Friday, June 15, 2007

Brought to Light

Sometimes I find myself crying in the car while I listen to the Broadway channel.

There are days when I ache inside because I haven't been backstage in over three years.

The only exercise my voice gets these days is when I sing to my baby. If I'm in the right part of the house,
the neighbors get a concert, too.

A long time ago, I realized that I would never be able to have a life in the theater and have a life with the husband and family looming on the horizon. I decided that this man who I loved more than anything, and any potential children we would have, was more important to me than a song and dance. I gave up the rigorous hunt for my big break. I didn't quit all together, but kept things low key. A few local shows here and there seemed to keep me satisfied. I got a biology degree and a comfy day job. I did some cabaret, took tap dancing lessons, landed the occasional role.

The last time I performed, I knew. The rehearsal process had been brutal. While I was usually the once complaining about SOB's long hours, this time he was the one bitching that I was only home every third Tuesday from 3-6:15. Plus we were starting to have the 'baby' talks, and I knew there was no way I could maintain such a frenetic pace during a potential pregnancy and beyond. The cast party was held at the theater after our last performance, and I was the last one to leave.

A year later, I was holding one of
these in my hand, and holding a flood of thoughts in my head. I knew I couldn't keep everything in, so I found a new way to let it all out.

At first, the words came slowly, haltingly. But with anything, the more I practiced the easier the writing became. Events in my life inspired me in a way I hadn't experienced before. All of a sudden I could take a real thing that had happened to me and spin it into phrases that filled me in a way that acting or singing never did. No matter how much pleasure I received from performing, it was only half mine. It was someone else's story, and so the passion ended when the curtain went down. This new thing was mine, entirely and completely. Even if it had only lasted a short while, no one could ever take it and call it theirs.

Two years later, I'm still here. And here. And sometimes over here. The satisfaction I get from writing has inspired me to branch out in other creative ways, too. Though I don't have a proper 'job' anymore, I have a great deal more. I have my growing family. I have this space to call my own. I have a community of peers and friends.

I have happiness.


How has blogging empowered you? Find the words by midnight and maybe you could go to BlogHer '07 for free! Click here or here for details! Or just be really nice to me. If I win, maybe I'll give you my ticket.

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Jen Magnuson said...

It's so hard saying goodbye to a career or a path that we've loved. I am glad you find blogging something that helps fill that creative need inside - I totally empathize!

Amy Jo said...

Thanks, Jen!