Our youngest children are still in elementary school and this past week we attended their Christmas program. Our youngest played a crow in the Rainbow Forest skit. Her brother was an inn keeper who allowed Mary and Joseph to stay in the stable. I asked him if they would have gotten better accommodations if they had used Hotels.com instead of Priceline; he smiled but was not amused.
As with most school programs, the preschool and kindergarteners stole the show. There are few things more adorable than 3-6 year olds dressed to the nines and singing in more keys than the janitor has on his key ring. Some projected their voices while others mouthed the words and a few waived at their supporters as others froze like reindeer in headlights. Laughter permeated the gym in enjoyment of the show.
The program was fun and it drudged up memories of my childhood when I starred in my first grade Christmas program. Mrs. Quick chose me to play the role of Santa, and it was not for my thespian prowess. Nor was I chosen because of my beard, as to this day my 5:00 shadow requires eight days and looks more like patchy velcro than shadow. I was chosen because I was, as my mother explained to me, big boned. But even at six, I understood that was a euphemism for being rotund. I had a broad face and a little round belly, that shook, when I laughed like a bowlful of jelly. I was chubby and plump, a right jolly young elf, and with a red outfit was suited to play Santa himself.
I know now that this is called type casting and many an actor has made a comfortable living from it. Instead of a comfortable living, I sought comfort in Christmas cookies, candy and doughnuts. Complex carbohydrates, simple carbohydrates, starches and sugars were my training. This is called method acting, and I am darn good at it. Had I continued with the acting instead of just the training, I am sure I would have earned an Oscar, or at least an Oscar Mayer sandwich (heavy on the mayo).
But alas, my acting career concluded in sixth grade where I reprised my role of Santa. But I have not given up on my method acting training, I have continued in the carbohydrate acting school. Today I am better prepared than ever to play Santa; yes, I am still big boned and my belly shakes when I laugh, like a bowl full of jelly. I am ready for my close-up, Mr. DeMille.
Jim is am an attorney and graduate of Gonzaga University and Marquette Law School. He lives in Spring Prairie near Burlington. He has been in private practice for 17 years. He is in the process of closing his practice due to a diagnosis of Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). He his married with 6 kids. Jim is a community blogger and is not a part of the Gazette staff. His opinion is not necessarily that of the Gazette staff or management.