I Wish I Could Go Back To College (Blogisode Three)

If you are new to Sharon Wheatley’s blog, welcome!  I write stories in “blogisodes”, and to start at the beginning of this story, go here:  http://wp.me/p1zRyr-j6

Seth Rudetsky, the mayor of Broadway.

Happy Monday!!  So excited.  Did you hear me on Seth’s show yesterday?  I talk about the Weston Playhouse, I talk about this blog, I forget Ann Curry’s name, and then I sing a little song.

My Aunt Barbara gave me an A+, and basically that’s all I care about because anymore my entire goal in life is to make her happy.  This just in from Akron, Ohio: Aunt Barbara would like you to click on the following highlighted link to hear my 10 minute interview on Seth’s show if you if you missed it.  Sharon Wheatley on Seth Speaks 9_27_11
So, now are you reading and listening to my interview at the same time?  Beware–I talk really fast in the interview because Seth speaks really fast and it’s contagious…plus I maybe had 22 cups of coffee that day.  So anyhoo (moving on), how did you spend your weekend?  I spent mine rearranging this blog (I added new links to navigate from blogisode to blogisode and check out the new pages, “Corkboard favorites”

Charlotte and my "I'm not worried about my gall bladder" Mom.

and “News and Upcoming Events”).  I also rearanged my apartment and did a “deep cleaning”.  It was very hard for me to get motivated because I had nothing worrying me enough to motivate my now famous “worry-clean”–OH–except this–my mother called and said she’s getting an ultrasound on her….wait for it….GALL BLADDER…because she’s had two episodes of vomiting and severe abdominal pain and they suspect ye ol’ gall bladder must come out.

The best part is that she called me from….wait for it again…vacation in the Smoky Mountains, where she went despite the fact that she is still sick (I’m much betterI had coffee today!)  I had to ask her “DIDN’T YOU LEARN ANYTHING FROM MY BLOG AND WHAT HAPPENED TO ROB???” I can see it now.  Up next?   “Don’t F$%& With the Pancreas, the Cincinnati Edition”.

This Google image appeared in Blogisode 6 and is now making Rob Meffe's internal organs famous.

Perhaps she does not realize that the Google algorithms have deemed me an expert in all things having to do with the pancreas–this is actually true–there is a diagram on blogisode 6 of Don’t F%#$ With the Pancreas that now leads directly to my blog.  That’s right, I have made my husband’s internal organs famous the world over.  He is so thrilled!!!  This just in.  He might not be totally thrilled to be the Pancreatitis Poster Boy.  Confused about what all this pancreas talk is about?  Go here: http://wp.me/p1zRyr-5D

P.S.  Speaking of the Pancreatitis Poster boy himself, please look at what Rob Meffe is doing to give me time to write tonight.  He’s Jesus.  I know.  Everyone says it.

Rob and Charlotte studying for high school entrance exams while Beatrix sits on Rob and plays with Slinky Dog and the iPad. I rent him out for a hefty fee. The kids are free.

But now, ladies and gentlemen and new readers from Seth’s show (welcome), please join me as we get out of the gallbladder/pancreas mindset (that is so July) and go back to our regularly scheduled October/Back to School programming.  “I Wish I Could Go Back To College” blogisode three.  Interestingly, we left off with my mother (when her gall bladder was fine) reminding me that I’d blown off a lot of college and maybe, just maybe, I should have a degree to get an alumnae award.  Which made me feel like a cheater for about a minute until I wikipedia-ed “alumnus” and found this:

An alumnus (plural alumni), according to the American Heritage Dictionary, is “a graduate of a school, college, or university.”[1] An alumnus can also be a former member, employee, contributor or inmate as well as a former student.

Thank God for the Internet, put on this planet to make all failures look like successes.

What a musical theater inmate looks like

  Notice that one of the applicable words is “inmate” so most certainly, I qualify.  I think from now on if people ask I will say that I won the Young Inmate Award.  Be proud, Mother.

So, I flew myself to Cincinnati, bought a dress at Banana Republic and went to accept my award. Let me break it down to my favorite moments:

1)  Right before I walked on stage to accept the award I was told “You may say a few words, but keep it very short and do not mention that you didn’t graduate.”  I wanted to say, “But my parents are out there and I flew here on my own dime!”  But I didn’t.  Reality?  I was an “inmate” and not a “graduate.”

2)  Before I got to Cincinnati, more than one friend mentioned that I probably would get an “honorary degree” at the ceremony, because at this point, the school wanted me to be a real live graduate.  What I learned that night?  Not happening, Wheatley.  You slept through classes after all night Taco Bell benders and now you have to stick with that half degree and be happy with an award.

3) At the reception afterwards, I was talking to a parent and they said to me (in front of a group of students and their parents), “You know, dear, if you applied to this school now, you probably wouldn’t get in.  The competition has become quite stiff.”  Ouch.  This was said as I was holding my award.  Double ouch.  No amount of “*after laughing” could make me feel better. (*After laughing is a phrase I made up this second and it is the laughing people do after they make a nasty remark to pretend like they didn’t mean it.  Also known as laughing that is “too little too late”.)  P.S. Competitive much?  P.P.S. Have you applied to be on Dance Mom the TV Show?  You’d be a shoe in, lady.  P.P.P.S.  Your kid is never babysitting my kids no matter how broke they are.  Okay?  Thanks. Bye.

The morale of this story?  Reality check.  Acting school makes you feel worse about yourself than any thing that happens when you move to New York to pursue your career.  So how did I handle it?  I left Cincinnati, put the award in a box, got pregnant, got in a Broadway show and put college behind me for good.  Almost for good.

Rob and I goofing around while we were doing Les Miz (circa a million years ago). Happy times.

Let me turn the story to the more recent home front.  Up until a few years ago, Rob (my husband) and I worked together all the time, me as an actress and him as music director.  Not all marriages can tolerate that kind of togetherness, but Rob and I had it down to an art and liked it that way.  After we had our second kid, we realized in a “we have no money any more” kind of urgent way, that someone had to get a job with zany things like….benefits and a paycheck every week.  No more fingers crossed as we plunge from show to show, hoping we’d have enough money when the debtors came a-knockin’.  We have kids to raise who need things like braces and pre-school.

Rob and I looked at each other.  Who should give up the biz to get a “real job”?  Who was qualified?  Did we have any skills besides a belting out show tunes?  Could either of us give up our night owl theater ways to work in the real world?

To read the next story in the series, go here: http://www.sharonwheatley.com/2011/10/04/i-wish-i-could-go-back-to-college-blogisode-four/

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Can’t wait to read more?  Read one of the completed stories.  Go here to start: http://wp.me/p1zRyr-1W

About Sharon Wheatley

Mother of Charlotte and Beatrix. Sometimes an actress. Sometimes a writer. I'm glad you're here.
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2 Responses to I Wish I Could Go Back To College (Blogisode Three)

  1. Megan says:

    I am loving this SO much! You are such a talented writer (obviously) and it's such a joy to read!

    I'm actually kind of excited to hear about your time in college. I'm (attempting) to get through a musical theatre BFA program right now and it's killing me. I've never heard of someone else who didn't think it was "the best years of [your] life." Makes me think that there is hope for me yet in the 'real world' ;)

    Can't wait to read the next one!! (and good luck to your mom!)

  2. Han Ham says:

    "Acting school makes you feel worse about yourself than any thing that happens when you move to New York to pursue your career. "

    You just made me cry. I graduated from one of the top musical theatre programs in the UK, flew home and stopped performing for 5 years because I felt like such crap about myself! Having been in NYC for 6 months now,I feel better about myself then I ever did in school! Thanks for putting that into one sentence for me!!!

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