An Olympian Takes Her Stage


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Tonight CrisMarie’s show, Looking opens. This is her fourth show and each part has been more challenging and interesting. This time the play is about middle-age dating. CrisMarie is the sexy, somewhat defended police officer, who isn’t looking and of course …. well I don’t want to give anything away.

Community theater actors and directors are truly inspired folks. Without any promise of a pay check and a small support staff, the actors/director, spend weeks in rehearsal, build the set, move it into the theater (a full day job) and take it down at the end. Not to mention, sell ads and get show sponsors. Indeed it takes a lot to put on a show.

Back on the home front, my job is relatively easy. Make sure everything at home runs smoothly. For the most part that isn’t to much to ask. However, I notice as opening night gets closer, I see less and less of CrisMarie and much more of Nina. Living with a sexy, defended police officer isn’t all bad. At times she’ll share how she trying to relate to a piece in the play and all too often I find myself laughing because in my mind she is so like Nina!! I have heard many of those lines directed at me earlier in our relationship.

I like this play. I read it early on in rehearsals and found it smart, funny and very engaging. Sure I can get a little jealous knowing there are some passionate moments where all that passion is directed towards someone other than me. But honestly, I enjoy seeing CrisMarie, alive and embodying her passionate and sexy self.

Truth is the hardest part is watching how hard she can be on herself. She’s an Olympian and that same energy that makes her an elite athlete gets channeled into Whitefish Montana’s community theater. She expects GOLD. So of course when she’s less than perfect, she’s back to running lines, practicing and making sure the next time she takes the stage, she’ll be ON.

This is what it’s like BEFORE the show opens. Once the show begins, well, that focus is even greater.

Fortunately for me, I love live theater. Each night is different and I can see a play many times and enjoy the different energy. However, I do have my own anxiety about how well things are going. Do people like the show? Is CrisMarie on? Are they laughing enough? The worst is when I come with friends because I want them to like the play and especially CrisMarie. Of course none of that is really any of my business.

This show is running right alongside the summer Olympics in London. I doubt CrisMarie has even noticed. She is so involved in her Show. But for me, I watch the Games and think about the fact, this too, is a stage she has played on. What I love most is that I know she puts the same heart, soul and dedication into both. For her, theater is just another team sport. Just like rowing, she knows the job isn’t just for her to shine but for her to do everything she can to ensure the four stars of this show work together to deliver a strong performance each night!! She will do her Olympic best to make sure that happens. That is just who she is.

So tonight instead of the Olympics I will be watching CrisMarie take the stage in Whitefish, MT. I’ll likely be just like family and friends of those Olympians. Holding my breath and hoping for a strong performance.

That’s what is cool about being married to an Olympian. Be it a local play or a national stage, she will give it all she has and I will be proud!!!

Go Team USA and go Team Looking!!

4 thoughts on “An Olympian Takes Her Stage”

  1. Susan – What a great blog post! I had tears in my eyes reading it and wanted to thank you for that. I wish I could be there to go to the play, but alas, that isn’t going to happen. I am sure everything will go well and I hope CrisMarie/Nina is happy with the whole run of the show.

    Keep up the great writing; I am here lurking and reading! 🙂

  2. What a wonderful blog, Susan! Thanks to Gretchen, I was reminded to read it; I will do so with more regularity. And oh, I just love what you wrote about CrisMarie’s show, your relationship to the show…the process of being with someone who’s in the performing arts. And your own process of discovery re getting up in front of audiences and clarifying your objective.

    You’re a swell writer, and I am now officially a fan. Hope your presentation and CrisMarie’s opening were glorious. Love you both so much. 🙂

  3. Oh Susan… I can relate! I live with a lifelong theatre person… she is passionate about it. Beautiful writing, you! Cris Marie and you are so blessed to have each other. In the spirit of all indigenous Shamans the world over, humans primary responsibility is to appreciate and add to the beauty of life… I think you two are doing your part! luv to ya… Xanon.
    ps- by the way… Canada won silver in the same event!

  4. Hi Susan,
    I, too, had tears in my eyes reading this post. I rowed with Chris (no -Marie yet back then) at UW. Or rather, I rowed and she rowed… she out-shone me by far! But I could laugh with with best of them—Chris and Kristi Stingl were golden at that! And now live in the Flathead too… Looking forward to seeing the new play next week. Best of the best to you both!

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