I am not “taking a break” as it may appear to be… “retiring” might be a more appropriate term… though some people come “out of retirement” for one more show.
No… for me “leaving” is the most appropriate term for the usage here.
“Leaving” has a bit of finality to it, a kind of ending one chapter to start another one… and theatre has been a part of my life (albeit on and off) for over ten years. I will miss it, but I do have to end it.
Acting, stage managing, video editing… all of it. It has been tickling the back of my mind for months now. That this might be it, the last hurrah, though at first I thought it was after the 2014-2015 season, but the more I think about it the more I realize that this is probably better to be done by the end of the calendar year.
But why stop when I could chug along and (hopefully) do what I want? A lot of factors perhaps, some personal, some petty, but all draining in one arena or the next.
Where to begin?
NO LONGER CHALLENGING
None of it… acting has always presented challenges, but in order to do that I would have to find myself in situations that would allow myself to truly sink my teeth into. To know within what is necessary and how to bring that about so not only do you blend with the crowd but you also find that individuality.
Stage managing is still challenging in its own way… but after a while it becomes rote. Not only that, but it gets socially awkward because you have the cast on one hand that spent weeks bonding and when the crew comes in, they are like the bastard step children and when we are all going out to the same outing… there will invariably be invisible walls drawn up between the crew and the cast. I notice these things because I have been both.
Granted there is also video editing… which is challenging as well. But if the challenge is to create something semi-professional from semi-amateur work that gets to be draining after a while. I think what started that was when I filmed a few clips with the proper equipment I had on hand… and then when it came to editing, it was a piece of cake. When other people do the filming and then I video edit their filming… it takes days, lots and lots of days.
OK… IT ISN’T JUST THE LACK OF CHALLENGE
Though that is a major part of it… no challenge, no fun for me. What has been doing it for me is seeing the world and environment around me evolve in such a way where beneath the surface of an open and new environment, the inner workings are far from it.
When you can see the world around you evolve in ways that it makes it more and more difficult to enjoy being a part of that world… the best thing for one to do is simply step away. Be it permanently or for a time and I suppose I have hit the last straw on the camel’s back.
SO WHAT IS IT REALLY?
It is a variety of reasons… some that I have already stated above. But I suppose the best way to describe it is that theatre has become a kind of parasite to me. A being that just sucks all my energy to the point where I feel bankrupt and dead inside. There is simply no joy left for me in theatre no matter how often I take a break. There is no desire to step into the building for rehearsal and want to give it my all.
Mind you, this isn’t any one group, I tend to float between several different groups, but in the recent year I have felt the same dead weight inside. Once in a while, I will find myself enjoying the process again, but the moment is fleeting and few.
And that could be because I lost interest, no longer motivated, or there are enough people in the community that has gotten on my nerves enough for me to not want to deal with them anymore in a theatre setting (and in some cases personal as well).
IS LEAVING REALLY THE ANSWER? / ARE YOU REALLY LEAVING?
No, it probably isn’t (for both questions). But it is the only one where I could keep my sanity alive. This way I also have a timeline.
I will however, still respect long standing / current commitments… and perhaps once in a while I will throw my hat into the ring… But the chances of the latter happening in any capacity is exceedingly slim (if not outright just out of the question).
WHAT WILL YOU DO THEN?
Just because I am not going to be in community theatre does not mean I have nothing else going on in my life. This is me we’re talking about here… I probably already have something on the back burner that has been sitting there for a while just waiting to be brought to the forefront and the only way for that to happen is for me to shut something else down.
And for right now… community theatre is being shut down.
I have other things to do. Organizations to build… work to manage… writing to work on.
So I won’t be depraved of things to keep me busy and occupied and besides community theatre was never a passion for me, it was a joy… a joy that ceased to be one in recent memory. Only now I know why.
And who knows… there might be another chapter further down in this novel of my life that allows me to revisit the joys of theatre, but until then this is a chapter that needs to be closed.