Capital Fringe Review: ‘I tried to be normal once, it didn’t take’ by Jenna Miller

I tried to be normal once, it didn’t take is a one-woman show starring Stephanie Svec, explaining why she became an actress through her personal stories.


Stephanie steps onto the bare stage in the small venue, faces the microphone and begins to share the stories of her life, creating an intimate raporrt with the audience.

First is a relatable story of going out to dinner with friends who have children. They obnoxiously start showing the pictures of their children to the waiter. “This is so and so, he’s 8.” When the waiter looks at Stephanie for her turn, she replies, “This is my vibrator. His name is Lance; he’s about 6 months old.” She had my attention and laughter after that first anecdote. The writing was smart, sarcastic, and witty.

My favorite quote was from the story of meeting her boyfriend in her senior year. After a brief description she said, “I knew I met the man that I’d someday divorce.”

The lighting design by Colin Dieck effectively set the mood. The lighting was bright as Stephanie stood center stage at the microphone, while dimming when she sat in the chair for her childhood reenactments. Stephanie was well directed by Joshua Morgan, who did a fine job setting the pace, the focus, and for creating the invitingly warm tone of the show.

My only regret about the show was that it was too short. I found myself wanting to hear more stories when it ended.

Running Time: 45 minutes.

I tried to be normal once, it didn’t take plays through July 27, 2013 at Caos on F-923 F Street NW, in Washington, DC. For performance information and to purchase tickets, go to their Capital Fringe page.


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