Local author acting out sections of book
By Clayton Stairs, Staff Writer, June 04, 2004
When Mayor Max Graff of Morehead City, N.C., went into the dentist’s office to get his teeth cleaned, he was in for a big surprise. After the dental technician used a metal instrument to scale his teeth, she continued with the second step.
She asked the mayor if he would like cherry, bubble gum, or mint-flavored polish and carefully cleaned his teeth with the spinning rubber cupped tip of the electric instrument.
After a few minutes, the mayor began to squirm and point, his eyes watering. She realized with horror that his mustache had gotten caught in the tool. She yelled for the dentist and he had to reverse the toggle switch to free the mayor’s mustache.
This was the end of a short career in dentistry for Ann Ipock, who now lives in Pawleys Island and has gone on to be a writer, sharing zany experiences like this one with her readers.
In addition to writing for five local publications, including The Times, Ipock has published two books. Her first book is titled “What Was It I Was Saying.” Her second book, “Life is Short, But It is Wide,” includes the story of the mayor’s mustache, among many others.
Ipock has been working with director Linda Hopkins to create a one woman show called “Life is Short...” to be performed at the Strand Theatre on Saturday, June 12. It will be a dramatic but humorous presentation of some of the stories from her second book, as well as others.
Raised in Jacksonville, N.C., Ipock has two older sisters, Cathy and Nancy, and a younger brother, Steve. Her parents, Billy and Louise Morris, live in Jacksonville.
Her husband, Russell, is a church administrator of First United Methodist Church in Myrtle Beach. They have lived in this area for about 18 years, 10 years in Myrtle Beach and eight in Pawleys Island.
They have two daughters, Kelly Stunda, who is a kindergarten teacher in Raleigh, N.C., and Katie Ipock, a rising junior and flute performance major at the University of South Carolina in Columbia. They also have a granddaughter named Madison Stunda, who is 3-years-old.
Ipock has acted in three plays, including a church version of “Annie,” and “Steel Magnolias” and “Other People’s Money” with the Murrells Inlet Community Theatre (MICT).
“I think my whole life has been a theater and I have always been on stage,” Ipock says. “Life is like that, one act after another with very few intermissions.”
She is excited to be performing this one woman show based on her book. She says that this is a very different experience for her.
The show is divided into three acts. Act 1 is called “Food is My Friend-I think;” Act 2 is titled “Oh No! Fiascoes!;” and Act 3 is called “Granny Pinky: The Grande Dame.”
“I am performing all of my own original written material,” Ipock says. “There is a lot about male and female relationships, women’s fashions and our preoccupation with vanity, quirky situations or happenstance, food and hobbies.”
Hopkins, who is directing the upcoming show, says that she is also looking forward to this experience. A school psychologist for Georgetown County School District for 13 years, she is retiring this year.
“I love directing,” Hopkins says. “My background in psychology is a big help because I can understand the dynamics of the characters and what is going on in the play.”
Working with both MICT and Swamp Fox Players, Hopkins has directed many plays. At the Strand, she directed “On Borrowed Time,” “The Last of the Red Hot Lovers” and “The Fantastiks.”
With MICT, she directed their first three productions, “Plaza Suite,” “Steel Magnolias” and “The Night of January 16th.” She also directed “The Gingerbread Lady” with them. Hopkins says she is scheduled to direct the upcoming MICT play, “Cemetery Club,” in April of next year.
She is excited to be working with Ipock on this one woman show at the Strand Theatre. She says it has been a collaborative effort to bring Ipock’s stories alive for the audience.
Hopkins and Ipock are planning to video tape the performance and get it copyrighted for future use.
“You can’t help but see yourself in these stories,” Hopkins says. “I think it is a good evening just to laugh and have some fun.”