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A successful stage career starts with wanting to sell shampoo

Steppin’ Out with April
April E. Clark

This might be one of the most embarrassing public reveals ever.

But here we go. When I was a kid, I thought I’d have a career as an actress in commercials.

No, that’s not a typo.

I wanted to star in TV commercials. Not in movies. Or even Broadway musicals. I was all about the sale, apparently.

At least I had early goals.

I have no idea why, but I was obsessed with products and brand names. Maybe it was the advertising culture back then. Products were made to look so foxy. Maybe it was because the ’70s and ’80s had the best commercials.

Ever.

There were the “Calgon, take me away” spots and Enjoli eight-hour perfume for the 24-hour woman’s “Bring home the bacon and fry it up in a pan” jingle. I learned early on women could do anything a man could do. And they could forget about all their troubles merely by drawing up a warm bath of bubbles.

Works for me.

Call me a weirdo, but I would pretend in the mirror I was selling everything from shampoo-and-conditioner in one to pink-hued toilet paper. I convinced myself I would buy it, so why wouldn’t other people?

Seemed easy enough.

That started an early desire to want to be in front of an audience, even if I was the only one watching. Later I would dance in tap recitals, be an extra in “Hoosiers,” and perform in my eighth-grade play.

Not exactly big time.

I had a huge gap in my performing “career.” I didn’t try stand-up comedy until I was 36, and I didn’t bring the tap back until just three years ago in Carbondale’s burlesque troupe. I always love acting and performing, though. This week, I really enjoyed speaking with the Defiance Community Players. They’re putting on two weekends of the beloved fairy tale “Beauty and the Beast.” They are dedicated. They are talented. And they may have started acting in the mirror as kids, just like me. Best of all, they are local.

Show them the love.

Friday

Loyal Brothers is a mecca of fun. The venue goes all out for Halloween. And the Grand Avenue hotspot is carrying on the tradition of karaoke on Wednesday nights in Glenwood. The LB is also known for bringing the funny. Tonight the brothers loyal feature Denver comics Brett Hiker and emcee Tobias Livingston, with headliner Jordan Doll. I first met Hiker and Doll at the Loyal Brothers doing comedy there nearly four years ago. They are a whole lot of fun to be around, and they know how to craft a joke like Martha Stewart bakes a cake. Doll is a heavy comedy hitter and quite famous in the Denver comedy scene, winning Comedy Works’ New Faces Contest this year. Seating is at 7 p.m., show starts at 8 p.m., and there’s a $5 cover.

Saturday

As a native Hoosier, my people like to play a little bean-bag toss game we call cornhole. I grew up in a small town, just like the John Mellencamp song, and a person would be hard-pressed not to find a party with a cornhole board ready to have a bag tossed at it. I hear it’s also called bags in some circles. Whether you’ve played it or not, or even heard of it, the game is good, old-fashioned fun. So come out to the Glenwood Springs High School from 4-7 p.m. Saturday to support kids who like to build with Houses for Higher Education and (co)studio. Be there by 4:30 p.m. to sign up for teams of two to compete for big money, or just throw some bags at holes in boards for fun. It will be a hoot.

Friday and Saturday

Before going any further, I have some good news and bad news. The good news first. Roller Disco Skating Night is coming to PAC3 in Carbondale this weekend through the national Down & Derby production. This traveling roller disco provides skates, DJs, and a party atmosphere encouraging skaters to dress the part of ’70s and ’80s roller queens and kings. I think we covered how great that time in history was. Sounds fun, eh? That’s why both nights sold out in two weeks. That’s the bad news. Lucky for us, there’s even more good news: PAC3 says it plans to make this a regularly occurring event, the next set for February. For those lucky to have a golden ticket, don those hot pants and headbands and skate like it’s 1979. Maybe spray on a little Enjoli to be extra foxy.


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