Fun With My Imaginary Friends

When I was little I always wanted to be my favorite TV or movie characters. That’s one of the reasons I loved Halloween and costume parties. Those were my opportunities, rare as they were, to dress up as Princess Leia (Star Wars) or Kelly Garrett (Charlie’s Angels) or Mary Ann Summers (Gilligan’s Island).
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In high school I took Theatre Arts so that I could reprise the roles of my most beloved actresses. Like Judy Garland, I got to play Dorothy Gale in The Wizard of Oz. I played the role of Lizzie, Katherine Hepburn’s role from The Rainmaker. I even had the part that Vicki Lawrence played in a skit once performed on The Carol Burnett Show.



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As an adult it’s much more difficult to “pretend” you are someone else, unless you’re a professional actor or don’t mind being put under doctor’s observation. My dilemma is this: how can I indulge that little urge without completely embarrassing myself or, more importantly, my family?

My friends and I came up with a fun game of make-believe that we play at restaurants. When the host/hostess asks for a name to call when our table is ready, we leave them the name of one of our favorite characters. It’s great fun. It makes the host smile when they recognize the name, and it’s a hoot to watch the other patrons’ facial expressions.

We’ve used Charles Carmichael and John Casey (Chuck), Jack Shephard (Lost), Holly Golightly (Breakfast at Tiffany’s), and others. At one of our preferred local eating establishments the hosts know us and ask, “Who are you today?”  It makes their job  more fun, too.
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Is this silly? Yes, and ridiculous, but don’t we have enough boring and grown-up stuff that we have to do already? I’m not suggesting taking on an alter ego for anything important, serious, or legally binding. However, for the little moments that would be otherwise boring and mundane, I say enjoy! Rather than saying good-bye to our fictional movie friends when the credits roll, enjoy them just a little longer by taking them with you for times such as these.

That’s a wrap for this Toast to Cinema. Thanks for reading!

Spoiled and I Know It

The Lord has blessed me far beyond what I deserve. I know this full well. Beyond a loving family and dear friends, I live in a beautiful house and drive a fun little car. I have three flexible full-time jobs that I love, and a few really fun extra-curricular activities that I get to enjoy often. But next month is special for me. November brings my birthday.

This year, as I turn 45 years old, I have much to celebrate.

A few days ago, a collector’s DVD set of The Carol Burnett Show—my all-time favorite—was released. At five, when asked what I wanted to be when I grew up, I said, “Carol Burnett!” and I meant it. Still true today.

The Friday after my birthday, Skyfall premiers. If you’ve read much of my blog before today, you know that I am a devoted Bond fan. I keep hearing critics say that this may be the best James Bond movie yet. Every time I think of it, I do a little happy dance.

Besides the fact that these are some of my favorite things, November is also National Novel Writing Month. I’ve been working on my outline for the sequel novel to the story I wrote last November. It’s really starting to take shape, and I can’t wait to revisit my characters again.

By the time the month ends, the holidays will be in full swing. Shopping, baking, and parties will fill my calendar for the rest of 2012. I know there are those who hate the season. I understand—there are plenty of things about it that I dread. But when I think of all the things for which I have to be grateful, I’m ready to do that little happy dance again.

I enjoy my movies, yes. For me, they represent a few hours of rest with my husband or kids or besties. I love my family and friends. Without the special times with my loved ones, the films I watch would lose their meaning.

I hope that you’ll take a break from the business of November and spend a few hours with someone you love. Make some caramel popcorn. Snuggle under a blanket. Giggle through a movie. Wander through a memory and make a new one to carry with you. Count your blessings and enjoy being spoiled.

That’s a wrap for this Toast to Cinema. Thanks for reading.