I Get To Be A Docent

Me and films are synonomous with peanut butter and jelly.  I love films.  I love everything there is about them.  When I watch a film, I don’t just watch it for the sake of entertainment (or lack thereof in some cases).  Rather, I’m the kinda girl that pays attention to the details – the art, the direction, the script, the cinemaotography, the editing, the costumes, the acting, etc.

That’s why I chose to start my other blog – The REEL Box Office Buzz – a couple of years ago.  I have a passion for movies and the whole film-making process.  I love giving my two cents regardless if anyone reads it or not. I just love doing it.

So, recently when asked to be a Docent for the Ava Gardner Museum right here in Smithfield, North Carolina, I jumped at the chance.  Today, I had my first day of training.  My homework – to read Ava’s own book Ava: My Story. I can’t wait to be asked all kinds of questions about her, her films, her life, her loves, what have you.  Of course, I won’t know EVERYTHING but that’s the best part of this type of job – you learn as you go!

I’ll be honest.  I never paid much attention to Ava growing up.  She starred in films that were mostly of my grandparents and parents generation.  I do remember catching Show Boat with my grandmother one afternoon when it was on television and I remember seeing The Sun Also Rises with her as well.  And I knew she and “Old Blue Eyes”,(the incomparable Mr. Frank Sinatra) were a fascinating love story as their marriage was her third and final one.

Until today, as I quietly strolled through the Museum, I had never realized she was married to actor Mickey Rooney or the GREAT Artie Shaw.  I discovered so much about her & it renewed my passion for “old Hollywood”, the days of black and white, Deborah Kerr, Gregory Peck, Richard Burton, and I thought to myself how lucky am I to be able to work here even if it’s only twice a week!

This week begins my journey as a Docent at the Ava Gardner Museum.  Strictly part-time (only 12 hours a week).  But, a little extra cash in my pocket and most importantly, a GREAT opportunity!

If you’ve never been to the Ava Gardner Museum or perhaps you’ve put it in the back of your mind as a “I’ll get there someday” kinda thing, might I encourage you to come visit us soon?  Step back in time, marvel at the extravagant costumes she wore, come see the incredible artwork by her adoring fan – Bert Pfeiffer.  Through May 2010, the Hemingway and Ava (Yeah, that’s right – Ernest Hemingway himself) exhibit continues its showing as well.

Come visit.  I promise, you’ll enjoy it if you do!

I know I’ll enjoy this opportunity and once again, find myself blessed to have it.


Lisa 🙂

(Photos courtesy of the Ava Gardner Museum.  Thank you!)

4 Responses to “I Get To Be A Docent”
  1. lasullivan says:

    Jessica…thank you for the kudos! That’s the best part – meeting the people and hearing THEIR stories. 🙂

    Sidney…I’m a perfectionist. If I don’t know an answer, I’m going to point blank tell you that I don’t know…and then I’m going to look it up as soon as I possibly can to find out what it is! So, don’t worry about the “being factual” part from me. I promise to do my very BEST. Please come visit and don’t forget to introduce yourself too!

    Crystal…me too. I love the Hemingway and Ava had that wonderful bond. And Hemingway…who wouldn’t want to call him “Papa”? He’s like a big ole teddy bear! 😉

  2. Crystal Roberts says:

    Love the Hemingway-Gardner combo. Can’t wait to see the exhibit.

  3. Sidney says:

    In this country a docent is a volunteer. Since this is a paid position, one would probably refer to it as a guide. Hopefully, you’ll be able to offer more information than the people who were there when I last visited. Best wishes in this undertaking–please strive to be factual!

  4. Jessica says:

    Great post! (Although I’m biased!) You’ll have fun meeting all of the people that come in from all over the country and world and want to share their stories…and why they love Ava.

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