Arrrrrr! Bring Me Some Pirate Treasure!
Copyrighted by Lorna Tedder. Originally published in Third Degree of Contrast.
Whereâ€™s a playful pirate when I need one? And why donâ€™t men like role-playing more?
It occurs to me that I have never had a boyfriend who would have Â dressed Â up Â as Â Captain Â Jack Â Sparrow. Â Or really, anything. Even dressing up in near-normal gear on Halloween was always Â a Â stretch for any man in my life. And considering Â how much I love to Â dress up and play, either physically or as a novelist, I think Iâ€™ve been Â woefully deprived. Yes, I have a rich imagination.
Itâ€™s not necessarily Â a pirate Â thing Â or even Â a Johnny Depp thing, Â though Â the joke in my house Â a couple Â of years ago was that the girls didnâ€™t think any man was worthy of me except maybe Johnny Depp. Then Aislinn met The Treat and suggested I ask him out as soon as my divorce was final, so I guess Johnny had a little competition and didnâ€™t know it. But maybe one of the reasons Iâ€™ve always appreciated Â Johnny Depp as an actor was his willingness to take on so many different kinds of roles.
I always loved role-playing in school. More than once in high school and college, I was assigned a part in a play when I didnâ€™t even audition, strictly because I was asked to Â read Â opposition Â the Â person Â auditioningâ€”and Â I Â was given their part when I wasnâ€™t even interested in being the play except to help with the costumes. That was during the era when I wasnâ€™t so interested in acting, possibly because of the way I got the lead role in my first school play and that I didnâ€™t really believe auditions were objectively conducted.
I really, really wanted the lead, but I was very quiet, shy, and an unpopular English geek. We didnâ€™t have auditions at all. We were asked what roles we wanted and the teachers assigned them. The most popular girl in school got the lead part and I got an unwanted walk-across-thestage-in-utter-silence part that I didnâ€™t want but someone had to do.
We practiced for months, and a week from our debut, things Â still Â werenâ€™t Â coming Â together. Â The Â lead Â hadnâ€™t learned her lines yet and wasnâ€™t that interested in the part at all. I resented that sheâ€™d Â been Â chosen Â based Â on her popularity and her real-life expressivenessâ€”which didnâ€™t translate well into her acting skills. With the Â play falling apart and the teachers stressed, Â the faculty Â insisted Â she learn her lines by the next day or she was out. Except that if she was kicked out of the play, there would be no play because who could learn the lines and blocking in 3 days?
I have to admit, it was a very satisfying moment for me when my teacher called me in for a private meeting and told me the Â lead actress preferred my walk-on part and would I please, please, please consider taking the lead if I thought there was any way I could learn my lines in 3 days?
Iâ€™d heard the whole play regularly from behind stage, so I already Â knew Â most Â of Â everyoneâ€™s Â lines. Â I stepped right into the role, which was one of a â€œpopular girlâ€ that I wasnâ€™t, and in the hour-long play, missed only one cue three days later. The real-life popular girl got the role she wanted, I got a part I relished, and a good time was had by all.
I certainly wouldnâ€™t mind a guy who dressed up as a pirate. Heh. Or liked me dressing up as a pirate and raiding his treasures.
But for as much Â as I love imaginative Â play, Â I canâ€™t think of a single man in my history who had any interest in fantasy. Maybe Iâ€™ve just auditioned the wrong kind of guy all these years.