(I know I haven’t been here in a while, but the one thing I hate more than not doing something I love is finding an excuse for why I’m not doing something I love. So I’m diving headfirst into this post. Happy happy 2013, Fairytanglers. Thank you for still reading/commenting/emailing/following when I have been less than accommodating. I wish I could make you all some buckeyes (Unless you have a peanut allergy and then I’ll make you something else. (Unless you’re gluten-free because then I’ll just have to buy you a candle.)))
Back in September, I was cast to be a part of the Sketchworks winter show (Which opens February 1st, you should totally go) and was supremely excited. The winter show has always been my favorite show to do, mainly because of my major post-holiday blues and because the director is the bee’s knees. My favorite roles at Sketchworks have been the ones she’s either cast me in or written herself and she was the person who gave me my first “big break” with the mainstage players back in 2009. I had just finished my second sketch comedy class, which is kind of like the “minor leagues” for the Sketchworks mainstagers and was desperately hoping I would be asked to become a full-fledged cast member. That December of 2008, she emailed me, offering me some small parts in her January show and that was the start of my “career” with Sketchworks.
Fast forward to this past December when I find myself married with two children and living in Yatesville, Georgia (Population: 408 and its biggest claim to fame is the Chitlin’ Hoedown (I KNOW OMG I CAN’T WAIT TO GO THIS YEAR)). I am sixty miles away from my hometown and am spending my days sweeping the crunchiest of leaves out of the foyer, perusing my family cookbook for dinner recipes, playing baseball in our new, huge front yard with the kids, holding the puppy Santa Claus brought us to my chest as my husband builds a bonfire, sewing tiny aprons to sell and being a little Suzie Homemaker.
To some, that sounds pretty trite and boring, I guess. Three years ago, I might’ve thought the same thing (I can’t be sure though because I’ve always wanted to be a 1950s mama), but now? This is what fills me with joy. It’s not the only thing of course, but that’s the point. Three years ago, acting and theater and being on stage was all I thought I needed to be happy and whenever I tried a different hobby or decided to do something else (Like read a book or study French) instead of studying lines, I scolded myself. I told myself that I needed to be 100% focused, that if there was anything I loved more than acting, then I needed to do that instead. I stuck myself in a tiny, tiny box and then felt immensely guilty for being a little burned out on my “only” hobby/profession/love.
The past few weeks, I’ve been kind of dreading the new Sketchworks show. I haven’t been excited about the drive and the strain it would have on my wallet (144 miles roundtrip), but I also haven’t been excited about missing out on my life for two nights a week just yet. I like being here when David comes home, dinner on the stove and the kitchen mopped. I like picking up the kids on Thursday afternoons, making play-doh dresses with Chloe and reading bedtime stories to Trey. I like waking up in the morning, the day stretching before me with so much promise that I am almost shaking with glee as I make coffee. I like this life I lead now and I’m not quite ready to give parts of it up just yet.
(I feel like I should say right here that I still love acting and theater (They are really my first loves, along with movies and books and writing and oh, a million other things), but I’m not quite ready to leave my little nest yet. Give me three months and I’ll have my own theater company up and running (Shhh, more on that later (PARENTHESES))))
BUT! I talked to David and decided to stay in the show because a) I already committed to it and one thing I’m really working on for 2013 is meaning what I say and saying what I mean and b) I knew that leaving would suck and seeing David make pizza for the kids on a Saturday night while I rush off for a show would make me sad, but that once I was on stage, I would relish that part of me. I would soak it in and let every single beam of stage lights rejuvenate me, energize me and bring me joy the same way cooking a big family dinner does. I started to get excited again, added rehearsal dates to my calendar and moved Trey’s fourth birthday party up two hours so I could enjoy it all before rushing off to a show.
Then I checked my email and saw that my director had asked me to call her. Long story short, this show is slim on female roles and really heavy on the male ones which means that the female cast members (four of us) only have one or two lead roles a piece and then we are extras or fill-ins. I really, really admire her for telling me this rather than letting me come to rehearsal and find out that I have little to do in the show. That sounds totally egotistical, I know, but really, when you’re an actor and when you’re not a “newbie” anymore, size (when it comes to roles that is) matters. Especially when you’re driving 144 miles two nights week and missing out on your new husband and new babies and oh, everything.
So when she offered me an out? I told her I would think about it. And then a few hours later, I emailed her and said “thanks, but no thanks”. She was right. I’m a newlywed with far too long to drive for something that isn’t going to fulfill me as much as I want it to. I have babies to make (“and bread to bake” – her words) and plenty to keep me busy and happy until the next show (or the next theatre company I find down here in the south).
The funny thing is how relieved I feel. How happy it makes me that I’m not rushing off to rehearsal tonight. And what makes me even happier is NOT feeling like that means I’ve given up on my dreams and passions. All it really means is that I have lots of things going on to give me a happy, fulfilled life and oh, what a wonderful feeling. Some people live their whole lives waiting on something to make everything better and while I do have other things to accomplish, things to work for, things to have in the next six months, I am content. I am happy and content and doing a little dance in the kitchen every day.
Before I got off the phone with her, my director (I should just say my friend, Jen) said that she, and another writer from Sketchworks, were talking about me the other day. The other writer said “I think Sam is the happiest person I know”.
What a wonderful thing to be known for, you guys (Totally added “you guys” so I wouldn’t end on a preposition, duh (Don’t look through this post, I’m sure I’ve done it a thousand times before)). What a wonderful world this is. Feeling super, super grateful on the second day of a brand new year. A new year that’s going to see my business start, my writing become much more frequent and my family, hopefully, grow.
Happy 2013, Fairytanglers. Do what makes you happy, no matter how small or trivial it may seem.