Krissie: The Actress

The play is finally over, and I’m exhausted, of course. It was a wonderful, depressing, fabulous, frustrating, joyful time. I just want to curl up in bed and never leave, but now everything feels empty up here until next year. There’s such community in theater – community that disappears as people go back to their day jobs and what draws us together is finished.

I acted. It was interested, as performances went by I actually expanded into the role: sometimes I’d emphasize one line, sometimes another, depending on how my character was feeling. It was almost like a playground, where I could experiment and try things as long as I kept within the boundaries. Almost like writing genre fiction. I love the framework, and then going wherever I want within it. The same with acting.

Except … I had a horrible time remembering lines until I dropped my Lyrica. I don’t know if that was it or whether the finally just reached another level in my brain, but it was the most frustrating thing. I’d never worked so hard at something and then failed. I’m not a perfectionist — I usually accept failure with sang-froid because one cannot be brilliant at everything. But I would have the lines down pat and then suddenly draw a blank onstage.

It also might be that acting brought me back to my fourteen year old self, who was very vulnerable, so it raked old wounds.

But it was glorious as well! Everyone was wonderful in it — the young man who played Billy Bigelow brought a vulnerability beneath the bluster and it changed the entire play.

The work isn’t quite over. I have to help get the costumes ready to return, I have to help sell books at the Writers’ Forum. Next week I’m free?

Never. Too many other things weighing me down. But the only way to deal with these thing is to keep moving, which is what I’ll do. I’ll finish the book today. I’ll go see Sally. I’ll curl up in a tiny ball.

I need just a little bit of peace, and I can’t find it.

Krissie: Another Funeral, Another Show

Seriously. There was a benefit dinner and show last night for GAAR (the Greensboro Arts Alliance & Registry) and it was utterly fabulous. We had David and CJ, Charlie and an astonishingly talented young woman from the area play Shakespeare’s lovers, and it was funny, riveting, romantic. I’d forgotten just how much I loved Shakespeare. I’d also forgotten that back in my youth I memorized both “To Be Or Not To Be” and the entire balcony scene from “Romeo and Juliet.” Ah, youth.
There was one troublesome thing about it, though.
Charlie is 24 years old, the son of the director of GAAR, and he’s darling. He was the assistant stage manager in TSOM, as well as the priest and a a Nazi, he was on Broadway by the time he was seven, and he was the one who chose the selections and acted in half of them. He was brilliant. He went from Romeo to Richard the Third to Lysander, all of them funny and sly and charming (yes, even Shakespeare’s evil Richard had a certain reptilian charm).(And guess who I found the hottest? How well do you know me?)
Anyway, Charlie’s going to be a doctor. He wants a normal life, a wife and children, he’ll probably do family practice or pediatrics (not going for mega-bucks). He’s level-headed and sweet and hard-working.
But his gift! (She wails). Not for me to judge — I’m sure he’ll find his balance in the long-run. Having grown up in the business, he has a more jaundiced view of what life in the theater involves. He’s wise for his age (well, wise for any age), and he’ll make the right choices for him. It’s just that he was sooo good, and the thought of him throwing that away …
He’s not throwing it away. He’ll be saving lives. Except, of course, I believe that art has the ability to save lives. Gotta hope and believe it’ll work out as it should.

And then, for the third week in a row we have a funeral. Three weeks ago we buried my mother. Last week it was Uncle Walter. Today it’s Francy, a sweet, sweet woman who was a dear friend of both Richie’s Aunt Alice and my Aunt Emilie. She had a long, valiant fight with cancer, and was lucky enough to be able to make it up here to spend her last weeks, and after a lot of pain she went quickly and peacefully.
But I’m just not sure I can face another funeral. At least this one is in the church, not at the graveside. But in a way that might be even worse — since I didn’t have a church service it might just let the floodgates loose.
It’s about 70 degrees with a breeze and a clear blue sky. I want to be outdoors. So that’s what I’ll do.
Self-care. My god, isn’t that a major part of Reinventing one’s Fabulousness? And how often do I do it? Not very.
Another sign that this is really working.