Today we have a wonderful blog from Julianne Somers who plays the French Air Hostess, Jacqueline, in Boeing-Boeing. She gives us a little more insight on what it was like to be an Air Hostess in the 60’s as well as how much fun acting in a show like this can really be. Many thanks to Julianne!
It’s been absolutely delightful playing the French stewardess Jacqueline. I get to share the stage with five charmingly hilarious characters and play out a ridiculous, sexy, slamming doors farce. It’s electrifying when our story is met with laughter and applause from the audience. The journey of Boeing-Boeing from beginning to end is like riding a roller coaster. “A bumpy one.”
Like I said, I play the French stewardess/air hostess. Back in the 50’s and 60’s air travel was much different than it is now. Only the rich could afford to fly. Travelers would dress up for the flights. Men wore suits and women, dresses, accessorized with gloves and hat. Months ago, when I began thinking about my character, I thought of what it would be like to be a stewardess back in the 60’s. It was a glamorous yet strict profession. The criteria for hire, as Bernard states in the play, was that of a 50’s renaissance woman, and I must reiterate ’50’s renaissance’ not to be confused with a modern renaissance woman. Bernard says, “apart from being beautiful, they have to be healthy, good at cooking, good at nursing, witty, wise, and friendly.” Having said that, I do feel that it took a strong, independent woman to pursue this career back in the days when housewives were the norm. The fact that all three air hostesses in this play have strength and personality supports my point. That, however, does not negate the fact that Boeing-Boeing is highly chauvinistic. The show gets away with it because it makes fun of that very fact.
I’ve had a ton of fun working with both the cast and the crew of Boeing-Boeing. I love getting into the mind, body, and spirit of Miss Jacqueline each night. Not a bad way to make a living.