Mary Walker

My time in NYC started with a desire to be an actor. I came here to not necessarily be famous, but to book acting gigs so I could make a living as a theatre artist.

It went well for 6 years. I booked work and got paid to tread the boards all over the country.

In 2012 I stopped acting and entered the corporate world. I’ve found that when a company offers me more money than I have ever made in my life, plus free health insurance, it’s hard to break the golden handcuffs.

Slowly, the years of being onstage moved further and further away and I no longer refer to myself as an actor.

Fast forward to a few weeks ago. I received an email to do a reading of a musical that’s in the works about Mary Walker. I went to school with one of the writers and he won the Kleban Prize this year.

To be frank, I am honored that he asked me to join this part of the process, but as someone who hasn’t acted in a while, I am fighting off some major imposter syndrome.

When I received the cast list this week, my name was nestled in there with broadway actors and other accomplished theatre professionals. My normal response to something like this is panic. But as soon as I felt my fear rising, I took a deep breath and reminded myself that I can do this. And if I can’t and fall flat on my face with absolute suckiness, no one is going to die. Not even my ego.

Hopefully.

I have a great job that brings me joy. I have a wonderful life with a husband I love. I make enough money to feel good about my life choices. None of these things are riding on this reading and for that I am thankful.

So it’s time to shake off the nerves and have some fun. Enjoy the ride for what it is and maybe learn something along the way. And if I suck, which I won’t, I’ll live to tell the story of that time I played Jefferson Davis in an all female musical about Mary Walker.

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