The Finish Line

May 10, 2010 at 4:50 pm 13 comments


Insert ridiculous office-related clip art here!

(What the fuck is wrong with this dude’s hands?!)

So, THAT was an experience.

I spent a lot of time over the weekend trying to figure out exactly how I felt about my postpartum return to theatre geekery. I can honestly say I’m 100% glad that I did it, but…man. It sure kicked my ass a hell of a lot harder than I expected, both physically and emotionally. And I have to be straight with you: if you told me I had to go to rehearsal tonight instead of spending the evening with Sadie, I might do something really violent to your person.

I guess I always feel some degree of relief upon ending a show, but “relief” doesn’t really cover it here. Internet, I was kind of losing it there towards the end. Like, freaking out multiple times a day. Over everything. And basically behaving as though every little imperfection in my day (misplaced cell phone, forgotten sippy cup, running late OMG I WAS ALWAYS RUNNING LATE) was an indication that 1) the world was ending, and 2) I was an unfit mother and a pathetic excuse for a human being.  So, yes, I was a joy to be around. Just ask Brad!

And then please escort him to the nearest distillery, where he can crawl into a cozy oaken barrel and drink his way out.

I had been doing a really good job of nipping freak-outs in the bud ever since the baby was born. You sure do learn quick that 99% of parenting means being completely out of control at all times, and — to my surprise — I was doing a pretty good job (for me) at rolling with the punches. Up until last week, when I could have taught a fucking seminar in LOSING YOUR SHIT: EVERYTHING IS WRONG AND WE ARE ALL RUINED FOREVER, HEY WHERE ARE YOU GOING?!

I absolutely hate that side of myself. And I absolutely hate that it resurfaced as a result of doing something I love.

And this is where I get all twisted up in my gut, because I really struggled with doing this show. But I kept telling myself to hang in there, and things would seem better once the show opened (and they did…a little), and — as some of you said in the comments — it’s important for me to keep pursuing my interests, not only for me, but for Sadie. So when I’m honest with myself and admit how fucking stressful doing this show was, and how fucking relieved I am that it’s over, I don’t know what that means. Part of me thinks: Settle down, lady! Just accept that you want to be home with the shorty right now and go with it! But another part of me nags: Wimp! You’ll get lazy and lose momentum, and the next thing you know the “baby” will be 13 and you’ll have no outside interests apart from driving her to and from the mall.

Hot Topic: where millions of babysitting dollars go to die.

I am mostly sure that this latest pseudo-crisis is the result of a brain that is still buzzing from the breakneck pace of the past month, but a substantial part of me is genuinely worried that my life has changed to the point where theatre isn’t the thoroughly joyful experience it once was. Where I used to look at an audition notice and see opportunity, I now look at an audition notice and see schedules, lost evenings, booked weekends, and heavy compromises.  I’m scared that I’ve outgrown something I spent almost all of my life madly in love with. I don’t think I’m ready to break up with theatre, but…maybe we need some time apart.

And now, in the manner of a recently exed girlfriend poring over photos of happier times, here’s the good stuff:

Me (over at the desk) at rehearsal in early April. Something about the bare, taped off stage makes me swoon. I love this part of the process.

Sitting on one of the post-high school performance panels. Isn’t it cute how I’m pretending to know stuff?

After the closing performance on Saturday (with missing cast member photoshopped in). When I look at this picture, I’m really, really happy I did this.*

If you click on the review, it gives you a better idea of what the show was about. And although my role was peripheral and mostly there for plot advancement purposes, I’m proud to know I had a hand in the show. Maybe seeing this show came just at the right time for someone. Maybe it helped someone feel less alone. Maybe this experience was less about me and my enjoyment of the process, and more about bringing something positive to someone else.

When I think of it that way, I wouldn’t exchange this experience for anything. But oh my goodness, Internet. Am I happy to see more of this face:

I missed you, kid.

*You should know that when I emailed Brad the link to the review, he responded with:

“Yay! I’ve always thought of you as calmly competent… especially when you’re freaking out about being a complete failure and slamming doors.

(Too soon?)”

I love that asshole.


Entry filed under: Gobble-gobble, Thanksgiving.

Every Mother’s Day has a Mother’s Night… PAY IT FORWARD: Women Sure Are Amazing for a Bunch of Fat, Ugly Bitches!

13 Comments Add your own

  • 1. hillary  |  May 10, 2010 at 5:42 pm

    I love how Sadie looks like she’s about to eat your face in the last photo 🙂

    congrats on finishing the show!

    • 2. jiveturkey  |  May 11, 2010 at 9:29 am

      Hee! Those are her “kisses.” We are still working on the, uh, open mouth issue.

  • 3. MLE  |  May 10, 2010 at 6:00 pm

    Congratulatinons on a show well-done! Even in my high school days, when I love love loved performing and everything that came with it, I was always relieved to have some of my life back after the show. I vaguely remember how it felt. Even if you perhaps won’t be performing as frequently (participating in one or two plays a year, rather than more?), I still bet you’d miss it if you stopped completely. For now, why not just enjoy the afterglow?

    • 4. jiveturkey  |  May 11, 2010 at 9:30 am

      You’re right.

  • 5. kristin @ going country  |  May 10, 2010 at 7:44 pm

    Ahhh. Breathe. And enjoy that baby who is suddenly NOT LOOKING LIKE A BABY ANYMORE YIKES.

    Still cute though. Definitely still cute.

    • 6. jiveturkey  |  May 11, 2010 at 9:30 am

      I KNOW! I swear, starting at month 10, she changes EVERY STINKIN’ DAY. Like, she looks different when she wakes up from naps. It’s insane.

  • 7. 4th Reader of Said Turkey  |  May 10, 2010 at 8:45 pm

    1. Sounds like a cool show. Congrats! 2. Yay, nice to have our lives back, isn’t it? 3. I think you should tell the second part of your brain to shut the fuck up already. Seriously, I just don’t see that happening to you. You’ll take it a little bit slower for a few years, maybe, and maybe you’ll be a little bit pickier about the shows you do (you’ll do them only if they’re really interesting or fulfilling or just a lot of damn fun) and then before you know it, the “baby” will be 14 and will want to come work backstage on a show you’re in, or audition for a role in a children’s play with you or Brad, and you’ll still be running late and forgetting stuff all the time, but at least you’ll be spending time together so you can laugh about it a little. And that’s the way it will be forever and ever amen.

    • 8. jiveturkey  |  May 11, 2010 at 9:31 am

      Thanks 🙂

  • 9. Tara  |  May 11, 2010 at 5:31 am

    Congratulations on finishing the show!

    Even if it was a hard slog, I bet it was a valuable learning experience? You know now that yes, you can still do it; but also that things have changed.

    Only you can really decide if it is something you want to pursue.

    • 10. jiveturkey  |  May 11, 2010 at 9:32 am

      Yeah, I think that was part of it – proving to myself that I could still do this, even after having a baby. Mission accomplished! Woo!

  • 11. FoST  |  May 11, 2010 at 2:23 pm

    Just think Gayle, in a couple years, you can live vicariously through Sadie’s theater roles. And that will be enough….right? J/K….I think you’re awesome for having the balls to go back to theater and try it out. But at least now you know how you feel….if you never went back, you might always wonder?

  • 12. shelli  |  May 12, 2010 at 10:33 am

    I love Sadie!

    And I found that having something I could do every so often, as opposed to constantly, that was theatrically related kept me sane.

    I’ll stage manage a gig once a year or so, and usually a benefit, so minimal time commitment, but it keeps my proverbial muscles flexed.

    and the picture of you two with the “oh wow” faces? BLISS!

  • 13. CFoST  |  May 12, 2010 at 2:30 pm

    I’m thinking the way to solve all of this is to get Sadie cast in shows with you.


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