Time to Remember
It's funny how sometimes you forget who you are- or more, who you were when you thought possibilities were endless.In my youth, I thought that ANYTHING was possible. I would blindly dive in head first without a doubt or thought in my head telling me otherwise. Dumb luck was my saving grace and fearlessness my blind guide. I miss those days of youth, long forgotten and buried in boxes filled with old scripts, piles of sheet music and yellowed clippings from newspapers. Proof that I lived a life.
Tonight I spent the better part of the evening sifting through plastic tubs filled with memories in search of some sheet music for an upcoming audition. It took an hour or so- it has been many a year since I had used this particular song and my papers are in no logical order, besides the fact I have scripts and scores for just about every show I have done, and there have been many. Along the way I got sidetracked reading old reviews and notes from directors and castmates. And I remembered something.
I was pretty damn good.
Now, I'm sure you're thinking I am full of myself or have an incredible ego, but sadly that is not the case. I am incredibly insecure. These days, I have brief moments of surety and confidence, but my life has taken me far from where I was going, and I am slowly trying to get back on track. This place (*Florida) has been weird for me. It's easy to lose your identity here. Or at least I have found it to be true.
I don't bemoan my fate- there are choices I've made that led me to where I am now that I would not change for anything. I needed my family, and they have needed me. But I think it's man in the mirror time. -Time to make a change.
Reviews are a funny thing. I used to be so excited when the review of a show came out, to get that feedback, that affirmation. I couldn't wait to rush out to get the paper the next day, just to see what it said.Reading them tonight, I had forgotten that I predominantly got strong notices. Even the ones that were bad weren't scathing, and I treasured them as well. I held on to them all. I was noticed. That seemed pretty cool.
Now I occasionally write reviews, notice people, recognize their talent and give them props. Because I know how good it feels. How important it is to be recognized, acknowledged. To be appreciated.
I miss that.
In the piles of papers I also found about a hundred pages of a book that I had started writing years ago about New Orleans. It was far better than I would have imagined.I don't know why I stopped writing (besides the fact that I have issues with completion, evidently), but there are parts that seem like they could be salvaged into a decent short story. They spoke of a particular time in my youth in New Orleans. I am not sure what I can dredge up from the depths of my fractured memory about that time, but I think it might be worth it.
The other day at work I drew a cartoon sign to illustrate a new rule. I showed it to my co-workers who smiled appreciatively and one chimed in, "That's good! didn't know you were an artist too!"
Yeah, sometimes I forget as well.
Sometimes you just need a reminder.
And affirmation, even if it's from within, does a world of good.
I work in a coffee shop. I wear a uniform. I am so much more than what my wrapping intimates. I believe that when you wear a uniform, you lose your identity.And the older you get, the more complacent you get, and you start to forget who you are. Uniforms are soul sucking, personality draining, mind-numbing aspects of society that I think should be banned.
Because for a while, I forgot I was an artist.
. A singer.
And I was pretty damn good.
Stephen LaDow is an actor, blogger,singer, barista , and supporter of the arts. He lives on the West End of Panama City. Follow his blog at Unfiltered-ness.com.
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