He called me the name of the famous actress because I put on quite a production as my mother was leaving the house to go to church or perhaps any activity that got her away from caring for so many children simultaneously. She had five of us in seven years, after all. She deserved a couple hours in church as her big “Woo hoo!” of the week.
I would carry on as if I was being fed to the lions as Mom, thankfully, eased her way out the door.
Daddy would note that I would watch the station wagon - a turquoise country squire, naturally - eased its way up Hawthorne Avenue and as soon as it was out of sight, my tears would stop and I would find some other way to entertain myself.
All was peachy until Mommy returned home when I reportedly would do a similar act, only this time it was “Mommy has saved the world, she has returned! She didn’t leave me forever! I am saved from two-year-old martyrdom!
Sometimes I wonder if a part of me somehow knew my future as a creative soul: writer, actor, mixed media artist, activist, Mommy… did I know how much emotions – and performance – would impact my life?
I’m coming up with things and starting to mix this and that so when I was looking through my images and some of my favorite photos of Sarah Bernhardt chose to show up and then when a commentary on Gilbert and Sullivan from an old music book literally got into my hands when I wasn’t paying attention, I responded.
I made what I call a “first stage layering” with a painted page and a photo.
I can’t take my eyes away from it.
I discovered an interesting fact of intersection in 1882 between this play, “Iolanthe” and Sarah Bernhardt. Look at what happened on December 11:
Boston's Bijou Theatre, 1st American playhouse lit exclusively by electricity,
1st performance, Gilbert & Sullivan's "Iolanthe"
Victorien Sardous "Fedora," with Sarah Bernhardt, premieres in Paris
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