You may remember my friend Patrick Kramer as a big-time winner on the television show Don’t Forget the Lyrics. I remember Patrick from my first day of first grade at Forest Lake Elementary School in Columbia, South Carolina. I was six years old and fresh off the boat from Vermont — very much a stranger in a strange land. Patrick sat right beside me (Kontis, Kramer) and acted as my translator until I learned the language of my new homeland. Most importantly, he explained what "y’all" meant.
I was only at Forest Lake for half a school year before my parents moved and I started second grade at North Springs. Guess who was in my homeroom class? Kontis, Kramer, once again. This time I was down with the lingo. We ran the school, participating in the Art Club, Chorus, and all the major school productions from "We’re All Stars, Charlie Brown" to "The Music Man" to "The Dream Maker."
After graduating fifth grade, Patrick went on to do lots more community theatre. I did one stint as little Kim in "Showboat" and starred in a miniseries for SC ETV. I didn’t act again till high school. Apart from some bit parts in college student films, I haven’t acted since.
Me & James Steed as Marcie &
Pig Pen, circa 1983
Fast forward to 1998–my parents moved to Tennessee…and then asked me to move with them. I got an email from Patrick…guess where he was living? Not half an hour away and acting in a local troupe. We’re just following each other around the globe. Kontis, Kramer. As always.
I try to keep up on what Patrick’s doing and go see him in every show I possibly can. I get this overwhelming sense of pride and nostalgia every time he steps on the stage. It’s a beautiful feeling–a red-faced mash-up of nervous and wistful.
It was only a matter of time before he became a director.
Coming off a successful run of "Urinetown" and various Children’s Theatre productions, Patrick will now be directing "Noises Off" for the Circle Players. Interested and live inthe Nashville area? Auditions are this weekend, Saturday and Sunday, from 6-9pm at the Circle Players’ rehearsal space in Madison. Details and directions can be found on the website.
So the questions I have for you guys is…should I do it? Should I audition for the play?