Guest post from Christmas Carol actor Megan Storti
October 29, 2012 § Leave a comment
All In the Family
I just returned home from a Cratchit Family rehearsal. It takes me approximately 45 minutes to an hour to drive back to Chicago from Arlington Heights, so I had a lot of time to think about what I wanted to share with you. Before I wrote this, however, I wrote to my mother.
She just sent me a recipe for a cranberry onion pork roast. Actually, she sent me three emails because the first one had incorrect spelling, the second was forwarded, and the third was finally (in her mind) “correct.” My mother does this all the time. She does something out of the goodness of her heart, then does it again, and again, just to make sure. When I drive back to the city after visiting my parents in Chillicothe, I will only make it to the train tracks before I get a call from Mom asking if I left anything at home. You know, just in case.
More than at any other time in my life, I am realizing how much my mother impacts the way I act — both in life and on stage. When Robin offered me the role of Mrs. Cratchit (in addition to Christmas Past) I knew Mom was going to be all over this script. I can feel her in the way I move, how I address my “husband,” the way I feel about my “children.” Most importantly, I recognize what a labor of love it is to support a child whose future is uncertain. We do not know what Tiny Tim’s future will be; we do not know IF there is a future for him. We can make plans, we can dream about what sort of person he will be, but we can never know for sure.
When my parents decided to start their family (in Arlington Heights, mind you!), they could not know that over 25 years later, their eldest daughter would be pursuing a doctoral degree in English and their youngest would be piecing together contracts as an actor in Chicago. Sarah and I did not choose lucrative careers, to say the least… but part of the reason we have been so happy in our successes is because my parents have never stopped supporting us. We never thought we would fail because they never thought we would, either. Of course, much of acting is about failure — we are rejected so often! To my parents, success meant being happy with the life we chose, and living it to the fullest.
As I continue to work with these young actors and Dave to start our own family, we will find ways to support each other and live these scenes with as much honesty and love as possible. So much of rehearsal tonight was spent laughing around the Cratchits’ kitchen table. We all shared the same sentiment at the end of the night: that we felt like a family.