Over a year ago, I had a very scary health scare that caused me to reconsider several things in my life. One of them was how I was going to finally turn the corner on my exercise and weight loss goals. Since then I have not done much to actually get around that corner. But this week has made a change and that is what I want to discuss now.
At that time, I discussed with my wife some of the things that have made it hard for me to make the changes that I need to make in my life. I think one of the biggest excuses I use it my lack of time. I am always running to some rehearsal or other thing that takes me away from my family, my church duties and the need I have to make changes in my life. Fast food has become too easy to consume and is crutch that further burdens my life. I have had a few other things that have brought me to this decision that I am sharing with you now. I have had a couple of theater experiences that have made me realize that if I want to continue to do the things I love onstage, I need to make a huge change in my life. One was directing the Christmas show for Salty Dinner Theater. I loved that show, and I had a fantastic cast. I think it was one of the best shows Salty has done. 90% of that due to an amazing group of actors that have been wonderful to work with and that I love. But I found my enjoyment levels were lacking. I was not getting the rush from performing. I hate dragging my bulk around the stage and trying to wedge my way between guests and not disrupt their enjoyment of the show. Now I realize that I may be hyper sensitive to the experience and it may bother me more than it does the patrons, but when I’m experiencing anxiety attacks over it at home, it’s not a good thing.
The other was auditioning for a great director for a classic play and feeling so good about the audition and then not getting it. Not only not getting it, but not hearing about it until weeks after casting was announced. I don’t hold the director responsible. I’m sure there was a breakdown of communication. I’m also pretty sure that I probably wouldn’t have been cast anyway, but I’m sure one drawback was my size. I know that working with him this last summer it wasn’t great hauling my fat ass around in the summer heat on an outdoor stage. And I know that my fellow actors, though they may not say it to my face, can’t be happy that they have to make so many accommodations for me.
So, to better take care of myself, and to save myself the humiliation that I feel every time I get onstage, I have decided that I’m taking a year off (or more) from acting. I’ll do the operas that I have committed to, and should anyone want me to direct a show for them I’ll gladly do that, but I’m not going to audition or act in anything else for a while. I just need to get myself in a better head space before I can do any more acting.
I did accomplish one small victory this week. I walked from work to the opera rehearsal. Five and a half blocks. Now that may not sound like much, but that’s about 1/2 to 2/3 of a mile in Salt Lake blocks. And I did it in the freezing cold and in about 20 minutes. I was taking it very slow, but I did it. I was dripping wet when I got there, but I did it. And this week I am hitting the train and walking to work and rehearsal every day. It has to start somewhere and sometime, and that is here and now.
I also got a very encouraging message from a friend halfway around the world. She was very sweet and kind and gave me loads of encouragement. Every comment and every good wish makes a world of difference to me, and that really shot me full of hope. Thanks, Cydney!
So there it is. My New Year’s resolution if to take the train and walk to rehearsal this month. I’m making monthly resolutions this year and that way I know that if I have a problem with the month, there is always a new resolution next month. Hopefully those fat Tonys around the page here will be memories soon, and not just more reality.
Quotes of the week:
“Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any other.” – Abraham Lincoln
“How few there are who have courage enough to own their faults, or resolution enough to mend them.” – Benjamin Franklin
“The changes in our life must come from the impossibility to live otherwise than according to the demands of our conscience not from our mental resolution to try a new form of life.” – Leo Tolstoy