Old friends and New Beginnings

This Labor Day weekend I watched a videotaped performance of a show I did last November called “Almost, Maine” with Valley Repertory Company.  It was a group I had never worked with before, with all new friends and actors.

 

Here we are: the cast of "Almost, Maine"

Watching that video got me thinking.  Not about my acting or anything, I can watch myself all day (Once you’ve done enough camera work, you get over it.  Watching yourself becomes more objective rather than “EWW I look so gross!” or “How do I sound like that!”).  OK maybe not all day.  But I realized that my life was in a completely different place on that stage than it was in the moment I was watching the video.

This weekend I was sitting next to the love of my life, surrounded by theatre friends I consider family, hanging out, drinking, eating and sort of marveling at the changes we’ve been through.

If you told me a year ago that this year I would direct a play, be a Production Assistant on major motion pictures, become the Artistic Director of a theater company, act in pieces I’ve always wanted to, write and create my own webseries, plus be able to share it all with someone who loves me and supports me for everything I am and do? Holy crap.

Last year I was having trouble facing the fact that I needed to drop people and activities from my life that were no longer of any use to me.  I was hurting in more ways than one, but I wouldn’t fully let myself come to that realization.  In fact, the only fun I was able to scrounge up last holiday season was the show, “Almost, Maine.”

So a few days after Thanksgiving, I hung out with my best friend Stephen and we walked around Hartford looking at the Christmas lights and bracing ourselves for another season of festivity / insanity.  I walked around that night and grounded myself in the fact that things kinda sucked.  But Stephen reminded me to “breathe” and I reminded myself that however big the next hurdle was, it would be over eventually.

Things did get better!  Especially this year when I opened up to others about my dreams in a practical way and FINALLY heeded the advice given to me by fellow theater friends, Jim and Mary-Ellen: “Remember, ask for help.  People want you to succeed!”  And sure enough, I’ve had the extreme privilege and honor to create art all year that is reflective of the visions I’ve wanted to execute.  Voila!

And I will say, it doesn’t only extend as far as artistic / theatre / film folks.  It’s the friends and family who just love me for who I am and urge me to keep moving forward.

For the first time I’m finally saying, “THIS WILL HAPPEN” as opposed to “Eh, it’s okay if it doesn’t happen.”

So.  THANK YOU to each and every one of you out there who has supported me. It means more than I can express.   And remember, there are people out there who want to help YOU pursue your dreams, no matter how crazy or “out there” they may seem.  And I’m one of them!

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