Twenty-two installments into Tuesdays with Toes, it’s clear that Toes is a muse for me. I love documenting our life together through these posts, but Toes has inspired me in other artistic realms as well. Namely, on stage as Cattail, a character I play in an ongoing series of cat themed comedy shows written by my sketch group, Eternal Slumber Party.
This Friday we’re set to debut the third show in the Jungle Cat Lounge series, My Funny Meowlentine. I love writing and performing in these shows because they’re silly. We dress up as cats, sing songs, and make stupid/brilliant jokes about the feline experience. Being in them also gives me the opportunity to be on stage with my fellow sketch group members who are hilarious.
As an actor, these shows excite me because I’m able to draw on my time with Toes to create a character with emotional resonance. Like Toes, Cattail is a grouchy but ultimately good old cat who has trouble moving and loves taking naps.
Her motivations are simple, which can be key for creating comedy on stage. There was a moment in the first show we did, Have Yourself a Meowy Little Christmas, that was one of my best ever on stage. It was a scene that ended with Cattail alone, singing a sad song and slowly lowering herself into a box to try to take a nap.
I loved seeking the comfort of that box as Cattail and feeling like Toes must when she relaxes into her favorite spots in our yard—wherever there’s half shade and half sunlight so she gets warm but not too warm.