Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Perspective

The worse thing about performing is when its over. For me, it leaves a big hole. When I’m on stage I feel a certain magic, very specific to that place. I never want to let go of it. And then the show is over and I’m in this funk from missing it. So here I am in Funk City.

We put Summer in Sanctuary up at Theater Jacksonville this weekend. We got decent turn out, and people told me they really enjoyed the show. I’ve said this in previous blogs, but people have responded to this piece more then anything else I’ve done. I’m honored, and now feeling a little empty because I’m missing the stage, and worried about the future of the play.

I love my home city because I get to work on material here, and it’s a great place to raise kids, but for my career, it’s a tough sell. I don’t get to network, and people that could help me don’t get to see my work. So I sit here at the end of a very short run, and I don’t know what to do. I go through this stage after every show. The question of what’s next? The answer is I have no idea. I know the show will be in Detroit in October, I’m excited by that, but October seems so far away. I wanna do it tomorrow. One of my personal goals in life is to win an Obie. The Obie is the equivalent of an off Broadway Oscar. The key for me getting an Obie would be to perform off Broadway, in NYC. With the current status of the play, I don’t see that happening. I’m not saying it won’t just saying that getting an off Broadway run for a relative unknown, is not an easy sell.

Today in the midst of stewing over all of this, and feeling somewhat melancholy, I found out I had to pay a bill that I shouldn’t have had to pay. That sentences is intentionally vague. Anyway, when I went to pay the bill, I ran into a young lady broke down in the parking lot. I helped her jump her vehicle, and no dice the truck wasn’t moving. I was going to leave her there after that, but she started crying and said her 80 year old Grandmother was with her (she was standing outside the building, in the hot Florida sun). I felt bad for her and gave them both a ride across town. As we drove the more the young lady talked the more I could tell the car breaking down was just another mishap pushing her over the edge. She’s had a hard life, some by the choices she’s made some just by circumstance. She was scared I was going to judge her, but I’ve made so many mistakes in my life, I have no right to judge anyone. I told her that and she seemed to become a little more comfortable. Her grandmother sat in the back of the car having an in depth conversation with my youngest Aiden, about dogs and other important things 3 year olds like to talk about.

We got to their house and the Grandmother was so sweet instructing me to come back and not be a stranger, but when the young lady got out the car she was crying, feeling like her life was falling apart. I grabbed her hand and told her, “This to shall pass. You go through rough times, to get to the good” She smiled at me briefly, then walked into her house.

I drove away and thought a lot about her, and her life and the troubles she might not ever escape. I thought about my own problems and while my feelings of emptiness was still there, but it was easier to look at it for what it is. I don’t have half the money I need, it’s hard making a living as an artist, but my struggle is nothing compared to many. Doesn’t change the fact that I want an Obie, doesn’t invalidate that desire, just puts it in perspective.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

As I read your blog, my spirit began to tell me that your true calling is slapping you in the face every single day and I don't think you realize it........ Your true calling AL is to INSPIRE the youth in today's society! Yes, I feel the hunger, the passion of broadway in you. Think about it..... Pray about it......... and then you shall Be about it.......... You should think about going to school/college to work specifically with teens?( you never know how being on broadway and winning an Obie can be implemented by doing this) Accept that people/strangers do take heed to the things you SAY(Believe that YOUR words are power!) because to me you've already won your Obie!!

Continued Blessings!!!!

Anonymous said...

You are an amazing artist and person. It's all a part of the process. Stay up and know that not only is the Obie in your future, but many other fabulous blessings!!!

--Your biggest fan!

madeleine said...

just remember Al, we see through the glass darkly.

John Adams aka thepres6 said...

Your gift, compassion and and grace have far supasssed any criteria for any award my friend.

I think at home you are closest to the heart of your passion and inpsiration. Everything you need is already in place and in the simplest subtle moments of each passing day will lie the sources of your greatest works my friend -;0)