When I am a part of a theater production – whether I am directing, onstage, in the pit or whatever – there is the moment when I walk into the theater (ANY theater) and it’s as though the air whispers, “Welcome home.” It is in that moment that who I am and what I am doing are most perfectly aligned. But when I try to explain that to others, they think I’m crazy!
The sad fact is, it’s taken me until recently to get to the point where I can say that I love being involved in the world of theater and feel no measure of shame. In our “results obsessed” society, we tend to devalue those activities that don’t provide the main source of our income or serve to advance us professionally. People have asked me questions like, “Are you ever going to give up this theater nonsense?” or “Will you ever outgrow your theater hobby?” The shortest, simplest answer? No. My involvement in the theater predates my roles as wife and mother. Now, I LOVE my man and my kids. Like, “I-would-take-a-bullet-for-them” kind of love. But holding on to my theater involvement allows me to hold on to a part of me that has been uniquely mine since before my life was abundantly blessed by marriage and motherhood.
People tell me that theater productions take lots of time. Yeah. I know that. I’ve kind of lived it repeatedly. But I am most authentically “me” when I am involved in a theatrical production. My God-given design hums with joy every time I walk into an audition, a rehearsal or a performance. I get lost for hours on end when I am working on my staging/blocking plans for a new show. Even the exhaustion of tech week is a happy experience for me. I know. I’m weird.
So at the ripe old age of 45, I am putting this out there as a general announcement: I LOVE every part of being involved in a theatrical production. Even the frustrating moments. I will continue to “go and play” as long as I am physically able and I refuse to justify it any longer and I CERTAINLY will not feel guilty anymore! If that doesn’t make sense to you, it’s okay. It doesn’t have to.