October 3, 2011

I digress...and digress.....

This post is not necessarily about parenting or motherhood, or my newborn.  Just something that weighs on my mind periodically.

Amy, me and Jen
 I was a theater major in college.  A sure sign of not knowing myself well enough at all.  I knew that I truly loved the craft--everything about it; and I went to a small enough college that I was afforded the opportunity to both act and design.

Matt, K.Lee and Gina

I learned enough about it to understand that it wasn't a dumbed down choice.  The theater arts are incredibly demanding and time-consuming, requiring the "practice" and preparation of sports athletes along with the studiousness of scholars--and can be just as physically and mentally taxing as each, usually at the same time.  (I still marvel at how I functioned in those several years:  working nearly full time, commuting 45 minutes to and from school, taking a full course load and going to rehearsal four or five nights a week until 10 or 11 pm.  Not to mention going to a club two to four nights a week.)

Me and Steve in The Crucible
What I didn't know was that I wasn't the kind of person who could make a good living at it. Not because I wasn't good at it, but because I was not ambitious enough (or confident enough) to go "pound the pavement" in the city.  Also I didn't have any experience waitressing.  But seriously so many of my "old theater friends" (as I fondly remember them) still do it.  They are actors, and teachers, or even serious "hobbyists" (for lack of a better word) who still practice the craft which is their livelihood, or the subject of it, or at least a part of their lives.  The best I have done lately is to bring my kids to a series of small, local original children's theater productions done at the University in town.  And I'm not knocking that at all, I'm kind of knocking myself for not being more involved in something I truly love but have never made the time for in years.

The Room and the World (Stockton)
Me and Wavey Davey (ACC)

I did think there was a place for it in my life at one time, even after my "real life" as a mom began.  My last serious foray into theater was nine years ago when Moo was a baby and I trudged up to stay at a friend's place in Hoboken.  Lugged my 7-month-old and her stroller and "stuff" (which was probably considerable since she was my first baby and as every first-time mother knows, you can never be over-prepared for ANY eventuality) onto a bus into New York City to do the lighting for a one-man show off off Broadway.  The show was pretty successful as I remember, although I wasn't afforded the opportunity to move with it to a larger theater as I'm sure the director was probably not impressed with my tiny assistant who cried, chewed on the lighting gels and needed to be nursed every so often in the middle of the actual work I was trying to accomplish on the production.  I clearly remember at one point being at the top of a ladder working while she toppled over and hit her head on the stage.  Good times.

Hypolita from Midsummer
Me and Dan

It also pains me to even write this, but I let one of the director's students (she was a professor somewhere) whom she brought along as childcare, take my infant out for walks in the city and to a nearby playground.  The fact that she was a literal stranger still haunts me.  Possibly starving college student, quite likely short on cash?  I'm lucky Moo wasn't sold to the first bidder.  I still can't figure out why I trusted the whole set-up.  I'd like to think my mother's instinct assured me that my baby was safe.  It's more likely that my desperation to prove that I could get the job done overrode my better judgement, or at least overrode my super-anal, overprotective-new-mother-ness.  Needless to say, my daughter was and is fine.  A thriving almost-ten-year-old with her own brand of drama; she can practically cry on cue.


So it seems in this digressive post, I have digressed from my digression from parenting into parenting.  Kind of.  And if that made any sense to you at all, you must have a school-aged child who talks in circles to you daily.  However, I did have a point in my original topic.  As I remember growing up, I don't recall having anything I was particularly passionate about.  I was a straight-A student, I wasn't athletic but did try softball and tennis, I dabbled in Girl Scouts for a few years, I loved art and drawing as hobbies.  I was an elementary Jill of many trades, mistress of none.

with Larry (GCSDW summer theater) 

I often think about my path into theater because it was the first time I found something that I truly loved, and not from a child's perspective.  It was hard work yet I still loved it.  I hope that my children find something that they love and are passionate enough about to pursue, that won't someday look back upon as a digression of sorts.

almost a princess (BLT)

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