acting · career · connection · fun · isolation · laughter · loneliness · love · perseverance

“Just about the time you’re rotting with seriousness or serious boredom, something happens or else you’d die.” ~ Lorine Niedecker, poet

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“The thing about grief,” she told me, “is that something is
broken, but you’re not – and you’ve got to keep going.”
Years ago she told me this, and I reflect on it in so many
situations.
Yesterday, after writing that blog that tore me up a bit, I
had to go assist at a work event, and then head to an audition for a play. I
really wasn’t feeling it.
It’s been two months now since I’ve auditioned, as I’d been cast in a play (yay!), and then turned down for other parts that allowed me the
time to go on vacation. In the meantime, I did go on vacation, and had
elaborate experience and processing about relationships, values, love. I also
got clearer about my career goals, and implemented some action around them at work,
which not surprisingly, I was told last week were great ideas but probably
aren’t going to happen “within the next year,” if at all. So, there’s been
processing around that, too.
In all, it’s been kinda heavy around here. Making
check-points of where I am, where I want to be personally and professionally.
And so I showed up to that audition, late and lost in the hills of Berkeley, with
little more than the feet I was standing on.
But, most times, that’s enough.
God, it was fun. I
really had forgotten that I love this stuff. I’d forgotten the titillation and
excitement, and the nervous sizing-up from the other auditioners, and the
frantic reading of sides before your name is called, wondering if you’re
supposed to do an accent or not.
It was great. It’s less than 20 minutes of life, but it
pulled me back to center, away from the future-gazing, away from the
grief-feeling. I still feel off today, and that’s alright, but for a few
minutes yesterday, I got to do something I love doing, simply for the effort of
trying it. I got to meet other women trying it too, and have a coffee date to
pick one’s brain on the whole “Bay Area Theater Biz.”
It’s strange to get back to this again, this thing that I
just want to do because it’s fun and not because my life or income or goals
depend on it. It’s strange to just have the fun thing simply because it’s
fun. There’s no stepping stone here, no ladder, no life plan founded on it.
It’s an extraneous, avocational, extra-curricular dalliance, and isn’t that so needed right now?
I told you I’ve been thinking about getting back into
band-ing again, playing bass again. Simply for the same reason. I forgot what
it’s like to have fun. To do the things I find fun.
In this time that I’ve been “figuring out” my life and my
strategies and my goals, it’s been satisfying and reinforcing and relieving,
but it hasn’t been fun. In fact, it’s been hella lonely in some ways I don’t
get.
All work and no play, and all that.
But, without really intending to, every single day this past week, I spent time with women friends, mostly
long-established, report-having friends. It, too, reinforced something – that
combination of history and laughter and understanding and ease. It, too, brought me back to a sense of myself, a
little lost in the myopia of “life planning.”
I saw a friend’s post this morning that read, “There’s got
to be more to life than this.”
I replied aloud, “There is.”

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