Activity Tuesday and I wasn’t there. There are things to be missed no matter where you are. When I am home in two weeks I will inevitably be missing all of what I have here in Chicago… every time I think too hard about it I begin to cry so I won’t stay too long on that topic. I have spent my 20’s living the amazing adventure of a single city life and when I take stock I am so thankful for the person that I grew into along this journey. As I get older, it becomes clear that I need to be where my family is, even if it will take some adjusting in the beginning. Seeing the pictures of my funny cousins, aunts, mom and sister enjoying wine and painting together made me seriously miss them and A LOT homesick. I’m making the right choice to move back home.
Since my very first theatre production my aunts have waited for me in the lobby with their program and asked for my autograph after the show as if I was a superstar. I even think they save them! They have come to almost every show including my first show, Cyrano De Bergerac, that the Children’s Theater of Madison cut down to a whopping 4 hours. *Side bar: to this day my least favorite play on the face of the earth is Cyrano De Bergerac- just thought you should know that* . I had one line in hour 2 of the show and probably 15 of my friends and family members came out to see it. As I geared up to deliver my line I was upstaged by a bigger gal than myself and my line was lost. No one heard it! After the show they were so proud of me “even though I didn’t have a line”. I was devastated and embarrassed that no one heard it, but they were so proud of me that it didn’t matter! That was the first time I signed a program and it made me feel as though they thought it would actually be worth something someday…that maybe I’d be worth it someday. That’s a picture of me and my Grandma Marking after the Bourgeois Gentleman, another CTM production. My love of theatre grew and their amazing support stayed steady so much that I decided to pursue it as a profession. All through my acting conservatory they continued to show up. My last and favorite show was a sold out house with seats full of all of my loved ones cheering me on at curtain call. What a feeling!
When I imagine raising kids and when I imagine my parents and relatives getting older there is no question that I need to be surrounded by this type of support. I want my kids to have a huge cheering section- even if they run only one race and fall face first. That sort of love is hard to come by and I’d be a fool to miss out on that. Our family is not without its quirks and certainly its difficulties of health and conflicts, but we are our biggest cheerleaders. We must be in a space of the people who believe in us most to do the things we were sent to do on this earth.
My mom said that everyone’s painting was different, but that everyone’s had turned out great. People who thought they were the worst painters painted. People were the hardest on their own work of course. My Aunt Donna, who is always making us laugh, compared her Madison skyline to the homeless shacks and then chopped it up to the Madison bus stop. Of course, it didn’t! Sometimes it just takes belief and praise from loved ones to really appreciate what we have done and that we are capable so we can keep going… I thank God for those people because I can’t imagine my life if I had stopped acting because no one heard my one line.
I took choir to learn how to sing and had a teacher tell me I was “ruining some very beautiful moments”. That story is a bit shocking and painfully true- ask Allie, who saw me crying in the hall right after it happened. Today I laugh at the story but inside get a little pissed because I stopped learning to sing after that… besides singing in church, where I feel like if God gave me this voice he’s going to have to listen to it. 😉 It is these small things that begin and continue to shape and conform our ideas of what we are capable of unless you do some real work on yourself to overcome these beliefs. Sure we can laugh it off and ‘accept’ as something goofy about us- you’ll hear lots of my family say oh they have ‘the marking voice’ . Honestly, having a beautiful voice is a gift I am most envious of … someone who can sing and doesn’t is a quick way to really piss me off. God gave you this gift and you waste it and when I think of what I would do with it, gah!
Pause… how many gifts has God given me that I’m wasting? My gifts may not be as obvious or showcased as often as the soloist in choir , but when I get real with myself I’m wasting my gifts more times than not- my gifts of my compassion, empathy, loving getting to know people and letting them know me, creativity and imagination, my physical and mental health… People are probably looking at me just as pissed that I’m not ‘singing my song’, or ‘painting my picture’, or doing the things I know I can do to change this world.
I’m feeling the draw home because I believe that I will be in a place where I can really let these gifts come forth. I believe that my business and even my lil’ theatre life will be in an atmosphere that is more conducive to my many talents and I will be surrounded with the best cheerleaders in the world- those crazy cousins and aunts!