During the month of April, I participate in the Blogging from A to Z Challenge. That is 26 posts in one month, for each letter of the alphabet, time off for good behavior on Sundays. This year, Millie and Willie Cottonpoly, my sock puppet creations, are here to tell you their story and share reviews, ideas, and inspiration with you. They’re also helping to teach theatre classes for kids in the Brainerd area, and continue to view and review theatre productions and some books. This retired couple doesn’t just sit around watching reruns on MeTv. (Although, Willie does like to put up his feet whenever Petticoat Junction comes on. It’s that sound of the train whistle. Millie makes no apologies for watching the Lassie marathon while holding her dog Tillie on her lap.)

InsecureWritersSupportGroup.jpgToday’s post also coincides with the Insecure Writer’s Support Group (IWSG), hosted by Alex J. Cavanaugh. Many of us IWSGers are also participating in the challenge. You can check out his blog for more blogs to read or to sign up. IWSG also has a facebook page. I like using that to post the link to my blog and to find others who are participating. It’s a great way to connect with other authors, and they offer support in kind words, encouragement, camaraderie, and promoting each other’s work.


A is for Acting. Have you ever been on stage? Do you audition for shows? Maybe you like to help out backstage, or prefer to be in the audience. Millie and Willie Cottonpoly have moved out of their comfort zone and are getting a foot in the door, stage door that is. Entering the stage is much like facing that blank page. 


Millie and Willie Audition for Something’s Afoot

Willie: (making throaty, gurgling sounds) hmm. arkkk, ah, ah, ah, ah, ah, ah, ah… to be or not to be that is the question.
Millie: Willie, my question is what on earth are you doing?
Willie: I’m getting my vocal chords loosened up for the audition. It’s elementary, my dear Watson, erm, Millie.
Millie: Okay. I didn’t know you were interested in acting, Willie. When did this come about?
Willie: My dream has always been to play Big Foot ever since I played a squirrel in my third grade class production of “Life in the Northwoods.”
Millie: Did you have any lines?
Willie: No. My part was to scurry in, gather nuts, and hide them in the tree.
Millie: Ah.
Willie: Ever since we started helping Mary with the kids’ theatre classes at the college, I’ve had the itch to get my foot in the stage door, if you know what I mean.
Millie: Well, yes. I understand. I’m auditioning for The Cemetery Club over in Randall at Beth’s Cream of the Crop Theater. It’s one of the few plays that has parts for older women.
Willie: Let me get my cloak and spyglass, Millie. I think I could play Sherlock Holmes in Something’s Afoot. I’d make a good gum shoe detective, and I’m really good at identifying footprints.

(Millie and Willie read lines together and practice facial expressions in the mirror.)

No matter what you do, you risk exposing yourself whenever you put your work out into the world. Whether you’re trying something new like acting, or teaching, or getting something published in your local magazine, you are opening yourself up for criticism. You are also challenged to examine, and share, your own emotions. It takes courage, and it’s always easier if you have someone standing by you, reading lines, clicking share on facebook, or simply singing your praises as they talk up your talents. Help someone fight their insecurities by being that friend today. It will come back in waves when you need them.

Go. Create. Inspire!

Journaling Prompt:  Are you an actor? Have you gotten out of your comfort zone lately? What did you, or could you, do that sparks new creative energy?