Currently, I am on my seventh week of antibiotics and finally starting to feel human again. But I am suspicious of some of the side effects of this much medication (latest count 8/day ). I seem to feel absolutely INSANE. You know it's bad when you have to take medications to counteract the side-effects of other medications.
|A cornucopia of pills!|
But, the purpose of this post is not, I repeat, NOT, to bitch and moan about the state of my health or lack thereof, but rather to draw attention to the other event in my life that is making me sick to my stomach: The imminent arrival of my show.
That's right, this reformed actress is taking to the stage for the first time in 9 years.
HOLY FUCKING SHIT CRAP DAMN.
in case you didn't get that: HOLY FUCKING SHIT CRAP DAMN!!!!!
There was a time in my life (before children) when being onstage was about as common for me as breathing. It is what I did and it defined Who I Was. In fact I did not celebrate my birthday on my birthday for a full decade because every single October 19th for ten years I was on stage or in a rehearsal.
|Those teeth! That hair! Those...PANTS!|
When I left the DC theater scene it was time for me to go. In retrospect, I can see that I was on the brink of losing myself completely to the person that everyone else reflected back at me. I had spent over a decade defining myself by someone else's standards: casting directors, writers, directors, producers, audiences... Once those voices were removed, the quiet that followed brought me to my knees.
In fact, leaving the theater to become a full-time mom to a special-needs child caused me to have an identity crisis so strong it literally took me almost 2 years to recover. Who was I without a character to play and without lines to interpret? Who was I without costumes, make up, lights? Who was I without an audience and applause? Who was I ? Did I like me? Would anyone else like me? Would I cease to be special? Did I have anything interesting to say? Would I cease to be heard without a microphone?
|Those teeth! That hair! Those PJs!|
Then, after seven years, two babies, and three houses, one of my closest friends, a non-theater person, who I had met in my suburban neighborhood and whose eldest son went to special-ed preschool with my son and whose younger kids went to preschool with my daughter, a woman who understood and liked me for who I was as a person outside of any judgment or reflection, told me she had decided to take a leap of faith and produce a show called Listen To Your Mother.
You see, my friend is an incredible writer. She is very active in the blogging community and had heard about a show created by blogger, humorist, and actress, Ann Imig. In 2010, Ann decided to marry her passions of writing, motherhood and theater to create a show about Motherhood. She wanted to "give motherhood a microphone." The show, Listen To Your Mother was a huge success. Over the next few years, the show spread to more and more cities until this year Listen to Your Mother is in 24 cities nationwide. My friend, Kate, is the brave soul who decided to bring the show to DC.
Kate encouraged me to audition in 2012, but the caveat was, I had to write my own piece. Everyone in the show writes their own essay about motherhood to perform.
Just the thought of it made me feel a little crazy.
My palms got sweaty. My stomach did flip-flops. Finally, I balked. I just could not do it. I did not think I had anything of worth to say. Anything I would want to explore would be too private or too boring, or too....
I did not audition. I did however, go to see the show, and it changed my life.
The first thing was The Smell.
There is a smell that permeates all theaters, no matter the size, shape or venue. It is THAT SMELL.
Then there were The Lights.
But most importantly, there were the Brave and Fearless Performers who Spoke their truths about Motherhood.
You see, Motherhood ain't easy. It is utterly unappreciated. To this day, I struggle to do it well, or "right" or best. And I feel alone most days.
But in that theater during the 2012 Listen to Your Mother DC show, I was not alone. I was part of a beautiful, brave, fearsome sisterhood of Mothers, and I discovered that no matter how perfect they seemed on the outside, they were just as full of fear, hope, love, laughter, tears and doubts as I was.
We NEEDED each other. I NEEDED THEM. And I found them, in a theater.
This year, I wrote a piece. I auditioned with over 50 others, and the director selected me to tell my story. Immediately after my audition, I finally started the blog that Kate had been urging me to start for several years...this blog. I was full of hope. I finally, finally felt whole again after so long. I believe, no matter what comes after this year's LTYM DC performance, I have changed. Two sides of me have come together. The performer and the Mom. The big difference is I am speaking my truth about my life. I have my own microphone.
Synetic Theater at Crystal City
1800 South Bell Street
Arlington, VA 22202