Monday, October 4, 2010

Faithfully. . . .

I was introducing the new TV show, Glee, to my jock brother a while back and I'm not sure if he saw something in me in the way I was watching it, or if he felt a forgotten emotion that triggered a slightly out of character question. He asked me that if when I watch Glee, do I miss singing? Does it make me want to sing and dance and be a part of that time in my life again? Now, my younger, yet bigger brother and I do not have much in common, so I had a glimmer of connection with him when I answered a passionate YES! Then he responded by saying, that is what Friday Night Lights, a high school football TV show, does to me. My heart broke for him for a moment because I know how much it hurts my brother to not be playing football due to an injury he suffered in high school. And now freshly out of a double knee surgery, he has sealed his "benched" fate.

This propelled the inner workings of my mind to ponder a fate such as his own. "What if I could no longer do what my heart exists for?"

I do recall a time when I did not perform on the stage. I was married with two kids and doing the mundane tasks of life until I by chance bought a newspaper while getting the daily mail. Opening to the arts section, as I always did first, I came upon the new theatre season announcements for all the local community theatres in town. That feeling of longing for a time gone by came over me as I read each play, dreaming of the parts I would give my left arm to perform. Then it was as if time stood still long enough for me to read three compelling words, Barry Manilow's Copacabana. At the time, Barry was a passionate love affair I paraded around for all to see. So I took it as a sign from God that I should audition for this Utah premier and began preparing for my audition though it be three months away.

After auditioning and landing a prime spot in the chorus, I began to find myself again, not even knowing I was lost. I hadn't been on the stage in over five years. Life had changed so much for me since then that only those who knew me back in the day could recognize the long lost sparks that began to fire within my heart. It was those sparks that lit the path to a once dark, but now set ablaze desire of self expression and what I believe to be a true ability and talent.

Glee has not helped the situation either. Being a girl who always put her life to music and envisioned everyone around breaking into song as she sang her heart out over a daydreamer fantasy, I find myself watching it play out for fantastic characters like Kurt and Rachel only to have it compel my semi-delusional take on life further down the artistic expression road of no return. And in complete honesty, I'm thrilled with it!

Last year I performed in a role that was a physically and emotionally demanding part. Thankfully I had a director who understood the plight larger women can suffer when under the scrutiny of opinionated audience members. In a nut shell, I put my abilities as an actress in question solely based on my dress size. This director forced me, in the best way possible, to take risks. Not only risks on stage, but risks within myself. And in a larger nut shell, I ended up winning as award for that role.

I'm trying my best to keep this particular blog from becoming a metaphor for my entire life, but it appears that I'm failing. However, the blog sometimes writes itself. Something that keeps coming to mind as I try to tie this set of ramblings into a functional piece is something that I have blogged about, and then deleted, and then sort of blogged about again. (Apparently I have insufficiently purged it from my thoughts. So please forgive the repetition.) I believe there are many great things in this world that can overcome one's heart and cause it to beat to a different drum. For my brother, it's sports. He looks like a combination of Stallone and Burt Reynolds. But through that visual, I can see his heart, his passion, and the risks he took to express it. I wonder if in his mind he questions his choices. Or is battling with his newly altered reality. Whichever it is, it's surely causing a flurry of unanswered questions to spin in my mind.

I love what I do on the stage. Whether it's performing in a play, or singing in a musical, or making people laugh on my improv team, I LOVE IT! Thinking about being a part of something like that causes my heart to burn separate from my body and beg to be shared. It's probably borderline clinical. Though I do know it's genetic because I see that same desire for music/performance in my three daughters as they sing their slightly out of tune voices to the songs of Glee without a care as to whom is watching. So I guess instead of asking myself, "What if I could NO LONGER do what my heart exists for?" I should really be asking, "Have I DONE what my heart exists for?" Have I done all I am capable of doing today before tomorrow brings me an altered reality? Have I auditioned for every role I have ever dreamed of playing? Have I sung every song I play in my daydreamer fantasies? Have I opened every door I want to in life?

I can so easily transpose this blog from the dramatic arts, to dating, to even religion. All three things carrying their fair share of weight in my heart right now. Each subject demanding their own risks, or hope, or faith. Life never plays out the way you think it should. Life is not ideal. Life is not an episode of Glee. Life is possible. Life is waiting for you to take that risk and see what happens. So what if you "fail". So what if you have to flash your knickers on stage and be told you are too big to be doing that. So what if your last game of football was indeed your last game. So what if you find yourself alone at 31 with three kids. Is anything like that going to stop you? I surely hope not! You all know that feeling I've been talking about. You all have that fire for something burning within. However, I can only speak for myself and I say this, My passion for life grossly outweighs anything that has altered my reality. And for that I am truly blessed.

So I ask you this. . . . Have you answered the call of your heart today?


  1. Ahhh...I so get this post! I am so glad you are pursuing your passions and living your dreams! I know that inner passion and burning. You lit a spark for me again when you invited me to audition for Fiddler. Right now it is a small flicker, but the time will come again as my baby gets older to get out there again and turn that spark into a bonfire!

  2. AMEN! Liz, I can't wait until we can do a show together again.