i make a mental note to call the union soon to find out if i can change my name. then i judge myself for that because if i'm not doing theatre anymore, why do i need to check in with the theatre union? then i judge myself for judging myself, quickly become distracted by something else and forget about it all until i remember again.
i analyze what each choice would mean, just as i analyzed what the first one meant, until i am exhausted and don't make any choices at all.
"i think it would be okay to fully quit if i knew i was done with it. i don't think there's anything wrong with changing careers if you know you've gotten everything you can out of them. but i can't figure it out yet. i can't tell if it's just because i'm scared or if i'm really just done with that part of my life."
she was silent for a few minutes because she already knew the answer. we both did.
"well.. i guess the only way to really know is to try, right?"
sometimes i miss performing like a gust of wind has smacked me in the face, like someone has sucker-punched me in the gut, like ice cold water has just touched the tips of my toes in that way that jolts your body making it so you want it to stop and go on all at the same time.
i indulge myself in a moment of nostalgia: the way the microphone tape felt, the way the numbers are printed along the front of stages, that sound of the hands coming together with such force and might that you can actually feel the energy of the movement.
i indulge myself in a moment of fantasy: the way the clapper sounds, the senseless hours kept of saying the same lines over and over until you feel like a crazy person, being clear across the country, stuck in traffic and late to set.
ice water on toes. too much.
he had come out of the apartment across the way and said hello to the wriggling dog attached to the other end of the leash.
"you walk him?"
"yeah! i love this little guy. i stay with him all day."
"that's nice. like his babysitter. so, you are a dog walker?"
"no, i'm an actress. this is just supplemental."
i stepped in the elevator, startled at how naturally i had claimed the title. "i'm an actress". bold, loudly and outside of my mind.
"you know what i think it is? i didn't really use to like myself, you know? so i used acting as a crutch, a way to avoid myself by playing other people. but now.. well, now i think i'm awesome so it's kind of more a matter of figuring out what being an actor means now. if it's not to run from myself anymore."
it was quiet again for awhile before i spoke again, finalizing this part of the conversation:
"i'm not so much in the business of show as i am in the business of being happy. my goal right now is to do whatever brings me joy. when it's time, i'll act again. it's just a matter of when it's supposed to happen."