So, Husband and I have been together for over 5 years now, and in that time, I’ve not done a show where I’ve had to kiss someone onstage…until now. I’ve had my fair share of stage kisses (including my very first kiss when I was in 8th grade!) and, for me, stage kisses are no big deal, however, trying to explain them to someone who is not an actor is hard. You actually kiss someone else, but it’s without the emotion behind it, and it’s just for pretend because you’re not actually YOU when you do it…even though it’s your body and your lips…

Believe me when I say my husband is the LEAST jealous person you could ever meet. I mean, I’m glad he trusts me so much, but sometimes I wish he were a little more jealous. Not that he has anything to be jealous about, it’s just that I think a small, healthy amount of jealousy is good in a relationship.

Anyway, part of the beauty of being an actress is the freedom to step into another person’s shoes and bring a character to life. A character who makes different choices than you. A character who has a different family, different background, different voice even. And it’s so fun to play, as an adult, with other creative people who are on the same page as you. To forget the “realness” of life, and, for a few hours each night, make believe you are somebody completely different.

Doesn’t everyone want that at times? To be someone else? To live another life? To “start over” where none of your baggage comes with you? I feel like I can do that on stage. When I get into my character, I’m able to imagine I’m someone else, living somewhere else, loving someone else. And it doesn’t lesson my relationships with my husband and my family. If anything, it strengthens them. Because, in a way, I appreciate them more after “seeing” how life would be if our paths had never crossed.

Having a creative outlet and creative people to share ideas and banter with is so life giving. I love my family, and I adore my friends, but I can’t tell you how important it is to me to perform and spend time with people who understand that need. You know how you have different people in your life for different needs? And how you’ll quickly ruin your relationships if you depend on one person to meet all of your needs? The creative, performance artist side of me NEEDS this opportunity to step into another world and deeply feel and discuss emotions not always used in everyday life.

Show Boat is giving me all of that and more – a space to perform, but more importantly the PEOPLE to share it all with. These people in this cast are making me better, as a person and as a performer.

So, here comes the shameless plug – I know we have lots of readers outside of our geographical area, but if any of you happen to be in or around Northeast Ohio, please consider checking out this production of Show Boat at Near West Theatre. Tickets are a very affordable $10 for adults, $8 for children, and the show runs the first three weekends in May. Visit the website to purchase tickets and for more information.

I get to sing some of the most beautiful melodies ever written and play with a cast of 60 incredibly diverse and talented people who are making this journey one I will remember for a long time.

Plus, I kiss a boy who’s not my husband, and (not surprisingly) he’s not even a little bit jealous.