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      TAKING A MOMENT by Michelle Lockwood

      20180502 130025My spare time lately has been spent running lines and blocking scenes. Not really my typical kind of day, but with each rehearsal I’m finding that my fondness for this group grows stronger. In complete honesty, I was only half serious when I auditioned for Calendar Girls. Curious and intrigued, yes, but not at all sure of my ability to pull off anything that closely resembled acting. Not to mention my hesitation in the specifics of this particular show, which I knew to involve partial nudity. That was a big one.

      I could go on about my reasons for accepting the role — facing body image issues, stepping outside my comfort zone, but it’s actually the less dramatic aspects of the play that have made a bigger impact on me. Taking a moment now, to look back upon the past couple of weeks, I realize the layers of life that are actually embedded within the characters of this story. Our rehearsals often take momentary pauses, as we seamlessly break into conversation about the motivation behind a character’s words and behavior, or examine the changing dynamics of the relationships among the group of friends.

      Someone asked me recently if I could identify with my character, Annie, in the play. Yes, there are definitely some aspects of our personalities that are similar. A kind of softness in nature, but quick to be playful and even mischievous. Mild in temperament, but passionate and full of fire when defending someone we love. Annie is a wonderful character to play, but what I’m also seeing are aspects of my own life, and personality, within each of these beautiful, strong women. Collectively, the group creates a thoughtful metaphor that speaks to the complexities of women, friendships, relationships, and the strength of love. I feel grateful and honored to call myself a ‘Calendar Girl.’

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