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Carol Perkins: Finding the laughter

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By Carol Perkins

The audience was laughing so hard the cast could barely get their lines said. That is a good thing. Laughter pumps up the performers and brings out a little mischief among the casts, so sometimes one actor doesn't know what the next might to do add a little flavor. A hat might be on a head that wasn't there the night before. A piece of underwear might fly out from under a shirt (not what a person is wearing!) Not only is the audience entertained, so is the cast.

I have been in many plays, but the one showing now at Barn Lot is among the funniest. Even after hearing the lines, repeatedly, I still laugh at those delivering them.

Veteran actors can play off each others' lines with facial expressions that are as funny as the script. That is what happens in the "Last Round up of the Guacamole Queens." As each performance begins, the cast gets better and better at adding the unexpected.

My part comes on and goes off about five times during the play, so I have time to sit behind the curtain and listen to the audience. Their laughter makes me laugh. It is infectious. The director, Emily Coffey, was waiting to go on the other night and whispered, "That is just the best! Hearing people laugh and knowing this is a gift we give them is the best." I had never thought of it that way. Being in a comedy that is truly funny, leaving crowds laughing in unison is a blessing for all of us involved.

In thinking about laughter, I thought about people in real life who make me laugh. Not because they tell jokes, but because they are witty, clever, and often innocent like children. I love our children sermons at church because we never know what kids will say. Even your own grandkids can come off with the funniest things. Jon was telling me about hearing Eme and her mother fussing about cleaning her room. He had heard enough, so he marched into the kitchen where she was texting and told her to put the phone down and do what her mother said. Her thirteen year old self replied, "Right now, I'm taking a mental nap." Her nap didn't last long.

Many of us follow strangers on their podcasts or Youtube because they are funny. I watch Southern Mama (although "she" gets a little raunchy in her language) because "she" is just like so many people I know. I see a little of myself in her. I love watching "Frankie and Grace" on Netflix because I see myself and hear myself in both characters. They deal with issues such as knee replacement surgery but always from a funny angle.

I have to find something beautiful every day at least to make me smile. As my knee doctor said (and I'm sure he didn't think how it sounded), "You have at least twenty years ahead and you want to enjoy them." I even laughed when I told Guy that he had limited me to twenty more years without knowing it! I want more. Don't we all? It is what we do with it that counts.

This story was posted on 2019-02-21 09:03:31
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