Saturday, January 29, 2011

Do Over

I want a do over. I know my life is not over and I still have a lot to do but I feel like so many things have been ripped away from me. I have to remind myself often that I am not gone, it is not over and it is not too late for me. But last night I saw what I should have done with my twenties and I was just brutally angst ridden. I should have been out here, writing and taking acting classes and working with sketch comedy groups, working with theater groups, working in film.
This was there for me. And I was too afraid to find it. I was too busy chasing stupid men and being abused by them to find my dreams- oh I never gave up on those dreams, I never let them go away but how many things got squandered.
Now I am here and I have to stop regretting the past and do what I can do now. Marissa has an opportunity for her own dreams. I don't know what they are, exactly but I do know that I have never been the kind of mother that lives through her kids. I want her to be happy. I want her to achieve her dreams on her own terms and I will help her but her career success is not going to quell my desires.
My ambition is too fierce, too hot, it still burns brightly within me.
Last night I was jealous. I thought to myself- not only can I do that, I would be really good at it. Why am I not doing it? Why have I never seen this part of LA before?
I was angry, fierce, happy, ambitious. I'm not giving up. Can't make me.


BowlingTrophyWife said...

Part the First - Bear with Me! I believe this was one of the first blog entries of yours that I stumbled across, several years ago as I was going through a helluva time back in St. Louis. I, too, had been a theatre major back in the late 80's and though I had several local theatre people of 'note' rooting for me and trying to lend support, I was unable to get into Webster University's acting program because I was 'too old' I was twenty-eight and shattered. Our family moved to House Springs, MO in 1970, from North Carolina and there wasn't a creative venue or truly artistic educational venue for anyone for nearly 40 miles but I dreamt of doing theatre. My mom had been a 'thwarted' theatre major herself back in the 1930's, when she applied for the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill's "Playmakers" and been accepted, only to have her parents absolutely refuse to allow her to proceed. It was "Get an education 'appropriate' for a young woman, but you will NOT study anything so bohemian as theatre!" She compromised in her own way - quit college in her Junior year, then got married in 1947. After my brother and I came along, she sometimes dabbled in theatrics, jewelry making, writing and even managed to get cast in speaking role for a dreadful film produced by Dick Clark in 1968. Dick then offered to pay Mom's way to LA for screen tests but our Dad, also a product of the 1920's, nixed the idea on the spot. I must have caught the bug in some way because I spent years writing out scripts no one ever saw, lip-synching to Barbara Streisand, Pearl Bailey and (LOL) Rusty Warren.

BowlingTrophyWife said...

Part the Second - In Which our Heroine Continues the Tale...
I read every theatre history book I could lay hands on - and begged for the chance to take theatre classes in the "City" - Perhaps it was her own thwarted dreams that caused her to refuse to consider helping me; a bitterness festering but it was not until I was in my late 20's that I finally was able to muster up courage enough for an audition. By God - I got cast for everything I auditioned for in the space of three years. I got not one, but two full-tuition theatre practicum scholarships from Meramec, two years running - and thought I owned the world. I won't lengthen this comment by going into why everything finally fell apart - but money, time and energy ran out. Webster would not admit me, despite the urgings of Patton Chiles, my theatre instructors and Webster's Dan Rogers - but I quit. I managed to stay in the 'loop' somewhat by virtue of a nearly twenty year relationship with a St. Louis actor, director and theatre critic but those were 'his' areas of expertise and I merely an onlooker. I supplanted my dreams and talents, somehow feeling his were more worthy and gradually, I talked myself into believing my dreams had never really been all that important. Fast forward to the present - I've left St. Louis and established myself back in the town of my birth, a small city in North Carolina with a very active cultural scene and a wealth of opportunities close by. I dared myself to audition for one of the local groups - and was cast immediately - and have been cast in two more productions in the past year and a half. When you titled this "Do Over" - it struck me like a whip - I, too, have put aside dreams and desires, sublimating them in relationships and 'nobly' taking care of others first. It's been nearly four years since I read this but on re-reading it tonight, it still burns brightly. Your courage and determination are inspiring and refreshing - you tell your truth, sans bullshit or posturing and I take it to heart. Please keep up the blog as time permits - there are a few blogs out there that resonate and give me a lot of strength and this is one of them. I've other thoughts - the 'good' blogs are hallmarked by their insistence that I walk away mulling and chewing on ideas and I may have some thoughts to share later on but for now, I wish you every success. I only wish I'd met you while I was in St. Louis - I recognize many names - I once auditioned for Joan Lipkin and was offered a chance to travel with her for a show she was going to try out in New York with the Uppity Theatre Company, but it was at the time of the Great Despair and I let it go by the wayside. I think you've got your "Do Over" and then some. Cheers - Nancy