IF - Theater

I used to pretend I was someone quite mysterious and fascinating.
Then I grew up and realized I was mysterious and fascinating.
-Sally Bowles, Cabaret

I love the theater but have a chronic case of stage fright. At 10 yrs old I ran bawling from the stage during tryouts for our small town's version of Oklahoma. After that it was backstage for me. I've always loved creating the illusions, props & moving bits. Besides, backstage is where all the real drama happens. (Well, except for my few minutes of fame at Studio 54 in the late 90s during a performance of Cabaret ...but that's another story)

Have you ever been to the Tampa Theatre ? Built in 1926 & still going strong it is my favorite place to go in this town. A true movie palace, it is filled with gargoyles, cherubs and dark dusty corners. Even has a resident ghost they say (projectionist of course). You can read more about Foster Fink Finley here. This wonderful movie house still has the orchestra pit, stage & Mighty Wurlitzer Organ which rises from the floor before each performance. Volunteer musicians entertain the audience until the movies begin.

If you are lucky enough to catch the silent movies (which run a couple of times a year), you get to hear the wonderful Rosa Rio. Rosa has been playing since the silents were 1st runs. She'll tickle the ivories, honk the horns & pull out all the stops for some top notch old-style entertainment. Here's a clip of Rosa playing at the theater in 2005.

The Tampa Theatre truly is a time machine. Get your popcorn and grab a seat in the balcony. Arrive early to enjoy the Wurlitzer. When the lights go down on the faux piazza and stars appear on the darkened ceiling, the organ sinks into the floor (if you're there to see a "talkie"). The stage curtains part dramatically & the the magic begins!

photo is from visittampabay.com

By the way, the watercolor above, titled Wallflower, is available at ArtSnark.etsy.com.

Please pop by Illustration Friday & see what other great takes on "Theater" have been posted. And if you can find the time, add your own to the mix!


  1. I absolutely love this! Thanks for posting!

  2. Thanks for sharing. WOnderful thoughts. I really like the picture--she looks shy.

  3. I have stage fright, too, and I really wish I didn't! I loved being on stage in my high school musicals (I was in the chorus) but never could have even had a small part. I just get too nervous.

  4. I love this watercolor painting. That bakcground paper is some of my favorite. I can't believe I lived in Pinellas county for 20 years and never made it to the Tampa theatre!

  5. Your piece of art looks like a painting, just beautiful, and so is that theater :)

  6. That theater is gorgeous and your painting too! I never even knew about it. Cool!!!

  7. I love the wall flower. Such a wonderful idea and so beautifully done! The photo of the theater is so beautiful I think you should do a painting of it.

  8. Nice watercoloring! Love all the detail.

  9. You sure have been up to some beautiful work, Stacey.

  10. Hi Stacey!
    I too love the theatre! This is a beautiful piece of work!
    You are truely a talented lady!
    If The Phantom of the Opera ever comes your way it is a must! Have a great week.

  11. Wow, lovely painting...Thanks for sharing!

    Francisco Martins