Last night, I did something unusual. Except that it didn't used to be unusual. It used to be a very common, almost daily experience.
I walked into a theater. And I auditioned. For a play. With an accent!
And I auditioned at a theater that once was like a second home. A theater where I did ten plays, three children's' plays, taught classes, worked in the box office, house managed... heck if you name it, I did it. And I loved it. I loved this theater. But that was a long time ago. Three cities, one graduate school, and two kids ago. In other words, a lifetime (or two).
As I walked back into the theater, I saw all the current actors of the time. The young girls hugging all their compatriots. The young men slapping each other on the back. And I realized the meaning of the phrase, "You can't go home again".
It's not that I wasn't welcomed. The few that still knew me were gracious. It's just that life moves on. I think that sometimes when we leave someone or something, we expect it to remain the same and in a constant state of anticipation of our return. But that's not what happens. And last night, I walked right smack into that reality.
So I had to meet this audition where I am today and meet this theater where it is today. And the theater is in a great place. It has grown immensely since I left. But have I? It's not an easy question to answer.
Here's what I am feeling. I have grown as a woman. And it is from this personage that I draw my art. And I have shared my art through my teaching. So the well is still deep. But my skills are rusty. It's as if the well has a very rusty crank. It's bringing the water up but it's a lot slower than it used to be. So that's something to work on. And in 2010, I am committing to getting the old tool kit out and start rubbing off some of that rust.
Can't say what will come of the audition. Can't say what part this (or any theater) will play in my life today or in the future. But I'm ready to re-join the rodeo and last night I got back on the horse. My legs might be a little chapped but I can still ride. And for now, that almost as good as winning grand prize.