Another Rogue Speaks:
Here is a wonderful story I received from Jo "Sky" Sawyer-Roof, a delightful and gifted artist I have known for several years. Sky wrote:
This happened back in my 30'--
I had been working with the Southern Arizona Light Opera Company along with my two children when they were young beginning work at ages 12 and 14. By this time, they had both been in a lot of other TV, theatre performances and Daugher was singing with Arizona Opera Company.
We were fortunate to be working shows with Professional actors, Directors and Musicians. The Music director of the Light Opera shows in which we participated was Mr. Herb Green, the gentleman who wrote the musical scores for such shows as the Music Man. During Music Man Our Son Derric landed the part of Tommy, lead dancer. He had already done Chuffa Chulalonghorn in King and I and was called back.
For Music Man instead of chauffeuring children I decided to try out for the chorus. As Mr. Green did not drive I would pick him up and deliver him following rehearsals and shows which was excellent in learning more about theatrical events. It was fascinating to watch him rewrite the musical scores to match the actors. If they needed more or less time to complete an action, he would simply rewrite the score. With but a moments notice, the musicians were expected to play exactly how and what he wanted. I decided to audition for the chorus of Music Man to work with him. When I tried out I sang a solo I had prepared and he said "good" now sing this song...and then he changed not only the solo, the key but also the tempo and I did that exactly as he wanted. Then he asked me to sing High C and sustain it. I thought I was a contralto. Or alto. Not high soprano. (Panic. Where, how, what, when??? but I just nodded as he said he would walk me up. So, I watched him and did as directed.) Did it. Done. When over and as I sat down, he said "Now That is the way a tryout is supposed to be. I sat down stunned. Shaking inside. This had been my first musical tryout and I had no clue as to how to do any of it. Watching others we trust, we learn. I got a part in the play, not chorus.
When we did Sound of Music we had a professional actor come in to play Maria. She was attractive and I thought did well. The locals did not like the fact the role had been gave to a pro (over so many who wanted it) so they all kept their distance and to me were rude to her. I decided to give it the old college try of trying to help her fit. I tried a casual conversation. It lead to a discussion on painting.
"Oh, I did not know you painted," I said excitedly.
Her nose wrinkled, back straightened and her drawn face (kind of a Marlene Dietrich look if you can recall that) puckered and she said through a drawn line of a mouth "of course, if you can do ONE of the arts, you can do ALL of the arts.!!" End of conversation.
--The co-uu-rrrrr-sse was drawn out and as stated very factually and I noted the nose rise as though speaking to an inferior.--
I took a moment to go from the feeling of having been slapped to the element of suppressing a giggle.
I have NEVER forgotten that moment nor those words.