I really enjoyed going to church. With my dad being a preacher, I guess I should. They named me Rachael because it was from the Bible and it means female sheep. She was also the wife of Jacob.
†I was part of the childrenís choir and we always put on a Christmas and spring play. Mom helped out as the assistant director. She also directed the little kiddie choir. That was for kids who were too young for regular childrenís choir. One year she had them singing in Spanish and Japanese as well as doing sign language.
†One year we did The Littlest Angel and the choir director had me read the part for Angel 3 even though I was only in kindergarten. In the end the choir directorís son and I got to be part of that scene even though we didnít have any lines.
For the spring play, I had two lines and all the younger kids played animals in the forest. We got to choose whatever kind of animal we wanted to be. Some people were rabbits, leopards or birds. I decided I wanted to be a skunk. Mom dyed one of my white tops and white pants gray and sewed a piece of white felt on the front of my shirt. Then she used some fuzzy material to make me a stripe and tail. Out of all the animals, I was the one with the most make up.
I had more lines in the Christmas play we put on when I was in second grade. It was called The Villain and The Toy Shoppe. I tried out for the part of the mother, but I was still too young. The choir director asked me whether I wanted to be a child or a toy. I picked a toy. That way I would be on stage the whole time. I decided to be a China doll. Mom had made me a bride costume for Halloween, so she just added red ribbon to it and borrowed a bonnet from one of my friends and sewed red ribbon around it, too. I always had a knack for memorizing everyone elseís lines as well as my own. The villain was supposed to have a song, but didnít learn it in time for the play. And I had it memorized. We did this play years later at another church and I got the part of the villain and was able to sing the song.
I also enjoyed going to church in Illinois. It actually became my second home for the five years we lived there. I was in choir, bells and finally a skit group. The childrenís choir only went up to sixth grade and we have moved to Illinois when I was in fifth grade. We also did a play each spring. The first one was called The Bible Tells Me So Show and it was a game show format. I also got to sing my first solo.
Next year, we did a play called Around The World In Ten Decrees. Two other girls and I got the sing the Arabian song called Just One God Is He. We had to find our own costumes. I ended up wearing my nightgown. It was light purple with bright red, yellow and oranges leaves on it. I also got lots of gaudy jewelry including clip on earrings, bracelets for my wrists and ankles and three different necklaces. Mom made me a sheer veil for my face. When the two other girls saw mine, they wanted their moms to find them a veil, too.
One year for Christmas, I got to play the part of Noahís wife. I looked through the Bible to try and find her name. As it turned out she didnít have one, other than Mrs. Noah.† Whenever we would play Bible Trivia in Sunday school, I would ask that question to see how many people knew about it. We turn it into a joke by saying Noahís wifeís name was really Joan of Arc.
A couple of years later, Mom was in charge of casting the Christmas pageant so I finally got the chance to be Mary. Mom asked me whom I wanted to play Joseph. Or course I would have picked the choir directorís son who I had a huge crush on. But there was another guy who was the same age as me and could grow a full beard. Mom said she would let him play Joseph on the condition he would let his beard grow.
I was in bells for around two years. The only reason I quit was because Mom made me. She said if I got a C in math I had to choose between choir and bells. I played the F, F sharp and G bells. I used to complain about the way the F sharp bell sounded so the choir directorís son starting teasing me about it. One time we got the chance to play whatever bells we wanted. I went to the lower F, F sharp and G bells just so I could stand beside him.
When I was in eighth grade, I went through conformation. The class was held after the second service at 11:00am. Mom always went to the early service. After that she would leave, but I was stuck there until noon. I didnít mind it so much since the choir directorís son was always stuck there since his dad was the adult choir director also and they sang at both services. My mentor was one of the people who was often involved in skits. So as one of our projects, we did a skit about a girl living on the streets and having to steal from this lady for food.† That was the one time I was allowed to wear ratty jeans, a shirt with an oil stain and a ratty flannel shirt to church. I also wore a baseball cap and purposely made my hair look messy.
That year they started a choir for the older kids. When that didnít work out, they changed it in to a drama group. Considering the small number of people we had, we couldnít do a lot of the skits. The one we did do, I was the only girl so I automatically got the female roll and the other four kids had to double up on rolls. That was the only skit we did.
When we moved to Ohio my sophomore year of high school, Mom and I started another skit group at our new church. We called the group Take 5. We had a lot more people this time and were able to do a lot more skits including: Body Schisms in which I played the stomach, The Legend of Black Breath, in which I was Clarabelle and Ambassador for Christ, in which I got to play the Australian.
†One of the ladies was the head of the costume department at Dennison University. She said if we ever needed costumes for the skits we could rent them from the university. We borrowed costumes for Black Breath and the second Villain and the Toy Shoppe. We also did the same skit we had done in Illinois. And that was the last skit we did. I was so fed up with some of the younger kids, I told Mom I wasnít going to do it anymore.