That Drama Girl

This is Catherine Segars, That Drama Girl, and today I want to tell you a story about how God loves to take those dreams that we thought were dead and buried and breathe life into them again.

That Drama Girl.

I fell in love with acting in college. It was an accident, really. An elaborate practical joke that lasted far longer than I ever thought it would.

Beth & Me

God saw fit to put me in a shoe-box of a dorm room with Beth Grabensteddar, a true kindred-spirit if ever there was. We were yin and yang, Napoleon Dynamite and Pedro, or more like a couple of bumbling Brits galloping across the countryside clumping coconuts together, if you want to be really specific.

We were an eccentric comedic duo that made a lot of people scratch their heads. Because of our passion for Monty Python, Beth and I quickly discovered that we could both do a pretty plausible British accent, at least for a Christian college in the foothills of East Tennessee. Not a high bar there. Huh-uh.

So that first week of school we told everyone we met that we were exchange students from across the big pond. Two weeks later, we were still carrying on the ruse, and feeling just a bit guilty. We never thought it would last that long. Seriously, we thought for sure someone would figure us out. But they didn’t. We were better than we thought.

Me & Beth

When exactly does a practical joke become a lie? I’m not sure, but we might have been flirting with that line. Hard. The irony and ethical implications of fibbing to every person you meet, on a Christian campus no less, did not escape us.

Finally, one day some guy asked, “So what is God doing in the English church?” 

Oh, good gravy! Which, by the way, is a food group where we actually come from. Hellfire and damnation were certainly awaiting us if we answered that question with anything other than the God’s honest truth. I’m talkin’ about a Numbers 26 kind of earthquake that parts the terra firma and swallows us whole. Mmm-hmm.

That . . . is when we came clean and told everybody that it was all a big hoax. We were southerners through and through, born and bred on collard greens and corn fritters. Yes sir’ee.

There were some gasps. Lots of “No ways!” followed by some genuine laughter. Thankfully.

Then one dude pipes up: “You guys should try out for the play!” 

“The play. What play?” I asked in my real accent.

Apparently, the college had just acquired a new theater professor and auditions were being held for the fall production.

And just like that, the trajectory of my entire life changed with a single suggestion from a complete stranger. I don’t know why I had never considered the theater before. It was so obvious, and yet I hadn’t. That moment is enshrined in my memory in surreal slow motion. It was just like one of those old, technicolor movies where somebody says, “Hey everybody, we’ve got a barn out back. Let’s put on a play!”  

And they do. And I did, try out for the play, that is.

Oh my stars! That first taste of adrenaline from a live audience was all it took and I was hooked. I became infatuated with all things theatrical. Spent every spare minute I could find on the stage and earned the nickname “that drama girl” on my college campus. Not everyone knew my name, but they knew I had a dramatic flair.

After college I went on to graduate school and studied performing arts, and I spent a dozen years acting, writing, singing, and improvising professionally in theaters all over Hampton Roads, VA.

And then . . .

I moved to New York and I won a Tony Award for my refreshing portrayal of Millie Dillmount in the Broadway hit show Thoroughly Modern Millie. Uh-huh, and I wrote a Pulitzer Prize winning play entitled, The Dream that Never Was.

Yeah. That never happened. The part about New York, the Tony Award, and the Pulitzer Prize. The other stuff did. Totally legit.

Actually, I did perform on Broadway, though. Once. But I found the oncoming traffic to be incredibly distracting, and more than one taxi driver was flat out rude. Apparently New Yorkers prefer their theater in the theater, not on the street. Like I was supposed to know that. Whatever.

SIGH.

No . . . I never did fulfill some of my theatrical dreams, the ones that take place in the Big Apple under the big lights. Instead, God called me to form my own acting troupe, creating five little productions who look a lot like my husband and me. Yeah, God called me to motherhood. Full-time. Now most of the drama in my life takes place in the context of my maternal journal.

But . . . I still love to act, love to write, love to sing, and love to improvise.

So, I’ve created this blogcast, a hybrid of a blog and podcast, where I dip my toes back in the performance world from the comfort of my own home, while my young-uns paint graffiti art on each other’s appendages and set off homemade explosives in the background.

My stories have to do with faith and family, creativity and culture, laughter, loss, and most of all, doing what you were put on this planet to do. Some of my stories are serious. Some are sweet and silly. Some are in-between. So put your Goldilocks on and check them out, cuz somethin’s bound to fit.

I’d love to share my stories with you.

I’d love to join you while you wash some dishes, take a jog, drive to work, or just kick back with a cup of coffee and listen to a friend tell you about a wacky journey that ended up taking her where she never wanted to go, a place far more domesticated than she ever imagined.

And yet, there’s no place she’d rather be.

That doesn’t mean my girlish aspirations are dead. Nope. They’ve just been dormant for a decade and a half while I birthed some other incredible dreams.

Do you have any latent dreams that linger still in the recesses of your heart and mind? Maybe it’s time to resurrect them. Maybe it’s time to do something crazy with late-late nights or the wee hours of your morning. Maybe it’s time to be that someone you were always meant to be. Might not come to pass the way you thought it would, but I’m betting, if you give it a go, it will be even better.

Sometimes life takes place on a different stage than the one we envisioned, but it will exceed our wildest expectations if, in the words of one of Nashville’s finest theologians, we let Jesus take the wheel.

There’s still plenty of drama in my life. I’m still That Drama Girl, mmm-hmmm. Only with a few more lbs. and laugh lines. But my dreams are as young as they ever were.

So, pull up a chair and let me tell you about the time I . . .

Tune in next week to hear the rest of that story.

Until then this is Catherine Segars, That Drama Girl, signing off for now.

Never. Stop. Dreaming.

Special thanks to Paul Secord, my old acting chum, for creating this incredible theme music for me. You’re the best, Mr. Green. Love always, Miss Scarlett.

  1. Shekinah Moreira

    October 25th, 2018 at 2:12 am

    I love it! Can’t wait to read more!

  2. csegars

    October 26th, 2018 at 3:46 am

    Thanks Shekinah! I hope you experience the audio version too. That takes the experience to a whole new “dramatic” level. Blessings!

  3. csegars

    October 31st, 2018 at 3:30 am

    Thanks, Shekinah! I hope that you were able to listen as well. And please, please subscribe for SEASON TICKETS (they are free!). That way you will be the first to hear about future blogcasts. Blessings!

  4. Catherine Segars

    October 25th, 2018 at 4:04 am

    Thanks for listening!

  5. Catherine Segars

    October 25th, 2018 at 4:05 am

    I’m the first!

  6. Daniel Tichota

    October 26th, 2018 at 1:09 pm

    Awesome job. It was so nice to get to know more about you while still being challenged to keep dreaming. Excited for the next cast.

  7. csegars

    October 31st, 2018 at 3:29 am

    Thanks, Dan! I always appreciate the feedback of a fellow writer. Please be sure to subscribe for SEASON TICKETS (they are free!). That is where you will hear about the next episode. Blessings!

  8. Dawn Gray

    October 26th, 2018 at 7:50 pm

    I can’t believe you’re making us wait til when…..next week! I cannot, I cannot! Bring it, girl!

  9. csegars

    October 31st, 2018 at 3:28 am

    Thanks, Dawn. You are the sweetest. Everyone needs a friend like you. Love you!

  10. Paula Kittle

    October 26th, 2018 at 9:47 pm

    Well done! Looking forward to hearing more!

  11. csegars

    October 31st, 2018 at 3:27 am

    Thanks, Paula! I’m looking forward to making more. We got the subscription option fixed on the mobile app. Please let me know if that doesn’t work for you. Please subscribe!

  12. George Williams

    October 27th, 2018 at 5:08 am

    Excellent mix of your vocal gifts and writing gift.You took it out to the perfect moment
    to get the interest flowing…. Expecting that next turn of phrase…and you leave off and invite back for another warm meal. Thank you for sharing this in this clever mixed media format. I am definitely getting the season tickets.

  13. csegars

    October 31st, 2018 at 3:26 am

    Thank you so much, George! You were there for it all, Mr. Kirby. How fun that was. Your encouragement is heart-warming. Please subscribe for SEASON TICKETS (they’re free) to hear about upcoming blogcasts. God bless!

  14. Chad Stem

    October 27th, 2018 at 4:19 pm

    Loved it Catherine! Can’t wait to hear more. The British ruse reminds me of when I created “Will Shake” on Facebook and tormented my classmates for a few weeks with Shakespeare quotes and quips.

  15. csegars

    October 31st, 2018 at 3:24 am

    I would LOVE to be tormented with Shakespeare quotes and quips! That is my kind of torture. I have an upcoming blogcast devoted to the dream role I never got to play: Helena from A Midsummer Nights Dream. It is called Helena in Heaven. Please subscribe to hear about future blogcasts. I’d love to get your feedback. God bless!

  16. Mom

    October 27th, 2018 at 10:10 pm

    So proud of you daughter, of all of your giftings and your productions, especially the five who are my grandchildren,

  17. csegars

    October 31st, 2018 at 3:21 am

    Ahhh . . . thanks mom. They are without a doubt, my greatest productions. Love you.

  18. Lisa Koenig

    October 28th, 2018 at 8:52 pm

    Awesome Catherine! So good to hear your voice. Can’t wait to hear the next installment. Blessings!

  19. csegars

    October 31st, 2018 at 3:20 am

    Thank you, Lisa! It is so good to hear from you. Please subscribe so you will know when the next blogcast comes out. Can’t wait to hear what you think. God bless!

  20. Dorothy Coppit

    October 31st, 2018 at 3:01 pm

    I love love love it!!!!! Wow!!!! This is such a fantastic idea, and you are so gifted, my dear friend. I am so happy to hear your voice again and be reminded of just a few reasons why I love you so much!!
    Can’t wait for more podcasts! Thanks for the encouraging message – I definitely needed that along with the laughter today- this is a very special production- so glad you are
    doing this!!

  21. csegars

    November 2nd, 2018 at 8:39 pm

    Thanks, Dorothy! I want to hear your voice again. You and that brother of yours. I’m so glad that you like this idea. I do hope that it catches on. It is the perfect marriage of my love of acting and my love of writing. Please come visit me soon!

  22. Andy Lawrence

    November 2nd, 2018 at 1:00 am

    Great job, Cathy! Thanks for the memories of the chaotic and creative time we spent at Lee. For me it was a crazy mix of structured science classes and goofy drama rehearsals. I’m looking forward to hearing more theatrical stories about your real life, or more real stories about your theatrical life. Either way, break a leg!

  23. csegars

    November 2nd, 2018 at 8:37 pm

    Thanks Andy! Yes, those were some crazy times we had back at Lee. The blogcast will include lots of stories about both. Thanks for tuning in!

  24. Rachelle Schoenemann

    November 2nd, 2018 at 1:02 am

    Love it! You’re so talented and I wish I could have been a fly on the wall during the big ruse back in college. I literally laughed out loud at that hilarious story! Can’t wait to hear more 🙂

  25. csegars

    November 2nd, 2018 at 8:36 pm

    Thanks, Rachelle! It was hilarious. I really did fall into acting from that whimsical practical joke. Funny the way life twists and turns. The next story is pretty funny to. It will be up soon. Thanks for listening!

  26. Lora-Joy Adzima

    November 7th, 2018 at 1:10 pm

    Just listened to both of your blog casts! I am hooked and I have never listened to a blog cast before. Thanks for sharing your life with us and making me laugh!

  27. csegars

    November 8th, 2018 at 3:54 am

    Thank you, Lora-Joy! I’m so glad you enjoyed it. It’s nice to hear that my stories are resonating with listeners. And I can’t tell you how much I appreciate the encouragement! God bless you.

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