Spotlight on Andrea Burkly

by Tracey on April 30, 2014

Andrea Burkly didn’t walk into auditions: she descended upon them like a force of nature. “Mother Nature,” if you will, as she was really REALLY pregnant for auditions, but insisted that this baby would in no way interfere with the show. She delivered (HA) her promise and little Macey Trelisa (Not Her Real Name) (Melisa+Tracey) was born ON MY BIRTHDAY! Way to go the extra mile, Andrea!


by Andrea Burkly

Perhaps the thing that has surprised me most about becoming a mother is realizing how little I knew about myself BC (before children).  If you had asked me about me when I was childless, I would have gladly told you that I was

      generally: awesome, and

      specifically: smart, funny, generous, in control, fierce, good-with-people, self-motivated, capable, and definitely fearless.  Also       humble.


Before you roll your eyes at BC Andrea, please note:  when I became a mother, I realized that I am NONE OF THESE THINGS.  Or, at least it feels that way much of the time, especially when I’ve recently had a baby.  Did I mention I recently had a baby?  Because I recently had a baby, which means I’m very in touch with all of the things that I’m not… and these days, I’m most definitely not fearless.

I’m afraid of getting dressed in the morning… because seriously?  Where did these parts come from?  And what in the world do they fit into?

I’m afraid that my life will be broken up into 3-hour segments forEVER.  Logically, I know this isn’t the case… but I’m three weeks postpartum, so let’s just agree that logic doesn’t have anything to do with my thought processes, mmmmkay?

And I don’t even think that the word “fear” starts to describe the feelings I experienced when my husband went back to work on Monday, leaving me to wrangle three kids.  On my own.  Lord have mercy.

I was contemplating all of this during my 8-minute nap today, wondering how to choose which of these would qualify as the “scariest thing I’ve ever done” when I realized… lame.  After a few more weeks (months, whatever), when I get my groove back, see my hormones stabalize, and sleep for a few hours, I’ll really regret not choosing a better “scariest thing.”  And that’s when I remembered a time when BC Andrea, trying to be quite fearless, looked one of her biggest fears right in the eye… with disasterous results.  And I thought, “Now this is a story that just has to be told.”

(I apologize in advance for choosing a story in my postpartum haze.  I also blame all of my co-storytellers for doing such a good job tackling topics like motherhood, childbirth, and stage fright.  So basically, I release myself from any responsibility for this story.  Don’t say I didn’t warn you.)

 The Ocean

Over the last 20 years, I’ve become increasingly afraid of the ocean.  In fact, I’ve become increasingly afraid of all bodies of water, including but not limited to oceans, lakes, ponds, and the deep-ish end of the community pool (I wish I were joking).  I don’t like my feet touching the bottom.  I really don’t like my feet not touching the bottom.  I don’t like the slimy feel of seaweed.  I don’t like the fact that there are things living in the water that could brush against me and / or sting me and / or eat me.  And I don’t like knowing that the waves are just waiting to carry me out to sea and drown me.

 So I did what any ocean-fearing woman would do:  I married into a family of New Englanders with a special passion for Cape Cod.  It seemed safe enough at the time, because the family had sold their house at the Cape years before.  But I should have known it was only a matter of time before nostalgia for days-gone-by would drive us all back to the Cape, and put me much too close to one of the things I feared most in the world.  A week at the Cape with a water-loving husband?  Now that’s scary.

I knew that if I was going to survive a beach vacation without going in the ocean, I’d have to be wily as a coyote:  I needed to appear to enjoy all the ocean had to offer without actually enjoying the water.  I took long walks on the beach, artfully dodging any surprising wave that threatened my dry toes.  I read trashy novels on my beach towel, one eye on the waves.  I played paddle ball just well enough to avoid losing a ball in the surf.  And I did my best to make myself scarce when everyone else was going in the water.

But my husband was not fooled.  We had gone waaayyyy past the point in our relationship where he would playfully encourage me to get in the water and I would coyly shake off his advances (“Tee hee!”).  Instead, when Ben realized I hadn’t actually gone in the water, something akin to wrestlemania ensued.  I was sunk.

So there I was, heart racing, legs kicking, brain debating the to-touch-or-not-to-touch-the-bottom issue, certain I would die (or at least be brushed by seaweed, which is practically the same thing).  And who swam by but a gaggle of 9-year-old boys.  They carefully watched the approaching waves, picked the biggest one, and dove in, body surfing neatly to shore.  And I started to remember a time, long long ago, when I was young and fearless and mastered the waves myself, body surfing to the beach in Florida.  I wasn’t always so afraid.

The boys came back out, passing me easily, and something in my eyes (abject terror?) must have spoken to them.  They started trying to get me to body surf with them.  And before I knew what I was doing, I had decided to join them.

I was riding high in more ways than one.  For a whole week, I couldn’t even get my feet wet… and now here I was, not only in ocean, but about to participate in an ocean sport!  I was facing my fear, doing one of the scariest things I had ever done, and was about to be a conqueror, enjoying life with the freedom and joy of a 9-year-old boy!  I was practically singing “We are the Champions!” as I looked over my shoulder, selected my wave, and jumped in.

And about 8 terrifying seconds later, I crashed into shore.  Where all of my in-laws were waiting (and watching).  And as I struggled to pull myself out of the surf, coughing up salty ocean water and trying to appear casual and cool despite the fact that that had gone terribly wrong, I realized something was missing.

That something was half of my bikini.

And that is why facing my fear of open water was truly the scariest thing I’ve ever done.

~~Andrea writes at “The Me in Motherhood“~~

I literally Laugh Out Loud whenever I read this story. You really know how to live it up, Andrea.

The LTYM show is rated PG-13. This means that all body parts that are supposed to be covered, WILL be covered. I promise to double check Andrea’s outfit backstage.

LESS THAN A WEEK!! Chicago’s LTYM show is in less than a week! Do you have your ticket? WHY THE HECK NOT?!?!? Andrea is not the only one who will cause you to snort laugh, I promise.

Tickets are available online or via the box office at 773-935-6875. Chop! Chop!




Melisa April 30, 2014 at 7:44 am

I love this story so much!

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