Perfectly Normel People: Back Home in Charleston


Guest Grit post by Judy Heath (Final in series: Read #1 here, #2 here, #3 here, and #4 here)



Back home in beautiful Charleston, I'm thinking “What a long strange trip it’s been.” My head and heart are filled with New York sights and sounds: Racing through traffic in a minivan filled with costumes and props; dining at an outdoor café in The Village and watching the colorful world go by...



...listening to the blaring Reggae music at a block party in our Jamaican neighborhood in Brooklyn. A new little pocket in my memory labeled “Perfectly Normel People’s” Off-Broadway debut at FringeNYC.


There were “highs:” sold-out shows and standing ovations, walking on The Highline… and “Lows:” no air conditioning in the central part of our apartment and some actors who threw their costumes into the garment bags with heavy shoes on top so that they became mangled, crunched debris that had to be steamed for every performance. (The latter is obviously a personal issue for which I am seeking therapeutic assistance from a colleague at The Life Guidance Center). If I have to dig that deep for a “low,” I have nothing to complain about.


My husband, Thomas, and I at High Line Park


To sit beside one’s partner and listen to our words being brought to life by this incredible ensemble was a treat every performance. It felt like a roller coaster ride, as the audience rode the crest of a laugh and then moved forward on their seats to listen more closely to the next line. There were the pin-drop quiet moments, too, like when Pops (Ross Magoulis, below, carrying a prop around the city) poignantly delivered his monologue about his beloved wife, Lucia.



What a thrill. What a gift the arts are to each of us. There should be no competition here, only support for all who create. We are blessed. Truly blessed. 



{ Judy Heath recently co-authored two full-length plays with husband Thomas, the second of which, "Perfectly Normel People," was invited to New York for its off-Broadway premiere at The New York International Fringe Festival. She's best known as a psychotherapist and bereavement specialist who has authored two books in her field, but her interest in theater has been ongoing. In fact, she and husband Thomas met acting in New York. “There is a natural correlation between theatre and psychology,” she explains, “One must understand human nature to develop believable characters.” }