Friday, July 22, 2011

Having It All

I miss Jonah so very much. I've been down the last couple of days. I don't get down that often, but this month has been harder than usual. I wrote recently of feeling down because of feeling stuck in my acting. Rereading that post, I realize how ungrateful I must have seemed writing it.

I am so blessed and lucky to actually do what I enjoy doing for a living. How proud it made me to attend my high school reunion 2 years ago and actually say that I was making a successful living doing what I always said I would do. How fortunate I feel to go to work and act and perform instead of waiting tables or sitting in a cubicle all day. I have little right to complain.

The other day, my future nephew-in-law asked me how many shows I've acted in, and as I went through and tried to remember all the shows I've done, I figured my current show is my 97th (unless I missed some, which is entirely likely). That means I've done nearly (or have actually done) 100 shows, professionally and non-professionally.

I've dreamed of being an actor since my first show in the third grade. My mom continually recounts a story about how I came home from elementary school and announced that I was going to be an actor and never deviated from that goal (although there were very, very brief periods when I considered becoming a lawyer, a psychologist, or a history teacher (but none of those lasted).

I remember returning from my mission and wondering if I could maintain my values and still make a living in the theatre. It's the only time I ever seriously considered abandoning my career goals, and it frightened me immensely to consider giving up the thing I felt most passionate about.

I remember praying about it and getting the very distinct prompting that this was what I should continue doing with my life, and it made me feel good that perhaps God actually approved of my career choice. Happily, it is a decision I have never regretted.

I've had the chance to play some great roles in some great shows, and, yes, I have also taken roles just for the paycheck. The ones I feel passionate or moved by are the most worthwhile, however.

My only regret is that I have not been able to have my career and be with Jonah in our home at the same time. This has been hard because my career has been quite successful during the time I've been with Jonah, and I, unfortunately, have spent more time away from him than with him since we had our commitment ceremony, and this has been due to my career.

I said in the aforementioned post that I was almost hoping not to get cast in The Tempest because I miss my husband so much. I've also been given an opportunity to audition for a play that I think I'd really enjoy doing, but I am foregoing it because I want to spend some time with Jonah, and if I were to get cast, I would have no break at all in which to see him, and it would be unlikely that we would spend more than a couple of days together between now and the end of December, and we've already been apart since April (aside from a couple of days here and there). It just isn't enough.

The cast for The Tempest still hasn't been announced, so there's still a chance I could be cast, and there is a good chance I could be cast in the show immediately after that, which is a musical, so aside from a week or two, I could end up being away from Jonah for a while, which is not at all appealing to me.

I have another opportunity to audition for another show, a contemporary comedy-drama, which is kind of what I am in the mood to do. I'm kind of burned out on musicals, and just want to play a lead in a contemporary straight play, so it's an exciting opportunity. It would also give me more time with Jonah. The downside is it doesn't pay as well as I would get doing The Tempest and the musical, and especially if Jonah and I are possibly buying another property, it would be good to earn more money.

The trouble with earning money and maintaining my career is that it keeps me away from the guy I love; the guy I miss. Ultimately, that isn't healthy, either. We've made it work for a long time, and we have both been supportive of each other's career, which have forced us to be separated; but I think we're both getting tired of it. Jonah certainly doesn't expect me to give up my career, but we both agree that maybe a small break from it is due. Jonah, although tired of his job, makes much better money than I do, so we think, for the time being, that it would be foolish of him to give up his job, although he probably will do in so in a year or so.

I love acting so much. But I love Jonah so much, too. I wish there was a way to have both at the same time, but I do not have as good of a theatre network in the city where we live than I do here in Utah, and furthermore, the kinds of theatre opportunities I look for do not seem to be available to me there.

Relationships are about sacrifice, and I think I may have to take a break from my career to be with Jonah for a bit, and that's both hard and good. On the other hand, while I'm home with Jonah, I hope I can at least find work I enjoy doing. I don't exactly want to work at Walmart or wait tables at the Cheesecake Factory.

I guess we'll see what happens. Why can't one have it all at the same time?

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