The past couple weeks all this work I’ve been doing has caused me to have a lot of new thoughts about what is happening in my life. I’ve been trying to reign it in to the posts I already make, relating it to one of the topics I already write about, but that either doesn’t feel like it covers everything or does feel like it’s not timely enough. So I’m going to try adding a new category of posts here just for my thoughts on these relevant topics in my life. I’m sure this sounds very vague, so let me make my point through example.
I started working as an actress again about a year and a half ago. For those of you that need to know the timing has to do with children and my family’s employment situation. When I first got back in the game, I stayed close to home, just testing the water, but also helping my family adjust to the -sometimes- brutal schedule. But now my family is acclimated and I’ve got the taste in my mouth again so I’m ready to move forward. I want to go to a great grad school in a few years and I’d like to have the kind of experience that allows me to secure a nice professorship before too long. I have been auditioning like a mad woman recently, trying to move into a “bigger pond” so that when people look at my resume, they go “Oh, yes, I recognize that theatre and therefore I know the quality of work in which you are currently involved.” Or maybe it’s more like, “Oh, yes, I recognize that theatre and therefore I know you and I are in the same club,” but the fact of the matter is, there are unwritten rules to the path I am walking. It’s not as though I am the first one to be here.
That’s the back story to my madness and my focus. Today I’m looking at where I am and wondering if I’m on the correct path after all. All these auditions I’ve been going on have really gotten my brain ticking. Most of the shows I’m auditioning for are really not what I’m interested in at all. I love to perform, do not mistake me. But if we are really talking about living my dream and I’m being 100% honest with myself, my dream is to share work that challenges audiences to think and, frankly, get a little uncomfortable. There are a couple theatres here that do that kind of work consistently and maybe I need to focus in on those venues more, but I’ve also got a tickle in the back of my brain that says there is more still.
Nearly a year ago now. I had the weirdest conversation with my mom in which she mentioned to me that she always thought I was going to be a writer. For whatever reason that conversation has been floating around in my head literally on a weekly basis since then. I just can’t shake it, but I can’t figure out why. I’m not saying I know where I’m going, because that is absurd. We look at life exclusively through rear-view mirrors and just do our best to guess what is in front of us based on what we see behind. And so I think right now there is a big territory of writing, creating, producing and performing that lies in front of me and I am EXCITED about all the unknowns.
Wow, I don’t usually talk that much about what is going on in my head, because this journey has been mostly a journey about doing. But doing has got me thinking and I find myself in a powerful moment of re-evaluation that I think is useful to share.
Oh, and one more thing – this started with a feeling of depression. “Man, I didn’t make the cut at that audition again.” “Man, I’m sick again.” “Man, my self-confidence is shaking.” But these feelings are there to inform us, not to stop us. I did my best to sit and just feel crappy and let that be what it was going to be. But I also did my best to listen to what was making me feel crappy – what was pushing me and what was pulling me. I don’t think it’s the auditions (and the rejection!) by themselves. I think it is the horrible cycle of auditioning for a show I don’t even want to do and getting rejected when I could be focusing my energy on something that truly propels me (my own show?). So now I’m going to shift into a little bit of a different direction (my big goals are still the same!) and see how it feels and what will happen next.
Peace and life while you’re living-