December 25, 2004


I appear in violet,
Emulating life.
On the stage, magnificent,
I play fear and strife.

Never get the parts I want,
Always cast as maids,
Mother-types, an English aunt
(Not dramatic aids).

Can’t they see I’d better play
Cute, romantic leads?
Stealing all the men away,
Satisfying needs?

I would play the part sublime,
Sweet romantic bliss.
But they tell me, “Not this time;”
Then they blow a kiss.

Sweetheart, I’m mature but spry!
(I have to act my age?)
Can’t you see the real lie
Is falseness on the stage?

I was thinking today of Elsa Raven.  Elsa Raven is one of those actors whose name you probably don’t know, but she has been on everything.  I mean, how many actors do you know who were in The Amityville Horror, Back to the Future, and The Titanic?  She’s also been on television shows from General Hospital to The Fresh Prince of Bel Air to Seinfeld.  Pretty impressive for a woman nobody knows.  Except, I know her.  Or rather my family does.  The reason we know her is because my mother went to school with her.  All through elementary and high school, Elsa Raven (then Elsa Rabinowitz) and my mother did drama together.  My mother was always cast in starring roles, Elsa in the supporting parts (an English aunt, mother types).  My mother graduated from high school, met my father during her first year in college, married, and never pursued acting.  Elsa made a career out of playing the parts that no one else could.  I always imagined what she must have secretly desired, to play the lead.  So, Shakespearean was written with her in mind.  Now let me be clear, we have never spoken, she and I.  I know her only by story and reputation.  But I could imagine a conversation something like this…


One comment

  1. I know well of whom you speak. Being from Charleston, it was not often that one of our own went off to do famous things (save for Darius Rucker of Hootie and the Blowfish or Edwin McCain). I happened to meet Elsa Raven at a wedding in Atlanta, GA. My wife, Erica, was friends with a teacher in her school by the name of Beth Rabinowitz. We were invited to Beth’s wedding, and lo and behold was Faye Olasov (Beth’s aunt, and Elsa’s sister). Later, at the buffet, a woman came over and introduced herself as Aunt Elsie. We knew who it was, and left it at that. I saw on imdb that she is still working, doing things like Law and Order and short films.

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