Breaking Up With a Show
So, a week ago today, we did our final performance on my first college play. It took me a long time to warm up into a comedy role (see previous blog post), but eventually, I found my own and was able to have a lot of fun with the show, and of course the people in it. Although Peter was far from my first comedy, I’m willing to say it was one of the most quotable shows I’ve ever done, by far. Which makes it so much harder to say goodbye to, especially given my sense of humor (Obscure movie and theater quotes make up the majority of what I find funny). Particularly because I didn’t know anyone at Capital heading into this year, I latched on pretty tightly to the cast and crew for this show. I wrote a detailed letter to everyone (as I do at the end of every show) explaining this, and then had to face the facts. A theater production is a relationship, and I needed to break up with everybody.
I thought heading home for the holiday would be helpful, a good way to take my mind off of things and what not. But as I was dragged into my conservative, hate filled, theater despising hometown, I found myself clinging to theater bonds, and subsequently Peter, stronger than I had on campus. At first I tried to fight it, but the show followed me everywhere. The first day back in Bradford, I watched a movie with my mother where they told a sailor to go port and he went to the right (I think that was a technical mistake, since no one ever brought it up), I made so much Italian food, and I nearly drove my car off the road when listening to Sirius’s “On Broadway” station and the only thing I heard was “In Peter and the Starcatcher.” It was almost like my life wasn’t willing to let me forget.
But, as my family pushed so strongly against my intent to add a theater based dual major to college career, I embraced it more. I marathoned a good portion of NBC’s Smash, since I wanted something to watch to entertain myself, totally forgetting Christian Borle was in it until after I started (I’ll probably write a retrospective on that experience later, but so far, funnily enough, Tom is by far my favorite character). As I set out to go Black Friday shopping, I found myself wanting to message the people from the show to ask their opinion on clothes, and I never ask people for their opinion on what I’m wearing. Bonds formed by spending 20 hours a week with someone are hard to break, that’s why I have such set opinions on the people I worked with over the summer. Maybe it was because I wasn’t being given acceptance from my family, but I wanted desperately for people to tell me that my life decisions weren’t stupid (even if it was just over buying a blazer).
For a while in high school, I was nicknamed the queen of clean breakups, as I stayed good friends with my ex long after we broke up. And reminiscing on that when I went to the movies with my friend this weekend but this whole thing into a new perspective for me. Perhaps the best kind of breakup in this case isn’t a clean break, but one that slowly fades away. The only thing that’s easy to quit cold turkey is, well, cold turkey (and mostly you have to stop that when you run out of left overs). Sure, three players a piece have signed onto Capital’s two productions (which run the same weekend) but just because that cast will never share the same stage again doesn’t mean that what we did is worth forgetting, quite the opposite. I chose the featured image I did out of all of the images from the show because the evening the show was over, I hung my mermaid costume up on the wall in my dorm, as a way to remember things by. Your first show is always going to be special, and while I have a sneaking suspicion that things could turn out like they did for me during high school marching band (read: freshman year show was by far done the best and was the best received by the audience), I want to remember all of the specialness that show had. And while the open space in my schedule is going to hurt for a little while…