I'm writing from Kansas City, Missouri, where my sister's theater troupe, SHARDS, is performing a play. I have quite a prominent role in the play, and am onstage most of the time, although pretty much everyone has a large role due to our small cast. I am having a good time, although there are mixed feelings involved. Mostly, I wish I was young and unattached and less, well, pregnant, so that I could go to a million shows and still have energy, and network with other actors and hang out with them after the performances. I wish I didn't have to spend so much time away from my son. I wish my husband could be here so that I could share the experience with him. I wish I were doing my own show instead of acting in my sister's show.
But the fact is, I don't belong in this world, and this saddens me quite a bit. To be honest with myself, I don't think I'm that great of an actress. I mean, I do alright, but I don't have whatever it takes to truly be a great actress. I do the best that I can and I'm always improving, and I genuinely enjoy doing it, but in an environment which separates the great from the mediocre, I'm definitely on the mediocre side. Also, I've realized, my networking skills are horrible. I guess it's gotten worse since I've been cooking this little bean in my womb, because that tends to make me more emotional and introspective, more inward-focused, whereas a good networker needs to be outward-focused. And I just can't relate to these people, not even on the superficial level. Geeky, yes I am, but not in the same way. Fun-loving, yes I am, but not in the same way. I just can't come up with jokes or clever things to say on the spur of the moment and my life situation makes me less able to relate to a more immature and spontaneous crowd. In other words, I feel old.
Yet, I need theater, in the same way that I need spring to come after a long winter. I need to be creative in an extroverted way. I need to collaborate, I need to write, I need to think, I need to perform, I need to be caught up in the music and motion and verbiage. But I will never be fully immersed, as I would need to be in order to thrive in a theatrical setting. I'll never fully belong because I'm just too different. How many actors/actresses are mothers of 2? How many live on a farm? How many pay no attention to pop culture? Is this a sort of high-school type thing that I'm just supposed to outgrow and I'm not (and therefore stunting my growth as a person)? If so, what else am I supposed to do? I can't just quit writing plays, acting in plays, admiring theater, wishing I could express myself as well as some of my more advanced comrades. If this is holding me back, then why do I feel myself expanding as I write, as I perform?
*sigh* Just another dilemma that I don't expect to solve anytime soon.