20 February 2009
Anxiety ANXIETY Anxiety
Yeah. The dreaded A-word. That one what doth top off my list of topics more often than I'd like. There are some occasions for which I'm sure it would not surprise you, Dear Reader, that I experience my share of stress. Under-rehearsed show openings, callbacks with prominent theatre artists and just auditions in general. Then again, there's one I probably haven't written much of -- namely, the return to NYC after a long-term gig has taken me away.
Last night I had not one, but two anxiety dreams, both closely related to the fears associated with returning to the city and my more-regular life after I've spent some time acclimated to the good life. Keep in mind, "the good life" dangles me over a cliff of poverty, taunts me with creative failure at every turn and has its own share of stress. Yet somehow, the thought of returning to el day jobo and the verities of (big) city life manages to top any of that. It tops it, turns it around three times and kicks it out the door by its reproductive organs. It's awful, frankly. Mostly, I think, because it's laced with reminders of the compromises I have still to make in order to make this triple-life work for me. I crave integration now just as much as I did as a freshly graduated BFA holder. More, perhaps, because now I understand how sweet it could be, and how rough, too.
I haven't a whole lot to complain about, from one perspective. And I dearly love returning to better food, somewhat more fiscal compensation and, of course, my much-missed wife and friends. And heck (AND tarnation), there are no surprises here. I'm good at NYC at this point. I got my technique down and everything. My fellow artists will understand the frustration of tasting, just tasting, the possibility of sustaining one's life doing what one loves. Wherefore anxiety? Why not anger, or sorrow, or something more productive? I have no ready answer. My theory is that it springs from the aspect of less-than-welcome change. I'd probably do better with it if I could embrace it as opportunity. It doesn't have to be a reminder of what I don't have. I need to work on this.
In the meantime, the final showings of The Very Nearly Perfect Comedy of Romeo & Juliet gallop apace. This show has definitely infected me with a Shakespeare bug. I'm planning to read more of W.S. for a bit when I get back to the city, feeling very connected to the amazing, functional poetry of it. Last night we had a pleasant surprise in our audience in the forms of a former Zuppa actor and friend of the troupe. Erin McMonagle and Seth Reichgott visited from BTE, where they are rehearsing Leading Ladies. They had effusively nice things to say about our work, which is always welcome from fellow theatre artists, particularly those you particularly respect. We visited ever-so-briefly after the show before they needed to get back to Bloomsberg, but it was loverly. I hope I get to work with Erin again, and Seth for the first time, soon.
Some of my anxiety over the end of the show, and the re-entry to the day job, has been mitigated into productivity. I've arranged to meet with Friend Cody to discuss a regular acrobatics/balance group, and intend to spend a good deal of my time once back in sending out headshots and auditioning, perhaps for more Shakespeare. I usually have the best intentions for setting my best foot forward when I return to my home base, then wallow in adjusting to my return and feeling (quite frankly) sorry for myself. So it is my fervent hope that making appointments and such will keep me out of such nonsense this time around. Dang it, I like this work. Why lag, much less stop? I don't need a vacation. I need a never-ending trip, and I am my own events coordinator.
Hm. Maybe I should have been an author of self-help books, instead.