My Theater Debut: The Elephant Purse

Elephant Purse


In our production of The Dixie Swim Club, I jerk this purse off my shoulder and slam it to the ground. How fun is that? To get to be mad, real mad, and act on it by doing something we aren’t supposed to do in real life.

At rehearsal, I’ve found myself starting to tug on the shoulder straps in anticipation of the line that infuriates me. I want to be ready to throw that purse!

No good. I can’t react until it actually happens. I have to wait until the character says the line, until she announces that I look like a “A hooker with a stolen handbag.”

Ah. Another life lesson from the stage. Don’t spend your days worrying about things yet to come. Don’t react until it happens. Don’t borrow trouble.

I’m pretty much in the worrier category. Not off the charts, but firmly on that side. And worrying can make you miserable.

The non-worriers are no help. They say things like “Why worry? You can’t change what’s to come.”

Their words make me worry more.

I don’t know what the secret is to not worrying. I googled, “How not to worry” and found lots of articles. Here’s a good one from the Huffington Post that includes a powerful quote from Corrie Ten Boon: “Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorry. It empties today of its strength.”

In recent years, I’ve started to worry a bit less. The wisdom of menopause? A new found courage? Maybe.

But I still worry. I still tug on those shoulder straps before the line is delivered

What about you? Do you worry more or less than you did years ago? Any tips for the rest of us?


The Dixie Swim Club

If you’re local, here’ s the link to the Orange Community Players website.  Don’t worry. It’s easy to buy your tickets online. Come watch me throw that elephant purse!

10 thoughts on “My Theater Debut: The Elephant Purse”

  1. Can’t wait to see you get all mad and slam that purse down! Okay to not be prim and proper all the time! I used to be a worrier but learned to talk myself out of it–not always of course. Hard to not worry some especially when it comes to your kids.


  2. Corrie Ten Boom was right! But I’m a chronic, pathetic worrier. Guilty confession: I started worrying about teaching my daughter to drive…when she was born!!!


  3. I love your zest for life and spunk. Great metaphor about not jumping ahead with worries. It’s almost a reflex of mine and I have to watch out for it. Congrats on your debut as an actress! Yay! Sounds like it was such a great experience all around!


  4. This is a great Irish quote I came across on my recent trip there. It came with a worry stone. I sure need a worry stone!

    An Irishman’s Philosophy
    In life, there are only two things to worry about—
    Either you are well or you are sick.
    If you are well, there is nothing to worry about,
    But if you are sick, there are only two things to worry about—
    Either you will get well or you will die.
    If you get well, there is nothing to worry about,

    But if you die, there are only two things to worry about—
    Either you will go to heaven or hell.
    If you go to heaven, there is nothing to worry about.

    And if you go to hell, you’ll be so busy shaking hands with all your friends
    You won’t have time to worry!


  5. How about getting rid of your worry about throwing the purse down when you are awaiting the offending line by your co-actor, by using, I guess, it’s called “method acting.”

    I think that this is where when you, for example, hear the offending line of the other actor, and you then pull up the feelings (and actions) that you personally might experience if someone were to say such a horrendous thing to you!! And, if you wouldn’t react with anger expressed outward – like throwing down the purse (and, I bet this isn’t your usual demeanor, Barbara!)- you can always think of that angry “horse stomping his foot” that I had referred to in an earlier post!@! Let go!!. . . . it’s not really you!!

    Anyways, I so much admire your ability to do these brand new things! Again, break a leg!! Love that picture of you and the cast! Wish I were in North Carolina so I could see the play, too!


  6. I too am a worrier – especially regarding my kids. But as the years press on I try to let go of silly worries and not allow them my time.

    Enjoy the next few days – you’ll be fantastic!


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