So today we began the move out of the theatre we've been sharing with another small arts group. And it feels like losing. It doesn't feel like a new beginning, like a chance to have a fresh new start somewhere else. It just feels like losing. The money isn't there to run a theatre facility without some serious public support and fundraising, and I have a good job that pays me far too much money to give that up to try to raise the money to operate another venue.
So we're done.
Officially we're "on hiatus." I don't know how long a hiatus, or what we'll do when we come back, but it will be very different. We'll be renting a stage, rather than having our own space, which means less control over dates, rehearsals and all the other details. We'll be down to doing 2-3 shows a year, rather than the 8 or so we did at our busiest. And I don't know that I mind any of that. My priorities have shifted in the last 5 years, as have my wife's and all the other folks involved with the theatre. Maybe it's for the best that we stop trying to be a full-time producing organization, and just do a couple shows a year.
And maybe I'm just bitter because I feel like my city could give two shits about theatre and the arts and no amount of beating my head against the wall is changing that. My forehead is bleeding and the wall is still standing, unscathed.
I got into theatre to meet girls and save the world. Got half of it covered, since I met my wife in the theatre. That second half has been a lot tougher. I do think that we have, at times, created a positive impact on our society with the shows that we have produced. I also think that there have been a lot of times we've been screaming into the abyss and hearing nothing coming back but the echo of our own voices.
So now I'm a stage director without a stage. But like I said, my priorities have shifted. I'm also now a card player. Not always a good one, but I am a card player. And I'm a writer again. Ditto the first, not always a good one, but I am writing again. I'm becoming able to touch those places inside me that I walled off a dozen or so years ago that allowed me to write. And it feels good and painful all at the same time, like a hot shower after being very cold, the warm good pain of blood rushing into unused capillaries (sp?). Before too long I'll tell the story of why I stopped writing, but there's not enough blood back into those toes to write it yet.
I guess for me the inflection point of the week was when I was driving home from the airport Monday after landing. I'm heading into Charlotte, thinking about getting everything ready for this moveout and the last weekend of our show, and all I kept thinking was "I much prefer being part of the community of poker bloggers that I just left to being part of the Charlotte theatre community."
That's when I realized two things - 1) I need a break from producing theatre in a town that could care less about theatre for social change, and 2) I have a wonderful group of friends from all over the country that accepted me without batting an eye (even at the kilt!) and they are my friends whether I produce any shows, cast them in plays, or even paly another hand of cards again. And that's priceless.
Thank you for being part of my life. I miss you all.