Sunday, April 17, 2011

So, Jacob just came out of the bath wrapped in a towel, walked into the kitchen and over to me at the table, (where I sat, beginning to type something on this empty page.) He tripped over the leg of the chair and caught himself on the table, almost with his head. The first thing out of his mouth was "It's a good thing we put this table here, otherwise I could have fallen and cracked my head on the floor." Man, I love that positive thinking child, he may save me yet. 8 out 9 people (in my house) would have complained about the placement of the chairs and table because if they weren't there, we wouldn't have tripped. But, not Jacob...
I've missed writing. Well, maybe it's not the writing as much as it is the altered perspective of looking for something to write about when going about my day. It's one thing to go about wandering from chore to chore, or activity to activity, and just doing it to get it done (or not). It's an entirely different thing going through the day finding chaos and saying, this would make a great story. It changed my whole outlook. I miss that about myself. I've been on vacation for a while...from normal things anyway. I had the opportunity to play the character of *Milly* in "Seven Brides for Seven Brothers". It was a wonderful experience. To be honest there wasn't one second of the rehearsals or performances that I didn't absolutely love. For the last 13 years I have been content to say, "I can direct. I'm fine organizing and putting stuff together and making stuff up and directing everybody else..." but guess what, I'm an actor. Plain and simple. Well, OK maybe not so plain and simple (if you're my husband). Jason came to a rehearsal one night and commented that he hadn't seen "that girl" since before we got married...My only explanation is that I was doing what I love to do. Not only that but I am an extremely social creature. So, being with a bunch of people that feel the same way about performing and music and being "social" was refreshing to my soul.
The following question has arisen more than once in my life. "Why do you do what you do?" as far as performing goes..."I don't get it." this usually comes from the more logically left brained people. They don't understand the weeks and days and hours of preparation, for what turns out to be 2 or 3 performances of a 2 hour show. The time ratio is comparable to preparing a solo or musical number. Hours of practice for 3 to 5 minutes of song. I've questioned this a few times myself. And in the last week I have culminated years worth of tiny answers into one giant explanation. and here it is... First the explanation of why the time for preparation. When I first started performing, I used to practice just so I didn't look like an idiot. I didn't want to be judged for doing a *bad* job. I was concerned for what people thought of me. This was how it was for years. then something happened as I focused all of my attention on just singing; for church, firesides, and conferences. I started to realize the importance of being as prepared as I could possibly be so that I, as a performer, would not be seen. I wanted to be a messenger. A doorway, not a road block. If my performance was the best I could make it, I would not get in the way of the Spirit. Make sense? Does to me, guess that's all that matters. When I started to sing with the Museum Singers, (that's the 12 piece ladies group that I have been with for a year and a half) We didn't sing sacred music. and I got confused. Asking questions such as "why am I doing this?" (other than to get out of the house once a week) "Belonging" to the Washakie Museum is not always an artists dream come true. They are out to make money. I get it. But I am volunteering my time and talents. This is not something that I do lightly. While my issues with them and the *way they do things* could write a post of its own I choose not to continue 'cause that's not where I was headed. Back to the whole Singers thing. I learned that while I wasn't just singing sacred/gospel focused music, I was enjoying the music I singing and I enjoyed the company I kept. It was nice to be surrounded by women of many Faiths. To realize that they had love and respect for our Father in Heaven and Jesus Christ, like I did. So, that helped me grow. and I was singing and my voice was growing. Good stuff.
Then came along 7B47B. as it became fondly known to us. I have never done a full scale musical, let alone been the lead. I jumped in with both feet, hands, head and heart and gave it all I had. And it worked. It was great. I fell in love with acting again. and guess what? it's SO much easier now. I'm not afraid. I don't get nervous anymore. I feel more confident in so many ways. Mostly because I have learned that real life is way bigger than what the guy in the 3rd row thought of my performance. All of that learned made it a pleasurable experience. Now, to the question of "What does it Matter?"
I had a lady come up to me the day after she saw the show and she said to me "I went away a better person for seeing that show. It was very uplifting." and that was the answer. If I can "serve" people by doing what I love and have a passion for, isn't that enough? If I can help you escape, or dream, or smile, or cry, or connect with some sort of emotion that you haven't felt in forever, isn't that enough? If I put hours of time and effort in to preparing something so that for just a little while you can feel again, in a safe environment, isn't that enough? It's like therapy without you having to air your dirty laundry. And that's what it is...
Now there is another side to the right brained creative thinkers. The key is in those last three words I just typed. Creative or Create. God (the Creator) gave us the opportunity to come to Earth to learn explore and Create for ourselves. He didn't finish everything for us. Every time I sing, draw, paint, act, play the piano, play with the kids, I am creating. Even if it is repeating something over and over. No note is ever played or sung, and no line is ever delivered EXACTLY the same, it all gets created over again, it's a beautiful thought. It's the next best thing to creating little bodies for those little spirits to come and live in. If you're not familiar with LDS lingo, It's the next best thing to having kids. Which in itself is the most "God like" thing we can do on Earth. Create something out of practically nothing. How cool is that. So, in our natural design to be more like our Father in Heaven, we long to create, well, some of us do anyway. I filled that need for about 16 years, creating little people. That time had passed. my need to create wasn't being filled as drastically as it had been and I felt useless. Until I figured out all of that stuff up there. I don't feel the need to defend myself as a performer any more. God did not give me the talents he did for nothing. They are purposeful, and wonderful and I am grateful. whether everybody "gets it" or not.