Donna O'Donnell Figurski's Blog

It's All About Me!

TidBits About Donna #36 Taking Center Stage

It’s been years – too many years – since I took center stage. When I was 16 years-old, I had the lead in a play, entitled Marcelino Pan y Vino. The play was put on by the Spanish Club at my high school, Villa Maria Academy, in Erie, Pennsylvania. The entire student body of freshmen through seniors attended. The auditorium was packed. I played Marcelino, a young boy, who lived with the friars. I don’t specifically recall what the play was about, but I do remember that I was on stage the whole time – that is once the nun, Sr. Marietta, got me out there. And, that was no easy feat.

Rehearsals posed no problem. I let loose. All inhibitions were nonexistent. I memorized my lines and missed none. I loved being on the stage. I loved the exhilarating feeling, but when my fellow students assembled in the auditorium on opening afternoon, and the lights went low on the first scene with the friars sitting around the long, wooden slab they called their dinner table, I had serious misgivings. What had I gotten myself into?

It was my job, as the young lad, to run onto stage and greet each of the friars – but my words were trapped behind my lips, my legs were like icicles as I clung to the curtains at stage right, just out of audience view. Sr. Marietta coaxed and threatened and finally peeled my fingers one by one from the curtain, and with a low hiss – just above a stage whisper –  she sent me with a not so gentle shove onto the stage.

Once there, everything fell into place. I never missed a cue. I was in my element. The forty-five minute play seemed to be over in less than five minutes. Where did the play go? I didn’t want it to end. But it did end to resounding applause.

I can tell you that Stage Fright is a real and palpable feeling. I can tell you, too, that the accomplishment of  acting on a stage brings a real rush! The next time I would take center stage was during my freshman year in college.

(Clipart compliments of


March 19, 2011 - Posted by | Anything Writing, TidBits About Donna | , , , , , ,

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