I played Sally Ride at a Living History Exhibit at Woodlawn Cemetery (where she’s buried).
I booked the gig in sort of a roundabout way. I obviously basically want to act in anything anytime anywhere. I saw a listing on Backstage.com looking for women to volunteer to play historical figures.
Yeah, I’ll come be Sally Ride for no pay. Let’s just get back in the habit of doing this again! And let’s meet some other actors. And all that great stuff!
So, I wrote in saying I’d love to play Sally Ride. I think I may have been the only one who wrote in, because they gave me the gig with no audition or anything. (I was later told I was the only actress who wasn’t replaced at some point in the process. It’s really hard to get anyone to volunteer for anything and actually commit… perhaps that’s why they eventually decided to pay us – who knows.)
Once I showed up for our practice session, we got our monologues and read them for everyone. After the rehearsal, we got an awesome email saying they’d love to pay us after all! (What? Sweet business!)
Between the rehearsal and actual performance I memorized the monologue, tried on the NASA jumpsuit at the local costume store we were assigned, and learned about Sally Ride. (Did you know she was the first known LGBT astronaut? I didn’t!)
On the day of, I got there early. They had snacks and water all set out for us. (Ah, to be an actress and to be taken care of so lovingly.) Everyone started trickling in, and we all got into our costumes.
Then we were taken out to the various tombstones where we’d be performing our monologues. I stood there, waiting for the tour to get around to me, practicing my monologue in the space.
After the tour, we all gathered together and said a bit about what we liked about the women we portrayed.
What I liked was that it seemed like Sally Ride didn’t care about what other people said she could or couldn’t do. She just did stuff. She seemed like she really lived. And I love that.
As far as how the acting went, I think it went pretty well! I got compliments from strangers afterward, which always feels good!
Now let’s hope there are many more gigs to come! 🙂