That would be me

That would be me

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The Show Mustn’t ALWAYS Go On

Or sometimes there are more important things to do.

This week a dear friend of mine had a MAJOR family crisis. Not your run of the mill family crises but the kind that would flatten the toughest of individuals. It floored my friend SO much that she had to get a ride home from work because the shock of the event was so great that she couldn't even drive. Due to circumstances, she had to go "home" to be with her family – several hundred miles away. She had to drive there.

And she had to go alone.

Her husband stayed home because he had a show.

You see, my dear friend's spouse (who is equally near and dear to my heart) is a "theatre person." Theatre is his life, his calling, his joy. I have said on more than one occasion that he has (to quote one Mr. R. Lindblom) "forgotten more about theatre than I will ever learn." When I think of a true dedicated theatre professional, HE is the first person that springs to mind. The show ALWAYS comes first. No matter what. Always.

This is something about him that I love dearly, but it is also the thing that drives me nuts about him.

And it is one of the things I get accused of as well. And, frankly, THAT scares me.

We all espouse the old adage about the Show Must Go On but at what point is real life allowed to stop taking a back seat? When is the need at home more important than the need on the stage?

In the past, I have let the "important" things take a back seat when maybe they should not have. I have learned from that and have been trying to correct the errors of my ways. I have worked to assess what is more important in picking projects and whatnot. Sometimes a sick baby has to take precedent over other things.

To me, the needs of my friend during her intense heartbreak are FAR more important than a show. ANY show. At ANY stage of production. Period. This might get me in trouble with the Theatre Gods but there has to be a line. A time when enough is enough.

Even GOD takes a day off.

1 comment:

  1. I have been doing this for 30 years. I love the stage. I love the shows and the playwrights and the hard work and the dedication and I recognize that if you bail on a project, it affects more than just you. BUT imagine it from everyone else's perspective. Would YOU want to be with someone who ALWAYS puts you second? I am not sure I can handle that.
    Also, I have to wonder, does staying "with the show" in times of supreme turmoil REALLY serve the show? I recall a show I produced where one of my actors got really drunk just in order to get through the show - one of his students had died that day and he was beside himself with grief - and because of that, the performance was terrible. The SHOW would have been better served by being canceled that day and allowing that actor a few hours to process what had happened.
    SO much of acting is about accessing who we are as people and our emotions in times of "drama" and yet SO many actors seem to use the stage as an excuse to not actually be participants in their own lives. We use artificial lives to hide from our real ones because sometimes our real ones are just more than we can handle at the moment.
    I am just at the point in my life where I want the stage to ENHANCE my real life and my real life to enhance my stage life. I am tired of running away from myself.