Mike got to have a little taste of the religious life a few weeks ago, when he portrayed Catholic theologian Thomas Merton in a one-act reading. One of the members of our church, Teresa, read a book about push-the-envelope theologians and planned a series of Sunday services around these men: Thomas Merton, Pope John the XXIII (for you non-Catholics, he was the one who called the Second Vatican Council), and Martin Luther. She asked Mike to appear as Thomas Merton in the first of these plays.
I asked Teresa whether she had a theater background, and she doesn't...but that is very hard to believe. She came up with a monk's habit for Mike and revamped the altar area into a set for Thomas Merton's life!
I know where my children get their acting genes and their love of being in the spotlight. It's certainly not from me! I am reasonably comfortable speaking in front of small groups of people, or making music for larger groups of people, but Mike's clearly gifted in this area.
Transformed into the hermit monk and writer Thomas Merton
Mike was able to use his own vintage typewriter as part of the play. Several years ago he told me that he wanted a typewriter for Christmas. I said "how about a laptop?" but he insisted on a typewriter. Apparently typewriters are making a comeback amongst writers. He didn't care what kind I bought, but I figured that if he wanted a typewriter, he should have a classic one! I have to say that typing on a typewriter is more satisfying somehow than keyboarding on a computer, but personally I could never go back!!
Merton was apparently a Yankees fanI knew hardly anything about Thomas Merton before this play, but I think Mike was a good choice to portray him because he was a highly prolific writer and ahead of his time.