Pinky Pie

The Renaissance Woman & Me

Posted on: May 13, 2010

The MIT players perform "The Madwoman of Chaillot," many moons ago. Which of these ladies am I? libraries.mit.edu/.../ chaillot/index1.htmlXX

It is a great world.

On Tuesday, I received two invitations, the first via Facebook and the second via email:

1. Hey Friends–15 years ago I sketched out a way to do theater and/or opera that would seriously up the ante on “audience involvement.”  Recently it occurred to me that my basic scheme would transfer elegantly to online media, probably some kind of call-in radio show.  I would like to test this model with some good friends, namely The Madwoman of Chaillot and YOU…. I’ve got dibs on Aurelia, btw.

2. Hi Friends.  Many of you are employed full or part-time, but we’re sending this to you in hopes that you might want to join us if you have a day off. So — is anyone interested in joining Kathie and me for a weekly 2-hour outdoor adventure this summer?  We thought it would be fun to alternate activities.  One week would be a hike to the top of the bluff above the Hixon parking lot.  Alternate weeks would be a bike ride from the County B bike trail parking lot to Linda’s Bakery in West Salem.

Me in 1895 riding my bicycle in my knickerbockers, much better than my long flowing gowns. angelasancartier.net/ bicycle-clothing

Needless to say, I said yes to both. I am, after all, a Renaissance Woman and thanks to my husband I can spell it. It’s going to be a great summer.

I did have a bit of a discussion about the performance with the organizer.

“Do I need to be good? Is over acting acceptable?” I wrote back.

“hahaha…you need to be playful, open and eager and willing to use feedback on your performance/interpretation…over-acting is sometimes hilarious but with a good director you will only color in the lines vibrantly, not spill over them…,” I was told.

To which I added, “Must we really have a GOOD director? It really sounds like great fun. And I am pretty much a madwoman but will control my temper …”

I should have mentioned the sanity or lack of issue.

My acting resume is rather skimpy, primarily limited to my annual gig helping to train new residents in the “compassionate art of death notification.”

In other words, these new doctors in their first week of their residency training tell me that my loved one has just died. Because I am not good at crying, I go into this denial – heavy duty denial. Even before he or she can tell me any bad news I announce how much we are really going to eat right and exercise. He or she has to get me to sit down to tell me the news.

Usually, I have someone with me in the room who is supposed to be my daughter or sister. The first year, and I’ve done it for many, I turned to my sister and said, “I knew we should have gone to Mayo.”

That was a tad over the top as it doesn’t take long for a resident to realize that Mayo is the big competitor for this medical center and it’s only 65 miles away.  I was a little heartless.

It’s funny that I haven’t heard from the medical center yet this year. Perhaps they thought with my medical problem it would be too sensitive. Not so.

I love this gig and there is a real benefit to doing this. Some residents over the years have reported they had to deliver terrible news like that the very same day they went through this compassionate death notification training. It was out of the pot and into the fan.

As far as the outdoor adventures, there was a caveat from the invitation senders: “By the way, neither of us is very athletic. We stop many times to catch our breath on the hike, and we bike slow.  So if you are athletic, “manage your expectations” (I love that phrase!).”

Dick and I did buy bicycles a couple of years ago, which I did not ride last year at all.  When we did ride that first year, I discovered I had to relearn the art of riding a bike because once you fall off a bike, you never forget how to do it. And by the way, these are easy riders for the middle-aged set. (Read big seat and not so many gears; I do NOT own those tight black bicycle shorts, a gift for those around me.)

However in my past – a very long ago past – was a bicycle trip through England and Scotland one summer. I was not fit at the beginning but I sure was at the end. There is a great story about that trip that I shall relate in a future blog post.

In the meantime, it’s going to be a hell of a summer with activities for my inner and outer persona: Madwoman of Chaillot gets physical.

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1 Response to "The Renaissance Woman & Me"

I’m really looking forward to being mad with you…being mad by myself is getting boring…

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