“… and feel safe within the confines of the theatre.” Helen Hayes
Over the weekend, when I was feeling the effects of something not normal in my intestinal tract, I slept a lot – weird sleep during the day, with weird dreams, one of which involved my being accepted to RADA to study acting. When I woke up, I realized that this was a most peculiar dream to have had in many ways, starting with me acting!
Although I have done some – school, amateur and (journeyman) professional – I am limited in my skills and repertoire as an actor. If I had any real skill or desire to act, I would not necessarily think about applying to RADA to learn more and certainly not so at any point over 23 years of age. And if I get back into theatre, I will be making a much greater effort to be a better producer because that’s my metier – I really enjoy producing.
And that’s when I realized I said “if”. No, no, I said, “when”. I mean “when”…..
I spent a couple of hours this morning talking theatre with a bright young man. His name is Tim Porter, his theatre company is IANA Theatre Co., he’s a working actor who sings, dances, directs, produces & teaches, and if you’re hiring, bring him in for an audition.
Tim worked with me last year – not that I saw much of him as he was off-site with several large groups of active small children learning about theatre and having fun – and I was struck right away with his can-do attitude and enthusiasm. It’s a hallmark of all really good theatre people. They’re the ones who want to do the most, accomplish the most, because it’s the most important thing to them. Their passion and their faith in themselves and this wonderful, horrible, exciting, draining career path they’ve chosen is infectious. I cannot tell you how good it felt to share that time with Tim, and remember for myself why I love working in theatre so much
And yet… And yet….
As I have been exploring the working world again, I’ve had interviews and meetings with people in other cultural sectors and even other industries and I have been excited by them, as well. I see how much they enjoy that work, that business, and I wonder yet again why, why, why do I keep letting theatre break my heart? Not to mention the con job it’s done on my bank account!
Alex Mustakas spoke at our mutual alma mater today, spoke to the Board of Governors and Senators, and whoever else was free to drop by and listen to a fascinating theatre entrepreneur. Alex, if you don’t know, is the emperor in the Drayton Entertainment empire. He’s been chasing the theatre dream for years, building new venues, writing and producing and directing new shows by the seemingly thousands, and he never seems to tire of it. I read about Albert Schulz and his schemes for growing his own company, Soulpepper, and how he’s changing the timing of programming shows, and how that excites him as he considers the difference it will make to producers, actors & audiences alike. I see the joy and excitement of my dear, dear friend Andrew Lamb as he gets ready to start his new job as the Artistic Director with Roseneath Theatre, and I know that his mind & heart are filled with so many possibilities. And I hear my heart after I spent some time with Tim today and I… and I…
I need to read a play. I need to see a play! I need to talk with Paul Kirby, a hopeful playwright who recently sent me another script I enjoy. I need to talk with more theatre friends. I need to dip my finger in a pot of greasepaint, in the figurative sense (I hate stage make-up, frankly, and think it looks ridiculous). I need to remember for my self, about myself, the joy and wonder that is theatre. It can’t just be the talk any more… I need to live that life again because I do, I do love theatre.