The Play’s The Thing
A few stats for you:
Sadie’s current weight: 18 lbs
Sadie’s current height: 28.5 inches
Sadie’s pediatrician, who was on Assface Probation after being kind of a prick on the phone: back to his normal, helpful, caring self. Probation lifted.
In other news, I’ve been asked to audition for the spring show of my favorite (as an actor and as an audience member) local theatre company. FUCKING SWEET, right? I don’t know much about the show, but I’ve seen this particular company do amazing things with both traditional an untraditional scripts, so it’s always fun to imagine what kind of experience it will be. Of course, my reaction to being asked to audition for this company usually kicks off the following thought process:
- Oh, cool!
- Oh, God, what if I have to be naked?
- I am OK with being naked.
- I am not OK with my extended family members seeing my name in the paper, then showing up at a performance for a show in which I am inevitably naked/say the word “cunt-face”/simulate various sex acts.*
- Oh, well. Art and such. That’ll learn ’em, anyhow.
- OH GOD, CO-WORKERS IN THE AUDIENCE.
- Oh, well. Art and such. Perhaps I’ll get a raise.
At that point, I usually go about my preparations for the audition, but now that I have a baby, it seems another thought has been added to the process:
- CHOOSING (CHOOSING!) A SHOW OVER TIME WITH MY BABY OMG WORST MOTHER EVER GUILT SADNESS DESPAIR.
OK, let’s back that thing up for a second: this is only an audition. I hate it when I get all hand-wringy about being in the show when I’m just in the (pre-)audition phase, because I know it sounds like I think OH OF COURSE I’ll get the part, and NO. That is not what I think. In fact, I have regularly been brought in to audition simply to pad the audition pool. Granted, they don’t actually SAY that when they call me to come and read, but…sometimes you just know.
But I was SO GOOD when I read for Glengarry Glen Ross!
Anyhoo, I am just one of those people who tends to think ahead, oh, thirty or so steps of where I am right now and imagine every single possible catastrophe scenario that might unfold. So when I get called to audition, I am already trying to imagine how in the fuck I’ll be able to get from work to rehearsal every night without abandoning Brad at his office.
I’ve abandoned my boy!
Now throw A BABY into the mix, and we’ve really got ourselves a shit casserole, friends. I can’t even begin to imagine the logistical nightmare that would be juggling work, daycare, grocery shopping and rehearsals with our one, shared car – but that’s not even the real issue. The real issue is voluntarily giving up my evenings with Sadie, and…ouch. That one stings.
Way back before I even got pregnant, Brad reassured me that he would be extremely supportive of me whenever I decided I was ready to do a show again post-baby. This – luckily for me – is par for the course of how incredibly amazing my husband is, and he’s followed up with me throughout the past year, reminding me that hey, if you’re ready to do a show again, just say the word. So the issue of having someone willing to do, well, FUCKING EVERYTHING while I go to rehearsal is not really an issue at all, thanks to Brad. And Internet, I appreciate this. I really, really appreciate this.
I actually mentioned to Brad a little while ago that I might be ready to venture back into the world of vocal warm-ups and massive egos, so he suggested I let my theatre-type friends know that I was back on the market, as it were. Great idea, right? Yes, it’s such a great idea that it probably would garner me an audition or two! Which is…precisely why I didn’t do it. ACTOR FAIL.
I took my reluctance as a sign that maybe I wasn’t as ready as I thought I was. But then I remembered that I’ve had that same reluctance before, except back then I didn’t have the baby as an excuse. Whenever I’ve gone a while without being in a show, I get complacent. It’s easy to let my life settle into a comfortable, rehearsal-less routine. Easy, yes, but not entirely fulfilling.
And OH, I feel so guilty saying that, because that implies that my life with Brad and Sadie is not enough for me, because HOLYFUCKINGSHIT, it TOTALLY is – it’s MORE than enough, in fact. I feel like my heart is going to burst out of my ears most days because I simply don’t have the capacity to contain or express how happy I am to have the wonderfully charmed life that I have. But (and WHY DO I FEEL SO GUILTY SAYING THIS?!) I have goals and ambitions that fall outside the perimeter of my family life, and I want to pursue them. And when I neglect that side of my life for too long, there’s a void, and it inhibits my happiness.
Sweet Baby Jeebus on a Segway, that was so hard to say. Much, much harder than I anticipated. AND I DIDN’T EVEN VERBALIZE IT.
I suppose lots of career-minded parents experience this tsunami of guilt upon returning to the workplace post-baby, but I never really did. I mean, sure, I felt bad about it, but I don’t really have a career-type job, and it was really easy to pin my decision on finances. I mean, sure, I GUESS I was ultimately the one making the decision to come back to work, but don’t blame me! We need money! We need college savings! Baby needs pureed squash! MAMA NEEDS WINE! Work sucks, yes, but it’s a necessary evil! Just grinning and bearing it over here, folks. But when it comes to something like getting involved in a month-long run of a show (which is, essentially, a second job), it’s all on me. Yeah, the money is a nice perk, but it’s not the reason I’m doing it. I’m doing it because I want to. And if you insert some simple algebra, my MommyBrain very quickly draws the conclusion that “I’m choosing to surrender weeks of time with my baby BECAUSE I WANT TO.”
I am entirely aware that my pre-baby self would want to stomp my face in for feeling such guilt over wanting to be my own fucking person and pursue my own fucking goals, but…I guess your boobs aren’t the only things that change dramatically when one of these waltzes into your life.
On the other hand, I think about the example I’m setting for Sadie. I mean, I know she’s not really absorbing any life lessons at this stage
but as she gets older, I don’t want her to equate motherhood with giving up on the things that are important to her (and I admit that this was my thinking for a long time). I want her to always know that she and her father are my priority, but I also want to show her that I am, in fact, my own person with my own desires and goals. Because how disappointed would I be if she grew up to be the kind of person who completely chucks her dreams in the name of someone else’s happiness? VERY.
Also, I can’t wait until the day I see her little face in the audience, watching me do what I love to do, and – if I’m lucky – being proud of her dorky old mom.
Don’t worry – I won’t be naked.
*I have not, to date, been totally naked on stage. Have had a few on-stage make-outs, have said my share of profanities, but in all honesty, the thing that made me cringe the worst was when I had to utter the phrase “…we made love.” GROSS.