How’m I ridin’? I’m ridin’ high… (Cole Porter, y’know)

Aside

This is one of those witching hours betwixt dark and dawn where I cannot seem to get my mind to settle enough to sleep. I feel overwhelmed. I feel thrilled. I feel blessed. I feel like I know who I am and it is who I always expected I would be, a self I have been fighting for the last year.

Truth time.

I am in love.

I am in love with my craft. I am in love with the stage. I am in love with this world that I am a part of.

It’s a heady feeling to come back into yourself. But there it is. I lost my heart to the theatre long ago and despite my scorning her for so long, she has welcomed me back with open arms and open heart.

I just wrapped a show where I played one of my dream roles. As is the case in every show I have done, this show has imparted in me some quality lessons. Just a sampling…

1. This whole sexy thing? I got this. I got this in spades. Doesn’t matter what size or shape I am. I can own it. And I do.

2. Onstage chemistry can’t be taught. It can be worked toward and improved over time, perhaps, but every once in awhile you get the chance to work with someone you just have an instant spark with and, voila, you make the magic happen. Every once in awhile you’re lucky to find someone that makes you forget you are acting. And it is a fucking headtrip of fantastic-ness to rock it out with them.

3. Sometimes it’s helpful to pick out the hardest person in the room to impress and make it your goal to get a rise out of that person before the show’s over. Maybe it works, maybe it doesn’t (frankly, jury’s still out on this one for me) but it gives you a focus because you know if you manage to impress this person then everyone else is going to be EATING IT UP.

4. The people who say you can’t go home again put too much stock in a geographical location. I came home again the second I stepped into that audition in December and I swear I hope I’m never silly enough to leave again.

Theatre can be a volatile mistress, but it seems safe to say that indeed “I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine.” I don’t think there can be anymore turning my back after this. It just feels too darn good to be my own best self.

“So ring bells, sing songs, blow horns, beat gongs,
Our love, never will die. How’m I ridin’? I’m ridin’ high…”

Sometimes I find profanity artistic

I’ve strayed a bit from the original premises of this here blog, so today I am getting back on track. A couple more mumbo jumbo blurbs about pretending to be a grown up.

1. You know how in high school everyone liked to point out what a crossroads you were at in your life and how all these paths were opening up right before your eyes. Well, that’s pretty much still true for a vast majority of us. We’re educated. We’re no longer matriculated. We’re getting married. We’re having babies. We’re doing all kinds of ostensibly grown up stuff. And yet, fuck if we have a clue what we’re doing. The crossroads are still there. Should I go for a different career path? Am I good enough? What’s more important, passion or a living salary? Should I eat the questionable chicken salad from the cafeteria for lunch or splurge on take-out? Pretty much, you’re still looking around going, “What the bloody hell am I going to do with my life?!?” (Listen, everything sounds better with a few British catch phrases thrown in.) Here’s the big difference. When you’re eighteen, you’re pretty clear on what you want from your life and there’s no way you’re ever going to have to settle. Settling is for losers. Nope, you got this baby. You’re going to be a STAR. And for the next several years you still believe that. And then comes reality. And reality goes something like, “Crap, I can’t pay my rent this month and I need a new pair of tap shoes/new camera/new manuscript paper/new insert whatever tool of the trade you need that is most expensive. And reality continues to press down on you for several years. Meanwhile, you pursue your goals maybe or you get a bit more educated maybe or you get a job and try to make the best of things. But that crossroads is always there. There’s always that little voice in the back of your head (at least in the back of mine) going “Screw this 9-5 nonsense. Dolly Parton knew it was a load of bollocks and you do too. You can walk out of this soul sucking corporate crap hole right this second and go be awesome somewhere! YOU ARE BETTER THAN THIS!” And darn it, that little voice is RIGHT! But that squeaky little sucker in the back of your head doesn’t pay for electricity and that’s where you’re stuck. At eighteen you can do anything you want. A few years later, the choices get a little tougher to make.

2. My friend C addressed this and I feel it’s worth making mention of. She referenced the bitchy divas we were at 20 in comparison to the current crop of bitchy 20 year old girls and was hopeful that we were at least not as bad as they are. Sorry, dear. We were worse. We were the cockiest bunch of prima donnas that ever strutted around our tiny little town. And, truthfully, we had every reason to be. We never paid for a single drink, danced our faces off all night, and generally woke up fresh faced the next day looking like butter wouldn’t melt in our red lipstick stained mouths. We DESERVED to be cocky. We were hot stuff for a one horse town. But, we also deserved to be humbled a little, and I kind of think that that is one of the most gracious parts of growing up a little. While I miss that sparkle like whoa sometimes, what I sure don’t miss is the devil may care attitude that we portrayed to the rest of the world. Because we did care. And the mighty (that is to say us) did fall. And it hurt like hell. And it grew us up. And we needed it. Because without all that glitter and without the falling we wouldn’t have managed to become the people we are. People that love and care and put others first and think about things so much more important than how to make it to every ladies night possible during the week. And that’s the part of growing up that actually kind of rocks a little. Because maybe we stop getting taller, but it seems to me that our hearts grew exponentially after our ungracious dethroning. (And let’s be real, if we could be bothered to spend 6hrs a day getting glittered and glammed, we could still give those bitchy divas a run for their money.) Moral of the story? I dunno. I guess that maybe it’s just a process and a few years from now those girls will be us, philosophizing and wondering if they’ve done the right things and bemoaning the fact that those jeans just don’t fit the way they used to. But if they’re lucky, they’ll have managed to hold onto the people that got through it with them and when it’s important, there will still be someone around to make them feel like queens.

Typical night of a future young lawyer

I just got out of the shower and observed a strange phenomenon upon drying off and getting dressed. I was sparkling. I was glittering. I was a one woman disco ball.

I was confused.

“Babe,” says I, “You didn’t happen to put something glittery in the laundry with the towels, did you?”

Jen- “No…”

Me- “Ok. Did I perhaps have a stroke I didn’t know about? Or did I get bit by a vampire?”

Jen- “No…”

Me- “But I’m sparkly. Like Edward Cullen in the sunlight sparkly. Like diamond powder dusted Tony nominee sparkly.”

Jen- “So you are.”

And more practically, says she, “What did you shower with?”

Me- “Nothing freaking sparkly! What the heck is wrong with me?!?”

Check shower gel.

Iridescent moisturizing blah blah blah.

Me- “Bastard ass shower gel manufacturers.”

But at least it wasn’t a stroke and Jen has also assured me that I am definitely not a ghost because ghosts don’t get head colds.

Moral of the story: It is more important to read your shower gel than to read Twilight.