14 or so years ago, I auditioned for the female version of the Odd Couple at a community theater in Middletown. I had a good audition, and I was one of 4 people called back for the role of Olive Madison (obviously, the female version of Oscar Madison). I ended up getting the part that night, and I had a great time doing the show.
A year or so later, I auditioned for the play I Hate Hamlet, put on by the same community theater group, and I got the part of Gary Peter Lefkowitz*, the protagonists agent. Also cast in the play was Leslie, who played Real Estate agent Felicia Dantine.
So we were a week or two into rehearsal, and after one rehearsal we went out for coffee. I was sitting with Karen (who directed the Odd Couple) and Leslie, and we were having fun, talking and making each other laugh, and then Leslie told me, very seriously, that she had a confession to make.
She told me that for the past year, she had wanted me dead.** You see, she was one of the other people who got called back for the part of Olive Madison, and since Karen, the director, was her best friend, she assumed she was a shue-in for the part. But I got it instead.
Karen told me that then she began receiving a series of phone calls from Leslie:
"Karen, when Maureen breaks her leg, make sure to give me plenty of notice so I have all my lines memorized."
"Karen, does the rehearsal space have a sprinkler system, in case there's a fire?"
Karen explained to Leslie that I got the part because I had a certain vulnerability.
Leslie sniffed, "vunnerability" she said. "I can do vunnerability!"
I said "you can't even pronounce vulnerabilty!"
And thus a friendship was born. And I'm writing this tonight because Leslie and Karen and I got together today for lunch, then a little shopping and then hanging out at the bookstore. And she reads my blog, so I have to write about her, because she likes reading about herself. And because, okay, I love Leslie, and I'm glad she's my friend.
And did I mention that she has developed a game to help kids learn how to clean and organize their space? Because she has, and you can buy it here.
*I maintain that I must have a certain quality that reads as male, because this was not the first time I got cast in a male part, and it wasn't the last time, either.
**Leslie said that when she found out I had a child, she decided it would be okay with her if I were merely maimed.