June 09, 2016

A Wonderful Relief - Shirley S. Tye

A wonderful relief from stress and a break from the usual work schedule is what my art means to me. I’m an amateur artist who dabbles in oil painting, pen and ink drawings, colour pencil drawings, and stage acting.

But that’s bit of an oxymoron when it comes to acting. I get very nervous before stepping onto the stage on opening nights; pacing until I wear a path in the floor while mumbling my lines. And during every dress rehearsal, I swear I’ll never do it again. The stress is just too much. But after the production ends, I’m running to another audition. Why do I torture myself like that? Ah, but it is fun living someone else’s life even if it is for just a couple of hours at the most. I’ve been a business woman, a manager of a large golf resort, a wife of a Texan who acquired his riches in not-so honest ways, a British aristocrat, a lonely old woman living with cats, an angel, and a mentally unstable artist who dies by her own hand. It was great fun getting into those characters’ heads and a safe way to experience different lifestyles.

I’ve met many interesting people at the theatre of different ages, with various levels of education and employment; a wonderful cross-section of people. Despite all their differences, they work well together on stage simply because of their love of the theatre.

The first time I saw a live play, I wondered what it would be like to act, to memorize all those lines, to hear the audience applause and laugh. Would I be able to do it? Would I ever have the opportunity to even try for a small part? Well, I really do feel blessed that I’ve been picked for all those plays. Each one was a wonderful experience. I’m glad I didn’t give up. I’m glad I pushed through those stressful moments before curtain call. The exposure to many types of characters has helped me to develop stronger characters for my stories. The experience has also strengthen me, given me confidence, and showed me how God has made everyone unique.


  1. I can't tell you how exciting it is to find out that so many of our members are also artists and theatre people - the two other things that I love best! I didn't know you acted, Shirley and the roles you've played are so varied.

  2. Stage acting - what an interesting way to learn about other people and their perspectives! Haha, I enjoyed your thoughts on this! And, I totally get the nerves, stress, and the vowing to never do it again only to run right back for more. We like to tortureourselves!

  3. Great blog, Shirley. I too didn't realize you are an actor as well a writer. I'm also impressed with the different characters you have played. I appreciate your saying, "The exposure to many types of characters has helped me to develop stronger characters for my stories." What a good point. Isn't it interesting how the arts link up with one another?

  4. Shirley, your colorful personality sparkles even in your writing, so it's no surprise that you sparkle in pencils and oil paints, and on stage. I'd love to see some of your art!

  5. Shirley, I'm always interested in learning how our experiences in various fields, art or otherwise, changes us as people and as writers. So I quite appreciated your comment that your acting has helped you develop stronger characters in your stories.

  6. Delightful surprise to read that you have gone for the auditions … I too have sometimes wondered what it would be like to try that.But you moved beyond wondering! Thanks for sharing and encouraging us.


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