Saturday, May 28, 2011

I Didn't Really Think I'd Be Saying This, But...

I miss performing.
I've said it.

More specifically, I miss being onstage, preferable in a Shakespeare play, with a group of terrific, experienced actors, all of us (including the audience) having a grand old time.
In other words, the polar opposite of many of my acting experiences in L.A., unfortunately.

But I've been thinking a lot lately about creativity, and what it means to me.  I'm not a good visual artist (stick figures are about all I can manage on a good day), I don't knit or crochet, and I believe I've mentioned my utter lack of sewing skills (*cough* sewing the sleeve of a shirt to ITSELF when I tried to sew a patch on*cough*).  I'm an OK singer, but I get ridiculously nervous when I have to sing in front of others (unless I'm singing in a show). Dancing?  Fuhgeddaboutit!  I've mentioned the electrocuted-giraffe-like flailing, right?
I can take a decent, basic picture.  I can't design anything; heck, I can barely manage to put together a decent outfit.
But acting?  THAT I can do.  Or could.  I'm sure if I tried it now I'd be very rusty.  And improvisation.  I'm quite good at that, as well.
I've been wondering if maybe I should try sticking a toe back in that particular swimming hole.  Not professionally; I'm not sure I could do that again, just maybe doing some readings or going to some casual improv workout groups.
Because I've been feeling a little, well, stifled, creatively.  I enjoy teaching Pilates, but it's not quite the same.  I enjoyed teaching the drama class (except when I didn't enjoy it, lol!), but it wasn't really MY class.  I had very little to do with the curriculum, the show as it was written, or even the class structure.  Which was fine, as it was my first year teaching there and my first time teaching after nearly 7 years.  And I'm still planning on taking that psych class in the fall, to see if drama therapy might be my thing.
But there's that small, niggling feeling, growing a bit bigger as time goes on.  A voice in the back of my mind that won't be ignored anymore, telling me to go out and do something fun.  Something I enjoyed SO MUCH for such a long time, until the Biz sucked all the enjoyment out of me.
I guess I'm feeling a bit resentful, as well: I resent the fact that I was prevented fro  doing something I loved so much, something I trained for, sometimes literally bled for (darn those wooden set pieces!), because of the way I look.  Because I wasn't ultra-skinny and 22 when I lived in L.A., I was denied the thing I most wanted to do.  If it were (almost) any other business, I could have sued.  But because of the nature of it, and because of the product being put out (good looks, little substance, for the most part), I was barred.
And I let myself get sucked into that mentality.  Let myself believe I DIDN'T DESERVE to work because I was too fat (which I wasn't, really), not pretty enough (puh-LEASE!  I was gorgeous back then!), didn't have the discipline to lose weight (snort! I'd just gotten my Master's degree!!!! I knew from discipline!), and on and on and on.
If I'd been stronger, maybe I could have given a giant middle finger to all the people who said I wasn't good enough, and created my own niche.  But I wasn't.  That's not a criticism, it's just the way I was back then.  And I DO believe I made the right decision to get out and focus on my kids.  After all, acting takes a LOT of work, focus, and energy, and I put all that into them. And I am damn proud of that fact!

But there are ways to be creative without being a professional, and ways to do it so that it doesn't take away from the kids.  I just need to figure out what works best for me and mine.

OK, can I rant for a moment?
I made the mistake last night of watching about 3 minutes of "Fashion Police" on "E!" last night.
BIG mistake!
I know it's supposed to be good, snarky fun, but I this REALLY what we've come to?  Criticizing Uma Thurman's ELBOWS?!?!?!?!?!  It's not enough that she's 40 (or thereabout), has kids, and still manages to be so exquisitely, ridiculously beautiful, but they have to poke fun at the fact that her ELBOWS are slightly crinkly?!?!?!?!  REALLY?!?!?!?!  What's next?  Miley's earlobes are too small?
Every time I think it might just possibly be getting better for women (I actually saw a non-anorexic woman in a commercial), something like this happens to make me despair all over again.

Le sigh.


Geosomin said...

I think an improv group would be a great way to jump into things. My husband used to do improv and he misses it dearly...
And don't diss the electocuted giraffe dancing - my spastic monkeydancing has brought me lots of fun :)

Just a thought - ever thought about bellydancing? I took a class and I LOVE it. I can't wait to be done school to get back into it - a bit of performance, and a lot of fun :)

azusmom said...

Hee! Spastic monkeydancing!

I've thought quite a bit about bellydancing. I just need to find a class nearby. I tried a DVD, but somehow I just don'th think it's the same...
I've also been thinking of getting back into tap dancing, which i did as a kid. Unfortunately I no longer have my tap shoes, but I could probably figure something out.