Thursday, December 08, 2011

reverb11 day 8 - joy to the world

Today’s prompt asks: Take us back to a moment this year when you experienced pure, unadulterated joy.

Well, you can imagine my joy when I opened up my reverb email today – because this was one of the prompts I suggested! And even though I suggested it less than two weeks ago, the moment I immediately thought of happened more recently than that.

This past Sunday was a big tech day for my show. So before rehearsal, I was helping out with the transportation of props and set pieces, etc, from our rehearsal hall to venue. One of the things I do as a board member for my group is handle publicity, and one of the things I handle wearing that hat is painting a big sign for our town green and installing it a week or two before the show. Sunday was that day.

So there I was, driving Greg’s SUV, with this giant sign filling up the bulk of the car, squeezed in with other theater-related stuff, me stuffing the Arby’s that I grabbed in the drive-thru down my throat as a I drove to the green to put the sign in, and I just had this moment of joy.

Here’s why: I’ve been involved with this particular group for 15 years. I’ve done shows with other groups as well, but this really is my community theater home, in the town where I grew up. (I only live about 20 minutes away now.) (Pathetic, I know, but whatevs.) I’ve done all kinds of shows in all kinds of capacities, but I’ve also been handling publicity this whole time, which means since I was 23 years old, I have been hauling that sign to and fro, painting, re-painting, installing, taking out, in all kinds of weather.

So much of my life has changed since I started with this group in 1996, since I said, sure, hey, I’ll do props for Rumors, what the hell. This little group has seen me through the highs (getting married, having Jane) and the lows (my father dying), with a million hours logged in our rehearsal hall and various stages in between.

The responsibilities in my life have grown leaps and bounds as well. I used to do five or six shows a year – one right after the other – and now, juggling work, Jane and home, I’m lucky if I do two. And really, I am lucky that Greg is alright with me running out the door at night three times a week for a couple of months a pop. Unlike how things were prior to having Jane, it now affects him too, and keeps him at home while I go play with my friends.

But when I’m doing these shows - and, specifically, last Sunday, when I was dragging my old friend the sign to its appointed place on the town green – I feel like the same person I was when I was 23. The core me I’ve always been, all along, and always will be. And that version of me is pretty damn joyful sometimes.


Ty Unglebower said...

Excellent post. The spontaneous joy part, and certainly the theatre part.

When theatre really works, and you find the right cast, right company, right everything, joy naturally follows. Sometimes even the life changing, heart stopping kind.

I envy you that you have that one company with which you feel so attached. I have been a "regular" at several companies over the years, looking for that perfect fit. I have yet to find it, for various reasons. Yet I certainly relate to the idea that theatre itself, (when everyone around you is just as in love with it as you are) is a source of great joy.

Unknown said...

Love this, Amanda. I wish I had this sort of relationship with a community. Not where I currently live as I just feel nothing for this place. I love hearing stories like yours and your involvement with the theatre.That joy is so pure and so awesome. It is evident how it makes your heart swell in the joy that comes out in your writing. :)

Anonymous said...

i'm so happy for you that you've found such an anchor, and one that makes you so happy. that is truly a gift. congratulations!

Dwayne "The Train" said...

there were several moments from this past year that made me gush with joy, and here they are in no particular order:

1) the day that @petersagal tweeted me. (not sure this happened this past year, but it feels like he just tweeted me yesterday.)

2) the day that a certain mutual friend admitted he might be part gay: "@mutualfriendontwitter: if i wasn't afraid to dance, i would be dancing right now. #inotsosecretlyloveladygaga"

3) the day that amanda admitted in an im chat that she loved me (you probably remember this day too, amanda, as i am sure it was an epic day for you):
"me: don't hate me.
amanda: i don't hate you. i love you."

4) the day mouth chlamydia became a thing.

5) the day this came into my life: number one

6) the day this came into my life: number two


also, here’s my reply to yesterday’s prompt: f*ck yates.