A Zany Side of Judy

 

Playing the character role of "Granny" since 1974 has brought out an even more zany side of me. With her waaaay-outside-the-box outrageous antics, Granny lightens the mood, shifts the energy and reminds us to play in the moment.


Tink, my husband (who was also a professional performer) and I wrote, directed and performed our 13 summer seasons of shows in the Wild Horse Theater in Heritage Fort Steele, BC. I would start the performances as Granny, rush back to the dressing room to do a complete makeup change, added a wig and elegant gown – breathe – rush backstage – breathe - then glide onto the stage to sing a beautiful song – accept the applause, then charge backstage again to get into the Granny costume – breathe – then run back on stage to participate with the cast in more crazy antics. After each show, the cast would go outside the theater to sign autographs. Audiences could never believe that Granny and that ‘lady-in-the-lovely-gown-who-sang’ were one and the same!

There are some qualities of "Granny" that are reminiscent of my own grandmother, Laura B. Armstrong whom I called Mammy. She was a school teacher who used to ride horseback to travel to the country school. Mammy also loved fishing and was always so proud of her catch. One day, my uncle took Mammy fishing at one of the pristine lakes in beautiful Banff, Alberta. Afterwards they took her for lunch at the famous Banff Springs Hotel. Mammy took her fish with her into the lobby and proceeded to go around and show them to all the richly dressed people there. That is exactly what Granny would do!


I often use Granny in my concerts and workshops because she brings hilarity into every situation. As I put on her ‘recycled duds', black out a couple of teeth and finish the look with glasses, hat and wig, Granny emerges and starts taking over. Her basic barnyard 'filly-ossa-fee” is that “Life goes by quicker if ya jest learn to snicker, and don't git yer knickers in a knot.”