Monday, June 1, 2009

All the World's a Stage

Daily Specs:

Attainable Goal: Work on save-the-dates for my party!
Grievance: Big Love had to be at work at 6 am. Gross.
Celebration: Big Love and I get to go out on a double date tonight!

As many of you know, I am a thespian. This is a label that often comes with a certain stigma around it of geekiness, prissiness, and general quirkiness in personality. I don't see myself as any of these things in excess, although I may be blissfully ignorant, in which case, please feel free to keep your opinions/observations of me to yourself. I began as a thespian in high school. I spent most of my 4 years playing water polo with the stoners and jocks, but my senior year I made the transition to drama nerd by getting a lead in the fall musical. By the end of senior year, I was an Honor Thespian (yes, an actual title) and I had found my true passion.

So, of course, I pursued theatre in college. My first year in college took place at Pepperdine, where my hopes of acting were consequently dashed by all the really good actors that were in the program there. That did not hinder me. I had three jobs in the theatre during the year I was there. I worked in the box office, as an usher, and in the scene shop building the sets for all the shows. It wasn't until I withdrew from Pepperdine the next fall and went to Portland State that I found my niche backstage. I loved being backstage. I loved the scene shop, I loved running shows, I loved having my hand in all the different artistic aspects of the performances without actually having to don costume and makeup and memorize lines. I was blissfully happy. Until I realized that I had to take acting classes to graduate.

I had resigned myself to the fact that I was not an actor, so taking acting classes was a combination of wasted time and salt on the festering sores of my lack of talent. I was not excited about any of this. But I did my time, and through the process my fellow classmates who were actually there to learn to act were appropriately complimentary of my skills. Through college I only acted once (strangely, it wasn't even at the school, it was a real show that I got paid for. Weird) but I found myself having a strange feeling from time to time. I would get the "acting bug". The "acting bug" is a phrase that industry folk use to say that they are in need of stage time. I always thought that getting the "acting bug" was entirely cocky and self-serving. I scoffed at those who got it, thinking that all they want is to see their name in lights. I have no such interest, which was one of the selling points of working backstage. This means that whenever I get this ridiculous "acting bug", I would be thoroughly disgusted with myself. So I began to Psych 101 myself. Why do I feel the need to act right now? I don't necessarily like acting, and I am not necessarily talented. I have no interest in being "discovered", or getting seen on stage, or having to take a bow at the end of a performance.

After some consideration, pondering, and self searching, I think I have come up with it. I like being someone else. For as long as I can remember, I have always fantasized about what it would be like to live someone else's life. I have no complaints about my life. Comparatively speaking, my life was/is pretty easy, full of love and support. However, I would love to read about the lives of celebrities, or watching a movie and wishing I was in the situation that the hero/heroine was in. Whenever I would watch The Little Mermaid, one of my most favourite movies of all time, I could hear myself when she sang "Part of Your World". That song, in many ways, became like a mantra for me. No matter what I was doing in my life, no matter how hard or easy my situation was at the time, I would want to be part of someone else's world. This is a really sad realization to come to. I don't like that I have been dissatisfied with my life at times, because my life has really been a good one. Not to mention, after I have had an experience in someone else's shoes, I am desperate to get back to the stability of my own life.

So I currently have the acting bug. This must mean that I am somewhat dissatisfied. Perhaps it is because I am at home now, and being a SAHM is not something I ever thought I would be. Maybe because I don't see myself moving forward for many years to come. The only changes I see happening to myself will be experienced vicariously through my children's accomplishments. This, of course, is not a bad thing. After all, what could be more satisfying than seeing your children take their first step? Or attend the first day of school? Or play their first game of tee-ball? Yet, I still have the acting bug.

I am looking for a creative outlet. I need something to distract and re-direct my thinking so I can realize how good I really have it. I don't want to do something silly like audition for a show. Being in a show with two small children at home is, perhaps, the worst idea ever. I need something creative that I can still do while being a mommy. Any suggestions? I have already spoken with my worship minister and pulpit minister so they can give me a project for church, but they haven't yet gotten back to me in this regard. They may not even have anything for me to do. Does anyone have any alternate ideas?


  1. I get the acting bug pretty much whenever I go out to see a show. Got it really bad after going to Newberg to see Chelsea's Little Limelight Productions show last month!

    Lauren, you're eloquent and accurate and interesting with your writing in this 'blog here; why don't you try writing a story? I've discovered there's no trick to getting started, really. You just have to WRITE one and then worry about details. Your own life experiences are a great springboard for fiction; I make a note whenever I have a "what if" feeling about a situation or person, and add it to the idea bank. Serious, funny, spiritual, whatever you want... Maybe start with one about someone who works backstage? Maybe you'll like it!

  2. I've thought about it, but then what do I do with a story? Do I just hold on to it and keep it in a file somewhere? It seems like a lot of work to do something like a story to just have it sit there. And I am quite certain that I could not have it published. I wouldn't even know how to go about it. You have written stories, right? Tell me what to do, Goodie. I rely on your knowledge. No pressure.

  3. It seems to me that it's as good as any other hobby, and really cheap! Most people don't get money or publicity for their hobbies, so I think writing is okay just for the sake of writing, and there's a sense of satisfaction in having a completed product. It could also be a social activity, if you get involved with a workshop group or take a class at the local community college. And who knows, something you make might even be publishable!

    I've taken a couple classes, and written a bit, and I hope to start doing more as soon as I graduate next week. I've got some material up on my blog here you could read if you want to, but I can't share it unless you have a google account >_<. The permissions options on here are very restricted, and I can't have them public -- If I produce something publishable and it's public on the internet, many consider it already published.

    I don't know much, but I be learnin' all the time, and I enjoy it. When I took a short fiction writing class this quarter, we never got taught how to write a story; we just had to write one and then we talked about them. I think that was the most helpful lesson I took out of the class. If you want to write a story, the main thing you have to do is just write it. 2nd most important thing is to read. It's fun to let the imagination out to stretch and play!

    Hm. Play. You could try writing a play?