PART 1 | PART 2
The past 2 months have been an emotional journey that culminated in the past 2 weekends of becoming Dilys. Dilys is a 35 year old mother of 3 and wife of a wandering lawyer. She’s heard about his indiscretions, but has focused on keeping home and her children in place. However, there are various events that take place during their 10th Anniversary celebration night out that forces her to confront what she’s been avoiding.
Now a little about me…I’m a 32 year old single woman, never married, with no children and seemingly no commonality with Dilys. However, I’m the youngest of my mom’s 3 children and that’s where the comparisons get interesting. My mom birthed me when she was 28 years old and was divorced by the time I was old enough to go to school. As a Christian adult believing in the marriage covenant and waiting for that manifestation in my life, I some times reflect on my life growing up and the relationship between my parents through my eyes as a child. There are so many research studies and theories about the impact of a fatherless households on children, especially girls, in terms of relationship decisions and partner selection. Thus, I have spent the last 10 years of my life understanding the underlying reasons behind decisions that I have made and getting to know a lot more about myself. So, you can imagine my surprise when the writer/director of the play Heaven stopped me in the hallway and asked me to read for the role of Dilys. As I quickly glanced through the script, it brought upon all sorts of feelings of confusion, sadness, anger, and even a bit of bitterness. I saw what I imagined to be my mom in that role and I honestly didn’t know how to handle it. After speaking to a few friends who also give wonderful spiritual advice, I was convinced to “audition” for the role as a way of emotional healing and hopeful some breakthroughs about myself. In this role, I tapped into various Tyler Perry movies and other broken woman type of story lines that I have seen played out over the years. A small part of me also stepped into how I imagined my own mother felt.
Although there have been many late nights and early mornings through this process, I would do it all over again because I truly feel a sense of relief, healing, and understanding. It has been a journey to balance work, church, and rehearsal, but the fruits of our labor was worth it. Feedback from all of our audiences has been overwhelming and they have truly made me feel like a star! Since this role is so emotional, I am surprised at how I have been able to “hold it together” through the performances. However, I must admit, that a tear did shed during the Q&A post-show one night when an audience member complemented me on my performance and how it allowed him to see how his mother felt when she went through a similar situation. The comment was followed by another audience member asking each cast member how we were able to step out of ourselves to embody our character so I shared a little about my childhood and the spiritual healing that I have received through becoming Dilys.
I never thought I could be an actress and I am grateful for this opportunity to live a dream I never knew I had.
Stassi Nicole aka Dilys