Like, a real one. On a real stage. Not like in second grade when I played Diggy Dog in my classroom’s production of The Animal Music Men.
“How did you find out about this?” everyone asks when they hear I’m in The Vagina Monologues.
“I don’t remember,” I tell them, which is true. I don’t remember what I was looking up online that led me to the ad for the interest meeting for the Bushwick-based BABE group’s 2nd annual performance of the show. I do recall when it was though, and I do remember why I decided to attend an interest meeting for a play even though I’d never acted before.
It was the day after something that isn’t worth explaining in this blog post happened, and suffice it to say, I was devastated. Maybe unreasonably, considering it had technically already happened more than 3 months prior, but I’m not sure emotional devastation requires reason in order to pop up and skulk around your shoulders.
So anyway, I was a mess, emotionally, and I saw the ad for the meeting–somehow. My first thought when considering whether to go was, per usual, “I can put that in my blog.” My second thought was, “I’m sick of spending energy on people who don’t appreciate it, and as much as I’m someone who wants to make other people happy and is scared of the possibility of being forever alone possibly more than claymation, I need to recognize that for now, I should just concentrate on doing things I want to do because not having a partner does afford one the luxury of doing that and, who knows, maybe one day I’ll look back on the time I had that luxury and regret it if I didn’t take advantage of it whenever possible.”
I mean, it wasn’t quite that coherent (if that even is coherent at all). The actual words used in my thoughts were more along the lines of, “I’m gonna go check it out!” But the sentiment was certainly the same.
So I went. I checked it out. I signed up to be a part of a worthwhile event and meet a group of awesome women. I pushed myself way outside my comfort zone. I traveled to Brooklyn almost every weekend for practice. And I discovered that in stretching myself further than I’d previously thought I ever would, I re-discovered parts of me that I hadn’t paid attention to for a while. I found out that being preoccupied with trying to make others happy can cast a shadow over you so that you don’t even realize it until you bring yourself back out into the light. I tapped into something inside of me that I’d been ignoring for months while I foolishly tried to make life do what I wanted it to when everyone knows it always has other intentions. I understood that even if I was terrible at this new venture, it was still an excellent and healthy way to spend my time, so it would irrefutably be worth the time and energy I put into it. I went on stage and I spoke and I swore and I smiled and I stood there and looked out into a sea of strangers and saw the potential for life that has always been there but somehow hides from view when you’re too busy focusing on the ridiculous things you’ve fooled yourself into thinking are important.
I was in a play.