We are happy to welcome guest celebrity blogger Afton C. Williamson, who plays Susan in the new David Mamet drama Race at the Barrymore Theatre. Williamson, who has also been seen on Broadway in Joe Turner’s Come and Gone, will blog for Playbill.com all week; her third entry follows:
So, after the crazy busy day I had yesterday (2 shows and an audition in between), I spent the better half of last night preparing for today's auditions, and somehow managed to snag a few hours of sleep. Fortunately last night wasn't all business though, I got a chance to chat with my grandma, (who's back home in Ohio), and that always makes for an eventful half hour! My grandma and I try to chat once a week, but when I'm really busy, it's more like once every coupla weeks. So needless to say, we were long overdue. I had been planning on calling her earlier that day, but by the time I remembered, it was half hour and I was putting on my makeup. :(....So, I'm signing autographs after the show, and this young lady (about my age) comes over to me, I sign her Playbill and she has her camera out, so I ask her if she would like a picture and she's says, "Yes, but not with me," and she points to her left, and there's the most adorable little old lady with a cane and a huge smile on her face. She introduces me to her grandmother and explains that it is her 87th birthday and she just loved my performance and would like a picture, but didn't want to "be a bother" and ask. I walked right over to the lady and hugged her. I told her I was honored that she came and spent her birthday with me, and she kissed me on the cheek and said, "You are as sweet as you can be. It was a shame the way those men were pickin' on you on that stage, but you held your own. I'm so proud of you." I can only describe my reaction as some emotional concoction of laughter and tears. It was such a "Grandma" thing to say, and something moved in me when she told me she was proud of me. I mean, here I have never met this woman, and she's proud of me. It really touched my heart. It also made me miss my grandma even more....So, as I was walking towards my apartment, I gave Grandma a ring, and of course, it rang...and rang..and rang....(there is a phone in every room of her house, btw, so that let me know she wasn't wearing her hearing aid, as usual, lol) but of course she will argue me down on that subject, so moving on...She finally answers, and as soon as she hears my voice I can just see her face light up. She "walked me home" (via the telephone) and wouldn't let me get off the phone until I was in the apartment and had eaten something! Yes, she made me eat a sandwich with her on the phone! Hahaha! Of course, she asked me when I was planning on coming home to see her and it broke my heart to tell her, I wasn't sure. And you what happened next: Yup, I started crying. Tears for the second time that night, SCORE! Hahaha!
I know I sound like a big ol' baby, but its soo hard being away from my family, and I have been for many years now. I went away for college, then even further for grad school, then came straight to the city, with virtually no breaks in between. And, I'm her only grandchild. But she's such a trooper, she told me to wipe those tears and remember that I am living my dream and that's all that matters to her, and whenever I make it home, she'll be there waiting for me. That made my night. It's like she fed me with her words — I had such fuel after our conversation that I stayed up until I had everything completely memorized and ready to go.
I even woke up today with the same fervor and drive from last night. I got a quick workout in, while running through the lines in my head. Then headed out for the first audition. Had a great time, was in and out. Then came home for a quick break, just long enough to chat with you guys, change clothes, pack up and reboot for the next one! And, tonight's show. Knowing that people believe in you and are proud of your accomplishments puts everything into perspective; seems to make the load a little lighter and the sky a li'l brighter. I know I just rhymed! PLEASE DONT JUDGE! lol Great chattin' with you guys, as always, headed out to endure the heat and have some fun! Ttyl guys!
Afton C. Williamson