Thanks to ALL for the support on the booking of that job. I still feel like I’m flying a little bit each time I think about it. Beyond all the rest of the “stuff,” this whole process has just reinforced the fact that life is unpredictable, unplannable, surprising, and comprised of uncontrollable ups and downs. My life, at least, but I think probably everyone’s lives. I shouldn’t even have been allowed to audition the first time because I’m non-equity. And then I booked the show. Life is weird, y’all.
Yesterday in therapy, I brought this great news to H (my therapist). She was very excited for me, I know, and honestly it was the first time I’d really talked about how it made me feel, what it meant, what it even was. She allowed me to effuse prolifically, something that I’m often shy about because my brain says, “It’s therapy! Stop talking about your happy stuff, work out your shit!” But hell, sometimes the good stuff is important to bring into the room, says H– no shame (oh shame, you old goose).
I described how I could talk about the logistics of the part for ages– what it pays, what being Equity means, why the schedule works, why the part is good– but what has really changed is this feeling inside me. Very quickly, from one of the worst weeks in a long time, where all I wanted to do was disappear into myself and become totally translucent, I felt solid. I felt as though there was a think beam of bright light in the center of my chest. It didn’t make me want to scream and brag and run around, it just changed the inside of me. When I walked down the street, I felt more solid, more human, as though I’d been filled with something thick and warm that no one needed to see or understand but that I could feel.
Near the end of the session, my therapist asked me what would happen if we brought “Little B” into the room. “Little B” is the part of myself/memory of myself at age 10, deeply bipolar, depressed, and incredibly alone. She lives in perpetual sadness, banished to my childhood room after an explosion of anger which nearly instantaneously turned into pure guilt. The moment H mentioned her, my eyes filled with tears and my breath caught. I could see her, see the pain in her eyes (as an actor, I have quite the imaginative faculty– my therapist loves me).
It was a complicated moment of imagination. I knew I couldn’t save her from her sadness, and I knew it wouldn’t make her feel better to say something like, “You’re going to be an Equity actor at 23!” She will still be sad, and she knows she’s going to be successful. But in my mind, I put my hand on her chest, that warm, thick, glowing inside of me now giving a brief moment of comfort to “Little B.”
That little girl is an enormous part of me. She is in me every moment, and she won’t ever go away. I cannot cure her, because I’m not cured. I simply love her as much as I can, and accept that she, in all her sadness and anger and shame and loneliness, will appear for the rest of my life. But I’m so glad that at least in brief moments, I can give her a bit of warmth, a bit of solidity, a moment to breathe and feel the ground beneath her.