Thursday, February 12, 2009

What's Missing? - Performing Arts and Passion

Last night I attended the Mortified Doomed Valentine's Day Show in Los Angeles.  I was able to attend free, as a guest of the producers.  For those of you who don't know, I'm going to be performing in their March 11th show!

I attended the show with a friend from college, and I tell you, I never laughed harder.  The stories that people told, "ripped from the pages of real life", were so amazing.  I am not going to try and re-create the experience for you, because it is impossible.  Seeing these fully grown men and women, reading their journals and showing their drawings from their 15 year old counterparts, was indescribably delightful.  How absurd we are as we grow up!

After the show I was emotionally pumped in a way I hadn't been in a while.  I am so eager to perform at that show in March--I'm already getting that healthy stage fright--that anxious high that all actors feel in the pit of their stomach right before they step out into the spotlight.

That night, I dreamed.

In the dream, I was back in my High School auditorium at Harrisonburg High School.  My drama teacher, Mr. Swartz was there, but he wasn't directing this show--I was.  I had a script in my hand, and I was trying to direct the actors on stage.  The rest of the cast, who's scenes weren't being actively rehearsed, sat in the audience, doing homework and talking (as we were wont to do back when I did theater in high school).

I set down my script to give a direction, and when I turned back to pick it up again, the script had gone.  I began to search for it, and the kids in the audience kept talking, and my rehearsal began to break down.  Louder talking and laughing, and my script was nowhere to be found.

Anger building, I exploded.  "You all need to either sit quietly or step out into the foyer if you're going to talk!  And who stole my script?"

I don't remember much after that, but I remember I was pretty unsuccessful at regaining control of the situation.

But what does it mean?  Maybe I feel like I used to have a script--the church and is proscriptions for life--and now I don't, and I'm losing my control over the direction of my life.

Or maybe it's just random recall from being excited about performing again.  I love theater probably as much if not more than film and television.  I love rehearsals, opening night, and the magical experience of suddenly realizing that you are the character, and of course, the most gratifying sound in the world--the applause.

Film makers and web-series creators don't get to see the smiles they put on their audiences faces.  They don't get the thrill that ever night something could go wrong or brilliantly right, earning them that standing ovation.

I started watching Hello, Dolly! this week (haven't had time to finish it), partly because of the song "Put on Your Sunday Clothes" that was featured in the opening sequence of WALL-E.  Not only is this show a terrific example of a big budget musical extravaganza, like Seven Brides for Seven Brothers or The Unsinkable Molly Brown, it feels good.  Just watch and listen:

"There's no blue Mondays in your Sunday Clothes!"
I've been having blue days a lot lately, and maybe it's because I don't wear my Sunday clothes anymore.  I have nothing to get excited about or dressed up for.  

I'm have no passion.

Theater is something I'm passionate about, but I don't get to express it enough.  I'm passionate about finding a boyfriend, but I'm so far unsuccessful. 

If I could perform for a living, I would in a heart beat.  The problem is, I'm too scared, too comfortable, too fat, have no technical training and frankly don't have enough tenacity to even attempt it.  So instead I seek out little opportunities to be on stage in every day life.  Reading to children at a local elementary school(doing that this weekend), or reading my journals to 300 people in a Mortified Show, maybe running for public office?

Lately I just feel like I'm on that treadmill again--running and running and getting nowhere.  Just relax, Ezra.  You've got a lot of time to figure this stuff out.  Don't get your panties in a bunch just yet.  It's never too late to start over.


  1. Patience, Ezra. You'll get there. Keep chasing the dreams.

  2. Hello Dolly is a really good step no matter where you are in life. I support you!! As someone who does perform for a living, let me just say the grass is always greener.. sometimes I envy the stability of being in one place and having the chance to lay down some roots. I mean I have a BF but Im going to see him for a total of 15 days over the next 6 months. So.. you know were are on our journeys just trying to squeeze the juice outta life. I think you are great and that you are doing really well! You know who you are and you have a lot to give. I'm with Alan. Keep chasing the dreams! And maybe watch some Yentl. That always gets me going. Nothing like good old Babs.