All of us might wish at times that we lived in a more tranquil world, but we don't. And if our times are difficult and perplexing, so are they challenging and filled with opportunity.

Robert Kennedy

Saturday, November 3, 2012

What good is sitting alone in your room...

I am a theater person. Have been since I was a wee child since my Mom first put me on the stage. I love everything about it. But, as with everything, there are pros and cons.


  • Growing up learning life lessons from movie musicals.
  • Finding strange people just like yourself to relate to.
  • When math and science don't make sense, finding something that actually does.
  • As an actor, transforming into someone completely different to forget reality for a few hours.
  • As an audience member, losing yourself in someone else's story.
  • As a director, watching scared auditioners turn into superstars 6 weeks later.
  • Becoming skilled at poker faces when you can't react in the moment to strange situations.
  • The ability to completely tune out of situations by going somewhere else in your brain.
  • The exhilaration of curtain calls whether your bowing or applauding.
  • Finding generic things to comment on when you've witnessed people you love in horrid productions.
  • When listening to music, staging it in your head.
  • Noticing artistic elements of stage and movies that are tribute to connoisseurs. I can often be found saying "oh NIIIICE back-lighting, there."
I could go on and on about the pros of having an artistic background and majoring in theatre in college and loving music and dance and being truly grateful that I grew up in an artistic family yada yada yada.
Only recently, have I noticed the cons of being this type of personality. Through a series of very strange events, I have noticed just how much I plan events in my mind. I tend to 'stage' different scenarios or rehearse reactions so that I am prepared for what may come at me. I'm sure it stems from my 'control-freak' problem that I want to be prepared for any possible outcome. The problem is, here in Moldova, and probably mostly everywhere, it's pretty rare that you can predict an outcome or more to the point, predict others actions or reactions. To top all that off, I can't be as eloquent with my words in Russian so even though in my head I sound like Jon Stewart sounding off against Fox and Friends, I wind up sounding like a 4 year old trying to negotiate an extra cookie. It's exhausting. And I am always disappointed, rarely pleasantly surprised. Because I have inadvertently created a series of un-meetable expectations and unless I have an untapped psychic ability, it just isn't going to happen. It's so easy to say 'relax...whatever will be will be' and yet in the moment, you really want to be prepared. I want to have to cool one liner that is delivered like in a perfect theatrical moment that leaves the audience oohing and aahing. But, I can't. Because I'm not living off an Aaron Sorkin script here, unfortunately, I am stuck in reality. I'm in a constant state of improv, every actor's nightmare. I stopped being an actor in the late 90's and transformed into a director. Every director is a control freak, they have to be to get anything done. And that somehow transfers into real life. I'm not sure when it happened, but it did. I went from being an easy going actor into an OCD riddled control freak. Life here is anything but in control. There is an entire gamut of emotions in play every single day and it is emotionally exhausting. 
And now I'm caught in the middle of a long stream of consciousness about diagnosing this do I get out of it? The condition and the stream? These are just late night revelations that come to me as I can't sleep. Things I do know? I miss my family and hope they're all okay during this crappy storm that has hit the Eastern seaborne. And even though some of my friends here have really disappointed me here in the last week or so, I am truly grateful for the lessons I have learned. They are certainly ones I will never forget.

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