chicago, theater

just putting it out there

Tonight, I am cooking the severed legs of four different chickens, and the potatoes of the Midwest, in the oven of Humboldt Park. Tomorrow, I don’t know.

Today, I overheard nothing. I have no dialogue to share because my ears were closed to the world. I only spoke to computers. I worked a day shift at my job and a volunteer shift at the theater where I take writing classes – thanking donors, paper-cuttering fliers. I watched actors walk into a rehearsal without walking in after them. It was hard, but not as hard as it would have been earlier this winter, because this time, I had a secret of my own. I’m going to be in a rehearsal some day soon. Tomorrow, I don’t know.

Yes, two weekends from now, I have decided I’m going to have a rehearsal, but not for what. I just know that it’s been long enough. It’s time to start a new project. I’m hoping to get together a small group of actors and just do some text experiments. The thought of this makes me feel, at once, like my own legs have been severed and also like I have grown eight new ones. It’s been so long. I miss it so much, and yet I am still wary about returning. Tomorrow, I don’t know.

It is a sign of the generosity of my performer friends that many of them have agreed to come to this “rehearsal” without knowing what it is we intend to “rehearse.”

I wish I could remember exactly what it was that made me feel like I had the courage to begin again. Springtime, maybe – or riding the Green Line with my actress friend – or C moving up here, at last – or hearing my friends sing at a piano bar – or the persistent pain in my shoulder finally simmering down to a manageable level – or discovering that the man who gave my computer a new brain is a playwright. But I have had all these things for months. I have been surrounded by performers. I have had connections and chances and every opportunity to work in the field I love, and have turned them all down, in favor of a winter of writing and moping and yoga. Tomorrow, I don’t know.

It’s not the first time I have pretended to myself to “give up” theater. But this time, I didn’t know I would come back. At least not to directing.

I don’t know where any of this is going. I don’t have a plan. I just know it’s time to stick one foot back in the pool. Tomorrow, I don’t know.

I look forward to it more than I look forward to sleep. I understand now how it is I have slept so much since moving here. I haven’t had rehearsals.

Maybe we won’t even do choruses. Maybe I’ll try out the French rhyme stuff. Or maybe we’ll do some simultaneous text that’s not choral. I don’t care, really. I just want to get in the room again.

If you were me, you would be happy to think of this. I know I am, and I know that having the strength to come back to it has taken more willpower than an exponent. Tomorrow, I don’t know.

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