This weekend, I went back to Cripple Creek, Colorado, a place where I spent many months doing theatre mid- and post-college. Theoretically, I went back to see my friends. Once I got there, I realized I’d also returned to evaluate my life.
When I moved to New York, I was a crazy auditioner. I went to as many as I could find, sometimes to my detriment. After my vocal trouble started, I pulled way back. Currently, I am not auditioning at all. I was happy; I found peace. I’m still acting, just not like I thought I would be when I came to New York to be a star. I keep telling myself I’m more grounded and comfortable and that my life is so much better.
And it’s partially true: I am a lot less crazy than I was when I was constantly auditioning and measuring my self-worth against casting directors’ opinions. But I am homesick for actors, something I never thought I’d say.
Seeing all my wonderful old friends and making a bunch of new ones was a huge awakening. When you are in a cast, those people are your whole life. Some of them will piss you off and some will be lifelong friends (not mutually exclusive). I’ve met so many wonderful people in Cripple Creek, but two specifically, the Sartorial Squirrel and the Audacious Otter, who started me down the path to become the person I am today with an incredible life philosophy: “Think of the story.” It’s what this blog is all about.
It is very difficult for me to go back to Colorado without feeling wistful for the life we had. We were little gypsies with our lives packed into our cars, playing nickel slots and just barely losing eating contests. Being around people who prioritize theatre and music and wit above all else is the ideal. And as I plunge back into the world of food ordering and finance, the pinch of being away from the world of creativity is especially sharp.
Recently, I saw an old friend in a production of Xanadu. She is wickedly funny and insanely talented while also having a sort of earth mother wisdom about the whole world of acting; the kind of person I feel lucky to know. We have a lot of shared frustrations, type-wise. I told her I’d stepped away from auditioning and was pursuing acting through a different path. She hugged me and said, “That’s because we are different.” I guess it’s important to remember that all who wander are not lost and the ruling in the case of Journey v. Destination, etc, but if there is a time machine invented in the next twenty years and future me doesn’t figure out how to come back and advise present me about what to do, I am going to be pissed.