Saturday night, I got to fuel an old addiction. Like many other addictions, the experience was thrilling and draining. It also cost a few bucks, but at least this addiction doesn’t do any physical damage. Really, I don’t remember when I was first bitten by the acting bug, but I know I was quite young. I understood even back then that some people got to share their games of make-believe with the entire world, and that sounded to me like incredible fun.
Some years later, 1986 or ’87 I think, I attended Stellarcon with a crowd of new friends from a club named VTSFFC. We learned that their Saturday afternoon masquerade was desperately short of entries, and I remembered seeing at RoVaCon a group called “Doctors In the House” that performed costumed science-fiction comedy skits. Inspired, I grabbed what little I’d brought for hall costuming, and created the “Starfleet Vice” troupe. We had a great deal of fun over the next few years, but after many performances at RoVaCon, Technicon, and SciCon, we moved on to other things, and Starfleet Vice faded away.
Further years later, I learned that my VTSFFC friend Helen Madden had become involved with “Luna-C”, a group that I later learned had evolved from the old “Doctors”. I enjoyed Luna-C’s performances at many cons over the next several years, and often felt twinges of nostalgia for the stage – by then, I’d done “You Can’t Take it With You”, “Arsenic and Old Lace”, “Gentleman’s Agreement“, and “Space Rogues“. But I had plenty else on my plate and never seriously concerned myself with those old memories.
Well, at this year’s MarsCon, I was socializing with Luna-C members after the performance, and I jokingly suggested that with the hall costume I was wearing I could have substituted for one of the players. A little further into the conversation, and it wasn’t a joke. So, this weekend I attended a convention I hadn’t planned to hit in 2010. I had an amazing time, and had my first hit of serious memorized-lines-and-costumes acting in ages. It felt goooood.
They gave me six skits to do: an AFLAC parody (I wasn’t the duck), a “Fringe” skit where I played Peter, an SG:Universe scene where I played Dr. Rush, a James Bond / Austin Powers back-and-forth (guess who I played, baby), and two final skits in which I fulfilled a longtime ambition to play the Fourth Doctor. (I tried for days to get a Tom Baker voice going, and I failed; but Deb told me during the show that she thought I had the cadences of his voice nailed. Ego-boost +30!) I didn’t have as much rehearsal time as I’d hoped, and I know I mised some lines, but they covered for me wonderfully. I don’t think I did a bad job at all!
Now RavenCon is coming up, and both Starr and I will be joining Luna-C there if all goes as planned. Yep. Won’t be kicking this addiction any time soon.