Comfort Zones and Magic
The picture of me in the playboy/playgirl bunny suit was taken in the mid-70s. I was 19 years old and out of my comfort zone by a long shot!
The idea that I was anywhere near my ‘comfort zone’ in this outfit and on stage is ridiculous. I grew up that short chubby kid in grammar school that did not quite fit into any click. Some days I felt like the guys drew straws to see who might pick on me that day. I was shy and introverted throughout grammar school which carried over into high school. In high school I stayed in the back ground for the most part and did not really get that I had grown in height and size. I still felt like the short chubby kid that had become fine with staying in the background. NO LIMELIGHT FOR ME!
Well that changed with this photo and my participation in the Pilot Club Comedy Musical in the mid-70s. My mom sang in every show over the years and her good friend Traynor produced, directed, and starred in the shows. Many were held at theaters in Charleston over the years, but the one featured in this picture advertisement was done at the Gaillard Auditorium! My brothers and I had some background roles over the years but I never had to speak or be OUT FRONT on anything and I was fine with that.
Many months before the show my mom came to me and said that Traynor wanted me in the show again. My first thought was great, I like being involved and I can be part of the crowd. When my mom and Traynor enlightened me to the role I would play and then WHAT I WOULD WEAR, my heart nearly stopped. I was terrified. They could tell I was apprehensive but I think I hid the terrified part. So they ‘convinced’ me I needed to do it. Basically, people did not say ‘no’ to mom or Traynor. So off we went.
I rehearsed each week for months. Traynor would pound the lines, tone, and delivery into me. HE was working to make my part automatic and I am sure he knew he was having to push me far outside of my ‘comfort zone’. I was blessed to be flanked by two women that were seasoned performers and could handle anything. They made me feel comfortable in the not so comfortable zone I had stepped into.
The scene was a rough neck women’s bar. Pretty much traditional roles flipped where I was the ‘bunny’ and they were bar tender and patron. I delivered the straight lines and they ran with the scene! They were loud, tough, and oh so funny. We appeared for two nights in the Auditorium with huge crowds. When I walked on stage I had trained to allow the laughter to quiet before I started my first line. The crowd laughed forever or that is how it seemed. As I remember, my first line was “Two Double Bourbons for the pool room STRAIGHT!” And off I went.
As we finished the second night and had the cast party, I felt a great sense of accomplishment. My trip outside of my ‘comfort zone’ did not kill me! I was pretty sure it was going to kill me. Die of fright, fall of the stage, or Traynor and mom might have me done away with if I screwed up. All of these thoughts ran through my mind, but I not only survived, I thrived in the roll and the sense of accomplishment.
This picture and feeling had been out of my mind for years. Twice while I was on our retreat last weekend the picture jumped to the front of my mind. As I had my eyes closed, mediated and thought of happy times in my life, this picture was clear and the feelings strong. It is helping me with my decision to live my life outside of the comfort zone. I love living life and the best parts of life are lived outside the comfort zone.
Today, in my mind, outside the comfort zone is MY COMFORT ZONE! All of the magic in my life has happened and does happen ‘outside of the comfort zone’. Magic truly does happen outside of your comfort zone.
Note to ME and YOU: If you are looking for Magic in our life, it is OUTSIDE OF THE COMFORT ZONE. And goods news, it won’t kill you.
Take Care of YOU!
PS My Godfather, Ralph, is playing the piano! He was magical! And he is playing for my mom in heaven now. The other lady in the photo, was just funny as hell!