GUYS. Tour is no joke and truly the best learning opportunity and performance experience I could have ever hoped for. Transitioning (key word of my life right now) from a new city and theater is full of the unexpected BUTTTT let me tell you, I love THIS CAST. Everyone in their own way is beyond special and is capable of relating to you on some sort of level all in different ways. I get something different with each and every person and I am so so grateful for that. I also love our bus. Long bus days are actually in some ways beautiful – you can look out the window and just take in your surroundings and it’s hard to forget that you are literally seeing the country every passing day. That’s a humbling thing that I am sure won’t fully impact me until time progresses.
I think something we underestimate as performers is the fact that we love our work so so much BUT it is still a job. We will be so exhausted at moments from everyday life that simply putting on makeup is a daunting task. Working up the energy to give 100% of yourself to the audience and the people you share the stage with is WORK…but the most rewarding and beautiful kind of work that you have ever dreamed about. For this show, the second the opening number is over and the crowd ROARS with applause, you get a second wind. Then it’s like being shot out of a cannon. You don’t have time to be tired. And let me tell you, this cast keeps you on your toes on and off the stage. They are bright and witty and constantly challenging you in the best ways possible. It is really a joy.
On a side note, I know I originally said I was going to just focus on bus and tour life mostly but all of sudden, that seems unrealistic to me. Even living in this isolated and crazy fulfilling world, the life you left still keeps going. And let me tell you, IT KEEPS GOING STRONG. Sometimes it feels like everything around you is going double speed and you are completely frozen in time. You leave behind all your friends and basically everything that originally defined YOU as a human being. You are left completely on your own and begin exposing yourself to a whole new group of people who don’t know the ins and outs of who you are. Personally, like I mentioned before, my life changed dramatically since graduating college. These changes have been FAR from easy. You think you have who you are figured out when you’re 22 (HAHA I know), having been away from home for 4 years, and having finally started to earn a living on your own, then you are stripped from everything comfortable and you soon realize, self-discovery seems to be a never-ending journey.
I always prided myself on being driven, independent, and capable of chasing my dreams FULL THROTTLE. These things I really do believe define vital elements of who I am but I am not oblivious to the not so positive elements of myself. For example….I care what people think way too much and I overanalyze things to its last dying breath. I often find myself feeling confident and secure and other moments feeling completely paralyzed by what I THINK people perceive about me. You think it will all go away the second you accomplish a goal or leave a certain environment, but it doesn’t. It doesn’t change until you truly acknowledge these things and figure out a way to feel continually confident in who you are and NEVER apologizing for that.
Maybe the reason it takes so long for you to be able to silence the negative voices and simplify situations as much as possible is because it takes way longer to figure out who we are than we think. Throughout your whole life, you create friendships and relationships, a lot of which you will leave behind or will leave you behind…especially in theater. Friendships can be disappointing and at the most unexpected moments, they can completely fail you. Then who are you when you loose the people who defined who you are? YEAH YEAH YEAH I’m sure that sounds dramatic but REALLY. Maybe you were always known as this persons friend, best friend, boyfriend, girlfriend, enemy, whatever. Or they knew the ins and outs of who you thought you were? What happens when that goes away and you don’t have this cheerleading squad that you once had. Or maybe your cheerleading squad has shrunk or has started to fill with new faces. Instead of having a million acquaintances that you can smile at and say hello to on a daily basis, you have 5-10 people you facetime or call when you are in hysterics and cannot muster the mind power to work through the ever-changing moments of life. But even so, those people have their lives and it gets harder and harder to make daily contact with them in spite of your love for them. Then it’s just you.
Yeah, I’m an imperfect person…aren’t we all. I have hurt people that I truly care about, I have probably been more impatient than necessary at moments, and I sometimes judge a book by it’s cover way too quickly. And I have let other people’s opinions sometimes define what I think of myself in moments SIMPLY because I’m human. Yet more mornings than not, I catch myself completely in awe of the life experiences that I get to have and the fact that everyday, I get a new chance to develop new and potentially forever connections with people. People who have their own stories and scars and may even have the exact same fears, dreams, flaws, or even fabulous qualities as you. But there their stories are ALL DIFFERENT. It will also teach you something about yourself that you never knew and could even give you the courage you need to stand taller on your own two feet.
I am hoping everyday I learn to stand taller and taller than the day before. Letting go of the fear of perception and learning to give people the same opportunity to be themselves without them suffering from a familiar fear. People will sometimes fail you, but sometimes they won’t. Your plans will sometimes go how you planned, but more often, they won’t. Life will take turns and zig zags and complete loopdy loops and somehow bring you into an exact moment of pure and utter belief that you are exactly where you are meant to be. And at this point, you will built a suit of armor against the negatives. Against the things in the world that simply do not matter, but maybe once did. And at the end of it all, you can firmly believe in who and what you are even with all your imperfections.