Pharos-Tribune

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March 23, 2014

KNISELY: A bit of stage fright

Here’s the first thing my father said to me after watch­ing my recent per­formance in “Stage Door” with Civic Players of Logansport: “I thought you said you were going to be acting?”

The script described my character, Judith Canfield, as “wise and debunked.” She was a pinch of snotty, a dash of sarcastic and a heap of attitude. If she wasn’t so funny, you’d hate her. I loved Judith, and I had a blast playing her.

But let’s face it, I was typecast. I am Judith. My family and friends who came to watch the play agreed we were one in the same.

But given the fact this was my first time on stage — minus a horrific incident in middle school — I think it’s a good thing my character wasn’t much of a leap to portray.

And minus a few hiccups, doing the play was a great experience and incredibly exciting. Though I had fun, the weekend of performances kicked off with a moment of sheer panic.

My character appeared very early on in the play. Judith’s first moment on stage came just a few minutes into Act 1, Scene 1. I stood just off the side of the stage, waiting for my cue. I heard the other actors giving their lines and tried to tell myself this was just like any other rehearsal, of which we had many.

“You can do this,” was the mantra running through my head. “OK, at least don’t pass out,” it became.

One of the veteran actresses must have seen the fear welling up on my face. She walked over to me, took me by the hands and said, “Breeeeeeathe.”

She told me it’s going to be OK because I’ve done this so many times already. “It’s just like rehearsal,” she told me.

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