September 12, 2012

Play Musings

So, I am sitting in my apartment on this deliciously hot day, with a Caribbean flavored popsicle in hand, going over material for my current show, and pondering the fleeting quality of this profession I have chosen. The show is Into The Woods. A classic, a masterpiece, a giant heap of complicated music. The first day of rehearsal can feel a lot like the first day of school. Everyone is secretly scoping out one another, sizing each other up, and forced into the ever-tedious "Hi my name is..." game.

We've passed that point and have now found ourselves in the limbo position between wanting the show to just open already, and knowing that once it does it will all be over much too fast. Most of us have only known one another for these three short weeks. But in this world, and in these woods, relationships form fast. Jokes are tossed back and forth at lightning speed as though we've known each other for years. We've already grown accustomed to each others habits, and look forward to what treats our baking-maven stage manager has brought us each day.

It's hard to believe only one month ago I was in Utah sharing similar bonds with an entirely different set of people. All of whom have different jokes, different lives, and different stories. I can't think of many other professions where such things are true. In what other life do you meet someone for the first time, and then a few hours later find yourself having to kiss them, or cry with them, or yell at them? Well, I guess in some ways that could be a typical Friday night...but that's another story.

But seriously, you work so closely with your fellow cast mates. The rehearsal process is often fast and furious, especially in these dire economic times where funding for the arts is disappearing. It's almost a test of how fast and how cheap can we get this show up, set, and open. And then...poof! The show is done. That magical thing you'd been holding onto, giving all your attention to, suddenly disappears. To many friends outside of this world, it's as if it never happened. It becomes that show or that job you mentioned in passing but they only vaguely remember. "Is that the one about the boat?...No, no the one in French?'s all fairytale characters? I'm so confused."

I have no answers. Not even many questions, mostly just musings I guess. I'm constantly in awe of this life I live, and the way I've chosen to do it. I cannot imagine a world where I was not passionate about what I do. How lucky am I that I get to play dress up every day? And while the projects change, and the people who play with me change. Each show, each job has such specific memories. Memories tied to very specific people. And although we may lose touch here and there, or not see certain friends or colleagues for extended periods of time you will always have that show. That nugget of time that you shared working on that production of -insert show title here-. I don't look forward to saying goodbye to my Into The Woods family, it's always bittersweet. But like the end of a school year, you always know there's another first day waiting just around the corner with a new set of faces, laughs, and rounds of dress up to come.

September 2, 2012


It's been almost an entire year since my last post. Time sure flies doesn't it?

It's hard to believe that two years after starting this blog I actually feel like a "real person". Well at least a little bit. Sure there's always the anxiety of bills, rent, and life in general but I can honestly say I am in love with this time of my life. I don't have the longing to be back in the safety of school and also no desire to grow up anymore than I have so far. I think that's really the secret. Regardless of the scary parts that are waiting around every corner, if you can find the good things, and happy things, the parts of this crazy life that fulfill you, the other stuff falls away. Of course, this isn't an easy task. It's something we all deal with daily. Hourly even.

I sit in my apartment, coffee in hand, armed and ready for another day of not much to do. Since getting back to Los Angeles I've begun rehearsals on a new production of Into The Woods which has kept me busy in the evenings but left me with a lot of mornings to fill. At first I was loving this freedom. Time for new dance classes and sleeping past 10 am. What a thrill! But now I find myself feeling guilty. Days off are great when they've been earned. And while I am working my butt off in and out of Woods rehearsal I still feel that so much free time is unwarranted. When I first returned home my goal had been, like many young performers, to not get back into the day job game. This goal that once felt oh so attainable has become less and less so. Partially for financial reasons but also because I can't stand to be so idle all the time. I guess this is just the curse of my high energy and go-non-stop attitude. I'm sure my parents would tell me to luxuriate in the free time since it finds me so infrequently. But I did luxuriate, and now I am ready for what is next.

Another hesitation for this whole "to day job or not to day job" dilemma is letting go of what I wanted my life to look like when I got home. Truly what I want is to have a full schedule of doing what I love. Whether it be teaching, choreographing, rehearsing, or more likely a combination of everything. But at what point do I have to say, maybe right now is not the moment for that? Isn't that a big part of becoming this real person, understanding financial realities and responsibilities? I try to live by a certain motto thanks to Ms. Julia Cameron of Artist's Way that we should "leap and the net will appear" that we should let the universe take care of it. But how long can I wait for the universe? And more importantly, is that even what the universe has in store for me right now? Maybe it thinks I need to grow up a little more before I am rewarded with the life I think I want. Or maybe it's knocking me off my high horse for a moment and bringing me back to this humble earth. It could be any of these things, and yet none at all.

So we go on the journey, winding down the path because really we have no other choice. And when I find the opportunity to leap, I can only hope I'll have the courage to do so knowing something will be there to catch me.