Monday, May 27, 2013

Just that

Remember how once the world moved on without you, so you had to fashion yourself a new one?  Remember how this has happened so many times now that you sometimes don't even notice?

Once upon a time, you took your first step, and at that point in your life, it was your greatest accomplishment.  Now you have done so many amazing things, and the building block of all of it, was that very first step.

Remember how you once smiled without mirth.  Remember the joy of discovery.  Discovering animals, and blankets, and food.

And friendship.

Remember how once you had so many dreams.

Remember epiphany.  Remember how you tried to share it with someone who didn't share your enthusiasm, either because they had already had it themselves, or because they weren't ready for it.

Remember when you cried in the dark, and someone was there to take your hand, and remember also when nobody did.

Remember your first kiss.  The thrill of feeling another persons lips against your own.  Remember the joy of intimacy.

Remember the first time you really looked into a mirror, for the first time.  Really examining every part about you.  Your face.  Your lines.  Your expressions.  Your flaws.  Remember how that is also the first time you learned how to lie to yourself.  Remember how all those things that seemed so apparent to you, must be doubly apparent to everyone else.

Remember how they weren't.

Remember music.  Remember dancing.  Fast and slow.  Remember the songs that made you laugh, and made you cry, and gave you no choice but to sing along.

Remember your very first love letter.  The one you wrote, and the one you received.

Remember how you believed that time, you'd never love again.  Remember how you did.

Remember when your heart was so easily broken.  Week after week.  Day after day.

Remember when you just knew for sure, that if only one thing were different...then you'd be happy.

Remember ice cream.

Remember once again the faces of all the people you'll never see again.  I bet they liked ice cream too.

Remember that almost every single day, you will go to war, and almost nobody will know about it.  Remember that almost every single day, every single person you come in contact with is also at war, and you will never know about it.

Remember the greatest casualties of those wars are hope, and dreams, and the ability to love...or be loved.

Perhaps we should take more time to honor the fallen.

Remember that most of our tragedies, and most of our triumphs, are crystal secrets.

Remember the golden silence, and the golden rule.

And remember this.  Today you have the option to fashion your world once again.  Today, you get to craft your tomorrow.  You are the architect of your future, and if you leave that option to somebody else, it's a guarantee that you won't be wholly satisfied.

Remember to give love.  Remember also to be loved.  Remember to say it.  To show it.  To feel it, and to make it.

Remember a tapestry...even the tapestry of your handcrafted.

Once more with feels.

I have more free time now.  For a while at least.  I'll probably end up doing nothing productive with it.  I just closed my eighth show in a row, with not more than a two week break between any of them.  Most rolling from closing weekend into rehearsal week.  I guess it will be nice to breath for a minute, but it hasn't been 48 hours yet, and I'm already getting antsy.  Not because I am not doing anything right now...that's actually kind of nice, but because at this moment, I'm not doing anything until September...and that's too far away.  I must line something up soon.  I've come to rely on the distraction.

I love to act.  I love to see the fictional characters become me, as much as I become them.

When I lived in Vegas, I had a walk on moment in a little musical review called The Taffetas.  Think, Forever Plaid, but even less interesting, if you can imagine that.  Halfway through the show, I walked on stage, sang a song, and walked off again.  The reason I did this, is because the producers came to me, and asked if I would.  I told them I don't sing or dance, but they didn't care...offered me the part, and money, and I took it.  I don't look back on that fondly, I don't include it on my resume, and I like in my mind to pretend it never happened.

Not counting that I haven't been in a musical since around 1999 or 2000 when I was Mr. Mushnik in our college production of Little Shop of Horrors.  That one was a blast.

I've never made much secret that I really don't care for Musicals.  They don't move me.  They don't appeal to anything artistic inside of me, and very rarely do they entertain me.  I'm not saying that they can't be moving, artistic, or entertaining.  I'm simply not able to grasp the appeal myself.  Mostly.  There are rare exceptions.

So we just finished our run of La Cage aux Folles.  I didn't audition for that one either.  The most I knew about it going in, is I saw The Birdcage about ten years ago, and remember liking it.  Near the close of Death of a Salesman, I was again approached in my life by producers of a show, asking if I would be interested in being part of it.  My response was word for word the same as the first time.  I told them I don't sing or dance.  Their reaction was the same.  They offered me the part, and money.  So I said sure.

And boy am I glad I did.  I still don't sing or dance.  I'll still most likely never actually audition for a musical, but this one will hold a pretty special place in my memory for the rest of my life.  Sometimes it's just really really nice to be part of the story being told.  Even more nice when you consider the other people you get to tell the story with.  I got to hang out with some pretty neat people for a few weeks.

The last two shows I did, La Cage, and Death of a Salesman, were both produced at The Grand.  The Grand is appropriately named.  It's about 60 miles from stage right to stage left.  Another forty 40 miles from front stage to back stage.  The house is hufuckinmongous.  Even when we have two or three hundred people in the audience, the house looks empty.  We all have wear mics just to be heard.  It's insanely big.  It's grand.

The other nice thing is they have a small amount of money to throw into productions.  Not a lot, I'm sure...but much more than I'm used to.  So things look and sound great.  Wonderful sets, costumes, light design...all that stuff we dream of as actors.

Except now...
Right now I think I'd kill kittens to get into some tiny little black box space where we have to build the show out of spare parts.  A show where we smoke cigarettes, and say fuck a lot, and get those incredible lines.  The kind of show where 15 people show up, and then we all get drunk afterwards in a back corner of a dark bar.

Don't get me wrong.  I love love LOVE the grand, and will jump at almost any opportunity to work there again.  But working there feels like a performance.  Nothing wrong with that, but goddamn...I want to act again.  I want to put on my work clothes, and open up a script, and say words that feel real.  I don't want to play a part.  I want to be a part.

So those are the types of shows I'm looking for.  Audition notices are all for piece of shit musicals.  This always depresses me.  I know, I know, I live in Utah...this is simply what I must expect.  This is always what motivates me to get the fuck out of Utah.  To go somewhere where people really are doing new, and exciting, and alive theatre.  Thing does happen here.  It's rare...but it happens, so I continue to hope.

So I stay.  I read the audition notices for Joseph.  At 156 different theatres.  All at the same time.  And I know they'll all have sell out performances.  And I want to cry.  Then I read announcements for theatres in my former city of residence, and what my friends are doing there...and my god how I miss them, and am so fucking proud of them for what they are accomplishing.  I read audition boards for random cities.  Phoenix.  Denver.  Chicago.  San Diego.  Portland.  I see theatre absolutely fucking THRIVING in these cities.  So much amazing work.  So many opportunities.  So much to make me believe that it's NOT all shitty musicals, being rehashed over and over and over agoddamngain. And I ask myself why.  Why do I stay?  Why do I bother?  Why not move on, to where I, and the art I want to be part of, are more compatible?  Then I get cast in something and remember...that's why.  It IS happening.  Don't give up hope entirely.

You are where you're supposed to be.  For now.  As painful as it may sometimes be...there is also joy. There is also achievement.

There's also the comfort level.  I'll always be a bit of a square peg in a round hole.  I don't know that I'll ever really find home.  I could be wrong, but just thinking of the effort of starting from scratch, all over again, in another new and strange rather exhausting.  I am absolute shit at networking...which is kind of a necessity for a wannabe working actor.  So going somewhere, where I know nobody, seems like, I dunno...crazy.  In other ways it seems like a dream.

So there's that.  Every day checking to see if there's anything new and interesting on the theatrical horizon.  Most days spent with a modicum of   disappointment.

I'm still absolutely loving my bachelorhood, and absolutely hating the complete lack of human physical contact that comes with it.

I still think about my "her" every day.  We don't really talk anymore.  I knew that would happen.  It was inevitable really.  Just the simple course of life.  I'm sure she's been busy.  I know I have.  I hope she's been happy.  I know I have.  Mostly.  Then again, regardless of everything I'm always mostly happy.  I'm just wired that way I guess.

That's the goofy little bottom line.  For all my bitching.  All my complaining, and whining, and lunaticing, and so forth...inside my guts, I'm a pretty happy guy.  There is a lot I don't have in my life...but I'm always more focused on the things I do have.  There is a lot that I'd like to be different, but I'm grateful for the things that are the same.

There is love that I don't have, but there is a fuckload of love that I do have...and that really is the everything of it all.  There's the you of it all.  Kind of makes all that other stuff seem just so much wasted energy.

No day is perfect.  No plan comes off without a hitch.  Nothing is ever what it seems.  Not a single one of us is what we are...except for all the things that we really are.  That's the beauty of the whole thing.  The mystery, the magic, and the mayhem of it all.  We've whirlwinded into each other, shared the dance, and flown away with a memory.  You have moved me.  Inspired me.  You've taken my breath away.  You've made be glad to be alive.  You've made me miss you when you're gone, and smile when I see you again.  And I can't help but notice...
Every fucking time...
just how goddamn beautiful you are.