Jane Bolton returning to her first love – acting

July 23, 2014   ·   0 Comments

By Constance Scrafield – “I thought I would get a little job, waitressing at the Bluebird, earn a little money and then write.” So Jane Bolton summarized her plan for this next stage of her life.

However, her own heart had other plans for her.

“I got the job and, after work, went to the library to write and never wrote a word. I’m working on a play and I will get through it but I got distracted. I want an outlet for my creativity and I thought writing was it but, then, I went back to acting and I thought, ‘This is it. This is what I really want to do.’”

Many of our readers will recognizes Ms. Bolton’s name as being the co-owner, with her husband, Mark, of the delightful restaurant in Hockley Village they called Hiding Inn Hockley.

Back-tracking, Ms. Bolton obtained a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) degree in Dramatic Arts at the University of Windsor, from which studies she began work with an agent in various theatrical productions, Jackson’s Point summer theatre, Whitby summer theatre, a few bits on television. In other words, her career was gathering momentum.

Then, sadly, her mother died. With the money her mother left her, she and a friend went to Europe, staying with her family in England for some time and back-packing in Europe for a few weeks. Once she returned to Canada, it seemed her acting career was in abeyance.

She returned to the restaurant business, which had been the glue of her life as an actress between engagements.

She worked as a waitress, always with a view to how things could be done better, being moved on to assistant manager and manager’s positions.

She married Mark Bolton, a high school teacher, and it occurred to them: why should she continue to manage other people’s restaurants when it would be more fun for her to run her own?

That is how they came to Hockley Village and opened Hiding Inn Hockley in 1995.

They had one son, Riley, who was two years old when they came here.

Their second son, Jesse, born in Hockley, later developed a severe form of epilepsy. This meant endless trips to doctors and hospitals, endless experiments with drugs and the side-effects and the whole long-winded, heavy business of ailment and treatment.

At last, after extensive and painful consultation, it was decided that surgery could help control the seizures.

With all that was entailed in the very serious matter of the brain surgery and subsequent recovery, the Boltons decided to close the restaurant in 2010.

Now 17 years old, Jesse leads a relatively normal life and is planning to attend Fanshaw College in London, Ontario; his older brother, Riley, is entering his fourth year of Engineering at Western University, having already taken a year off to intern with a London-based company.

As a result, the Boltons will be empty nesters and Jane wants to return to her original life’s plan and go back on stage.

She was recently approached to do a cooking show for Rogers television’s local channel. So, she put together eight episodes – “Culinary Jane.”

She told us, “It was hard work because they don’t have a kitchen, so, I had to prep everything beforehand. But I was so comfortable in front of the camera and I thought how much I enjoyed it.”

Encouraged by her own reaction to the Rogers stint, she auditioned and was offered the lead role in Norm Foster’s play, Hilda’s Yard, produced by the Blackhorse Theatre.

“Hilda is a mom of two grown boys,” began Ms. Bolton’s synopsis of the play, “who have left home but are coming back. So many of her comments are things I have said myself. Even my boys noticed it.”

It was her first time on the stage in 27 years.

“I wasn’t sure I could remember the lines – the lines came easy. I had some huge chunks of dialogue where Hilda is on stage by herself talking to an imaginary neighbour but the lines came.”

On opening night, “I was so nervous I felt sick. Every night after that, though, it was the way it should be. And it was so much fun. I knew: this is what I want.”

So, here’s the plan: she is going to get her head-shots done, write up her resumé and drop the first one off: “Theatre Orangeville will be the first place I deposit my resumé,” she assured us.

She has worked hard, served many of us fine meals for 15 years, nursed her husband through a serious burn accident and cared for her son during his years of recovery. Now, she feels, it is her turn.

“I wanted to run a restaurant,” she commented, “but I’ve done that now. And now, I want to go back to acting.”

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