This last weekend I had the distinct pleasure of reconnecting with my first round of theater people. I was invited to have wine and munchies with some ladies from High School, and it was a wonderful night. To reconnect with that part of me that longs to be called ” Theater People” . What an honor that would be.
My love of theater goes back to high school (or maybe that film version of Cinderella with Leslie Anne Warren) None the less I have spent much of my life admiring those who take the stage and live out their dreams. I briefly entered the arena in high school where I proudly played an Indian in Peter Pan. Yes, Red headed Indian. I had my ugh, ooh, waah, eee down pat!
That was the humble beginning and end of a career in the lights (maybe I will resume in retirement, you never know. ) My love of acting has never ended, I just kept it under wraps in my heart. I worship these funny , brave warriors of art from the balcony. I still do.
I remained mesmerized by talent and the fearless courage it takes to get on stage and yes I applaud it. Until my hands are raw.
About 3 years ago I met a man who took me to New York, not as a tourist as I previously was, but hanging with the natives. I went to see a musical and it allowed us on stage (almost) during the preshow. The entire magical experience left me speechless, yes I know hard to imagine, but I think it was the sheer magic of seeing live actors on stage.
Watching them before my eyes, become the characters on the paper. It was breathtaking.
Since that time I have had the honor of meeting a few wonderful actors, actresses, and directors and I continue to live vicariously through each and every one. I try very hard to not look like a deer in the headlights when I meet people, but am not always successful. They live a life I wish I had the courage to take on. I watch as they exhaust themselves for a character and marvel at the changes in emotion they toil through scene after scene, my heart hurts when they publicly lose members of their extended family and how it tears at their souls while they are being resilient in the face of the public. Theater people band together when tragedy strikes and when victory arises. It happens at all levels, community theater, Broadway, Chicago, and more.
They constantly reinvent themselves. They are actors who become photographers, who become dancers, who become musicians. I know my view is rose colored and success is not an easy trail. But perhaps, it is in the viewing of success that we fail.
As an outsider to the actors life, I think success is in every performance, every time someone laughs or cries is a success, sharing your creativity is a gift. Every bit of applause is appreciation of your struggle to live the life you have chosen no matter how hard or unforgiving. You want it, you take a chance. The ones I have been honored to meet are hard working, real people. Unconventional yes, but warm, caring and welcoming.
I say thank you and bless you for having the fortitude to be an actor. As for me, I live out mine at the occasional karaoke night, acting as though I can sing and sometimes I even get applause.
Until Next Time,