Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Farewell, old friend.

Muad'Dib asked me an interesting question the other night on the way to see Les Mis at Northridge High (yay, we were on a date!!!).

"When was the last time you had a positive theater experience?"

About two minutes passed, without an answer. Images of my all my theater moments passed before my minds eye, concentrated on the last eight theatrical endeavors in the last eight years.

Going backwards looked like this:

Sound of Music: away from my husband. Purposly distracted from my kids.

Secret Garden: Emotionally volcanic. Separate from my husband. Focus not on my kids. Loads of travel time and money spent on uber expensive gas.

Merchant of Venice: The name of that play could well have been changed to: "The Seventh Circle of Hell filled with Dancing Imps of Death and Averous" and been more accurate a description for the time spent.

Seven Brides for Seven Brothers: away from son and husband. Shamed about my weight.

Hello Dolly: constantly arguing with my parents. Lemur crying as I left him for something that was more important. Husband looking . . . tired.

Romeo and Juliet: actually a great experience except . . . while picturing all that happened during that January, February, and March in 2004 something was disturbingly absent: my son!

Oklahoma!: worried about my weight and . . . pregnant. In the first trimester. I had no idea how to balance my theater, work and husband. Husband took a back seat. During this show we had our first and only fight. Luckily, Muad'Dib doesnt remember it.

Big River: worried about my weight. Didn't much care for the cast. Some depression here . . .

Then blinding me with it's incredible goodness was the memory of West Side Story, when I played Maria. I remembered friends, music, dancing, adventure, dedication, hard work, sweat and even tears.

What truly separated the memory of West Side from the other memories of theater since then?

Just like riding the waverunner at Lake Powell, I was attempting to REcreate good times and moments of thrilling achievement. What I failed to recognize in both situations was this: what is the point in REcreation, if it keeps you from NEW creation.

Looking back, it was as if my life changed, and I didn't. The difference between the two began to chaffe slowly, until I was emotionally raw and incredibly uncomfortable.

I have always said that my goals in life were simple: Marry and Mother.

So what was this other thing called Theater? It was the thing that shaped me and entertained me until my goals could be met. I had no control over when I met my "match." So I filled the time until then. I truly enjoyed it. And then . . . I didn't let go.

I kept thinking that theater was a part of me, that I was somehow defined by the terms "actress" or "singer" or even "TheaterGeek."

I'm not.

I feel my heart burst open with light at the realization. I am not this catagory alone. I am so much more. I made the mistake, as many in this line of 'work' do, that "Theater is life." I should have known all along - but how could I? - that more truly, "Theater is a hobby." I am just as passionate about MANY other things. In fact, my existence is RIDDLED with things I am or can be passionate about!!!

Shoot: I'm passionate about having the bed made in the morning, sorting beads, sitting in the grass, playing Settlers of Catan, or hating windsheild rivers!!

Cowboy Bob is right when he said that I have a great capacity to love. I have given over so much of that capacity to Theater.

Just as I have been able to love friends and yet gracefully leave them behind when they are no longer useful to me or I to them, I AM finally able - and aware enough - to do the same for that dearest of my friends: Theater.

He no longer needs me.

More importantly: I no longer need him. I don't even need the memories we made, but I will enjoy them from time to time. One day, perhaps I will enjoy him again, dancing, singing and performing within his well lit walls.

And today I mark down another heart sneeze: the burst of love that tells me truly: It's time to let this go.


WildBound said...

Wow, great insights! I wish you the best in your "letting go".

WildBound said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Fedaykin said...

Woah. I think I would have a hard time with that. Even in the light of realization that it was not good for me, I still have that feeling of compulsion. Like if I am listening to a CD and decide to put in another one and then the current CD plays something I like and I don't feel like I can change my mind. I was going to change the CD, who cares if I am enjoying the experience or not.

Nicoletta said...

You've got wisdom, strength, and guts to realize a need for change and then to actually follow through. I salute you.

CowboyBob said...

Well done. The ability to change, by choice, is the fuel for eternal progression.

Desertbound said...

I'm happy you've let go of that slippery little bar of soap and it's just floating away in the tub now. I'm sure if you wanted it again someday you could easily scoop it up gently with cupped hands. Or just use some bodywash I found that is made by Suave. It's cinnamon and sandalwood scented! Love it! And it's not expensive, either!

Sayyadina said...

Did I miss something? Did i mention soap? or is this a metaphor? If it's not, I need to get me some of that sandalwood stuff. Sounds good. If it is a metaphor, I am nodding thoughtfully.

Desertbound said...

Yes, it's a metaphor. Keep nodding thoughtfully. But, get some of that body wash anyway. It smells divine.

WildBound said...


Ahenobarbus Textor said...

You are awesome! Redefining your own interpretation of yourself is challenging, especially when you've held on to that interpretation for so long.


If you're at all like me, you'll find that after you've completely let Theatre go (and that took me about 5 years), you can then re-engage on your own terms. Good luck.