Last night, if you scroll a little ways, well, you can read it for yourself how I was feeling.
This morning, however, I woke up to a comment from a very, very wise and admired friend on my facebook that read:
Catie, you DO Shakespeare.
You act, direct, design Shakespeare. I understand the allure of getting paid to do it. But it won’t make it more real than the stuff they’ve done, or the stuff you will do. You’ve already succeeded.
I forgot about that.
Sometimes, I get so obsessed with the idea of doing things “out there” that I forget what I have here, and now.
I am, generally speaking, pretty lucky. As an actor, I have access to a ton of different theatres and venues in which I could perform, I have a theatre company that matches my aesthetic and supports my artistic goals without question, I have new projects (maybe) in the works, and I get to do all of that and still get paid to talk to crazy people.
It’s funny, the simplicity and obviousness of that comment.
I really should get it like, tattooed in a very visible location, because for me, at least, it’s so easy to forget that I do have that. Sure, I’m not getting a paycheck and benefits from it, but that doesn’t make it any less valid. It might, to some, but I’m no less proud of the work I’ve done. I know that to some, unless I’m scrimping and starving in a flat in New York for a chance to maybe play the second servant, what I do is not valid.
But to me, it is. A good friend of mine sent me this article awhile back. It’s kind of an interesting perspective on the type of theatre I currently do.
I’m not saying that I will be content forever doing theatre just here in the QC, because I know myself and know that I need to grow, and I want the opportunity to work for different companies, but what I was reminded of this morning is that some people never even get the chance to do what I do, or have a theatre company willing to cast the best actor, regardless of age, gender, hair color or whatever– and I have that opportunity. Hell, I’ve gotten to be the ingenue–twice. That would never, ever happen in the real world.
I get to direct, I get to design. I am constantly busy with different projects for different people, and I get to constantly be creative and excited for the next thing.
Last night, before I decided to be a complainy pants, I went to help Jake with his high school production of the Tempest. I volunteered to do the costumes, and showing up to an auditorium full of high school theatre nerds (who were all really excited to see me) was refreshing.
It’s weird being the “adult” to a bunch of high school kids– I’m maybe only 7 or 8 years older, but I feel like I’ve got a lifetime between where I was when I was 16 and where I am now. Thinking back to when I was in high school, I remember that magic, electrical excitement of getting to go on stage– and it would always, always be awful, but we didn’t care, because we got to do it.
And now, as a grown up with a real life and real responsibilities, I still get to do it. I still get that chance. There are tons of people I was friends with in the drama department that haven’t done a single show since they graduated. I majored in something that I love and have been in a ton of shows and had a ton of opportunities since then.
Yes, some days I’d really rather not have to go work my stupid job and just rehearse Hamlet all day, but when it comes down to it, it’s never been about the paycheck. It’s about getting the chance to do what I love.
And I have that already.