Sink or Swim

200312947-001Today I am heading off for an 8 hour day of tours at Titanic. I will start off shadowing someone else, but by the end of the day, it will be sink or swim for me. No pun intended.

I have been doing lots of research on Dorothy Gibson, the famous silent film actress who survived the Titanic. She is who I will be portraying as I give my tours. The “Original Harrison Fisher Girl”, or “Gibson Girl”. She was more than that though. Quite a lady. At the age of 22 she was the highest paid actress in film. Probably why she could afford a first class ticket on Titanic. I am still trying to find her “voice”. Playing a historical figure, is something new to me. I guess if there is nothing for me to reference, then no one else can either. No comparisons!

I’m excited. I really love the history side of this role. I have genuinely enjoyed doing all of the research and stepping back in time. It is fascinating to walk through the exhibit and see artifacts that actually came from 2 1/2 miles under the ocean. That were actually on the Titanic. There is money, paper bills, that are still intact because they were in a leather bag. I get goosebumps when I think about it. Maybe I’m just a nerd. And the stories. So many stories. Lives lost. Lives saved. People who became heroes that night. I love to see ordinary people who do extraordinary things when it matters most.

So, I’m a little nervous. Only because there is SO MUCH INFORMATION to remember. The tours are about 1 hour 20 min long. That’s a lot of facts to be spewing out. What makes it scary is that you have these Titanic enthusiasts who come…and they will KNOW if you mess up and get something wrong. I have nightmares of a ten year old pointing his finger at me saying, “That’s not right! You don’t know anything about Titanic!”. Hopefully that won’t happen. Dorothy Gibson

I think I will take a little strength from Dorothy today. She was a survivor. Maybe I’ll survive too.