2016 San Antonio Gridiron Show This Saturday
The stage is a magical place. There is no better way to cope with life's worries than to transform yourself into a character, soak up the spotlight and put on a show, especially when it's for a good cause. Through high school and college, I participated in speech, debate, choir and theatre, which helped me become a better PR gal, with no apprehension to public speaking or a camera. I love the side of me that comes out when I'm on stage. I am no longer Laura Elizabeth Morales, strategist, political consultant, diva, divorceé, whatever label applies at the time. No, on stage, I am my character.
In this year's San Antonio Grid Iron Show, a variety show that raises money for journalism scholarships, I am portraying Melania Trump. Not a worried, stressed out, not sure if I remembered to put the clothes in the dryer, LEM. I am playing someone else. A Slovenian super model. Sure, I'm not as tall as her and she has a better glam squad, but I do write my own speeches. In this year's show I'm a dancer, a singer and an actress.
I have played many characters over the years, many more complex than Melania, like Juliet from Romeo and Juliet, a character who forced me to believe in love at first sight and understand what lengths a person would go to for love. Juliet was one of the hardest roles I ever played, forcing me outside of my comfort zone and into the mind of a broken hearted, vulnerable teenager.
Other characters were more light-hearted. The saucy Mrs. Leon Trotsky in Variations on the Death of Leon Trotsky. I once played a brilliantly baffled woman obsessed with balloons, who so believed in celebrating that she didn't realize her world was not real. The character was written by the late Jack Carroll, a theatre director who taught me how to transform on stage into someone else.
Performing in an Improv Troupe truly taught me why comedy is so much harder than drama. You can't be afraid to get a little ugly on stage, but in an endearing way. Drama teaches you how to pretty cry. You know, how to cry without ruining the stage makeup you spent an hour caking on. But comedy asks you to throw yourself out there, distort your body, fall humorously and do what it takes to get the laugh. I've walked off stage with bruises, scrapes and scratches from throwing myself into a comedic scene, but the laughter and applause made it so worth it.
A story itself can make someone cry. Most people can relate to a tragedy, whether a broken heart or a sudden loss.
But comedy begs the audience to think critically, understand nuance and let go of their worries and just laugh!
That's why I love comedy.
You'll laugh at the San Antonio Grid Iron show. You might cry, but hopefully we won't be that bad. Most of all, you'll contribute to a good cause. All proceeds from the show, put on by the San Antonio Chapter of Professional Journalists, raises money for journalism scholarships. And in a time where our show looks a lot like the real news, it's nice to give back.