Man. This weekend was exhausting, and not in the ‘I walked across America’ sort of way.
I spent most of it at home with the parents and to see my sister and Connie. Connie and I hung out two of the four days, and we spent them driving around aimlessly, getting pedicures, eating sushi, and being lazy. It was wonderful. With Jenna, I ate sushi (Feng Bistro in Hartford is pretty fantastical), and got to visit her brand new house that she’s just moved into. It’s beautiful! Much, much nicer than her old one, where I had to spend two hours just scrubbing down the baseboards. After I got the grand tour, I sat with her on her couch and watched Golden Girls for a little while. It was comfortable and easy.
Saturday night, I had dinner with my parents, who cooked an absolutely fantastic meal of scallops, spaghetti, and sauteed spinach. I had some wine, which apparently was one of their best bottles. Should’ve drank the whole glass if it was a really good bottle. Dad kept saying “Oh God, we opened up one of our best bottles on the one kid that doesn’t drink.” Although honestly, I could’ve mentioned that I like cucumber-flavored vodka and he’d try and scrounge something up for me. I even said to him that in my NYC adventures I had tried port for the first time, and he started walking towards the basement saying “You want port? I’ve got port if you want it.” I declined. Port, while good, is strictly for dessert. When consumed with any other foodstuff, it tastes like licorice.
My dad and I got into a discussion about NYC, my work, what I’ve been up to, and for some reason, I could feel myself getting emotional as I talked about auditioning and writing. Dad then asked the question that I didn’t want him to ask. “What gets you up in the morning? What makes you get up and say ‘Ahhh, can’t wait to do that today’?” So I said “When I wake up and it’s a gorgeous day I think, “I’m going to go to the park, and hang out, and see friends, and get lunch, and if I don’t have work, I’m going to cook dinner and write-” And he stopped me and said “That’s it. The only thing that matters in that sentence is you said you wanted to write.”
It was at the moment that I realized that the one thing that will always be there for me is my writing. Not musical theater. Not acting. Not the dream of Broadway. It’s writing. There are many days where I’ve doubted my musical theatre ability, or the idea of being recognized for my skills in that arena, or I’ve doubted whether or not I’ll even make it in this business. I have never doubted my skills as a writer. When he said that, it was as if my life took a sudden and irreversible left turn in a previously HOV-only lane, into a realm that I never thought I’d enter: the life of a non-actor.
As he held my hand, I whispered into the wood of my parent’s kitchen table what I had been holding in for three months. “It’s just really hard.”
What do you do when your whole life is spent working towards something and you realize there’s a very big chance that it may never, ever happen? And that while it’s something that makes you incredibly happy, it may not be the thing that you want your entire life to consist of? It’s like someone dying, if I may be obscenely melodramatic.
Dad asked me if it was hard. I said it was the hardest thing I have ever done. He then asked me if I wanted to move home. I can’t. I can’t go back to CT, at least not yet. If I go back already, it means I have failed. He told me that he thinks of me every day, and wonders how I’m doing, and knows that I can do whatever I set my mind to, and that whatever I wish to do, he will support me. And he told me that if I go for both the acting and the writing thing, I will be great at both. And if I fail at the acting thing, I will be a great writer. Either way, he knows I’ll succeed. He then gave me a hug and said to me “You know we think about you every day and we just want you to be happy, no matter what you do. We are behind you 100 percent.”
I want to be a writer. I want to create stories. More than ever, I know that’s what I want to do. But I want to go on some more auditions over the next year, to make double certain that this life is not the one for me. It’s just so much stress, and moving around, and the lack of stability and everything. I just don’t know if it’s for me. I know I love to sing. But at what cost? Of my sanity? Lack of a home life? Lack of a family? I couldn’t do that. I can’t be that nomad that wanders around willy nilly. I need a home.
On the other hand…musical theatre is all I’ve ever known. I’d die if I didn’t have it in my life. But the NYC style of doing it? I’m not sure if it’s for me.
One other thing my dad said to me: When he was a teenager, someone asked him what he wanted to do with his life. “I don’t know,” he replied. “But I know whatever it is, I’ll be really good at it.”
I don’t know how ‘really good’ I am. But here’s hoping I find out soon…