture!
Alysa: Thanks as always for encouragement. I will send a picture with the gown, once I've found it. Btw...you were the one who inspired this post, after asking about my stage life. You do seem to give me lots of blog prompts!
Eva - even though I seldom comment, I have very much enjoyed reading your posts on Open.

Because of the problems that Open has been experiencing, most of the community has moved to Our Salon - a site created by one of us.

I hope that you will take a look at it and consider joining us there!

http://oursalon.net/ or http://oursalon.ning.com/

- Mark