Ouroboros - n, a circular symbol of a snake or dragon devouring its tail.
A fitting title for this post for two reasons. The first is as a tribute to my friends Scott and Jenni Sumerak. Their theater company of the same name has given me two wonderful opportunities since I moved to Chicago. Included is my most recent show, which closed Sunday and was Ouroboros Theater Company's last production. I wish them the best and I know that even though Ouroboros has closed its doors this is far from the last time we will work together. The second reason for the title is about what the Ouroboros represents, at least to me. This is a time of endings and beginnings, and for me they are running right into each other. This post may be a little uncomfortable for me, because outside of my direct feelings about my progress and struggles with my health I have not talked a lot about my state of mind. It may have been foolish to try to segregate that part of myself before, but I am certainly not going to put my whole life on here. It drives me nuts when other people overshare and I plan on avoiding hypocrisy if I can.
This past week I started getting the idea that closing this show might not be that fun for me. It has been a while since closing a show was a sad thing for me, but I knew this time it would be. I definitely could have run the show much longer. I feel like I still had room to grow in that role. I was also incredibly proud of my work. I don't know that it is the best acting I have ever done; the writing for my character is a bit thin so there is not a lot of guidance as to where his many oddities come from. I liken it to driving on a roadway with very wide lanes. Sure, it is easy to stay inside the lines, but it is almost impossible to drive in a straight line. What I was most proud of was the embodiment of my personal progress that the role had become. I was able to sing the role because of quitting smoking. The dance, such as it was, would have been beyond me even a month or two sooner, let alone before starting this process. Combining the singing with the dance was incredibly difficult, and something I really wasn't comfortable with until tech week. Pair all of that with the incredible people I had the pleasure of getting to know and work with and it is little wonder this closing was emotional for me.
And then I went home. And started nibbling. Well, I felt hungry, even though I knew I was full. Actually, I had started the grazing when I started contemplating closing the show. My disastrous date experience this weekend did not help much, although now it is pretty funny. It reinforces the need for constant awareness. I am the same person I always was. I eat to feel better. I gain weight very quickly. I have to put the bad choices out of my reach. My cast gift included bags of candy for everybody, but I only used about 2/3rds of what I purchased, so I have had candy in the house since about the time I started to get a little depressed. Bad combination. I have saved a couple boxes of Nerds, but just today thrown away the rest. I hate being wasteful, but it is the only way I can do it. I cannot have a bag of sweets in the house. It is hard enough fighting the urge to eat when I am down, and having bad choices to hand makes it double difficult. At least an extra apple or some hummus has some benefit. It is funny that the biggest challenge I have encountered from this show was from closing it. I figured that once I closed I would be able to redouble my focus and get some good prep work done. Now I am thinking it is a blessing I have a new show to go straight into. I get the feeling that this new show will be less of a "family" and more of a professional workmanlike atmosphere. That is ok, but I want to be sure I don't try to replace one experience with the other. I am hesitant to share most of this. Partly because it is such a small thing to be depressed about and I feel whiny and self-indulgent, and partly because of my own tendencies to want to handle all of my problems solo, but having already gained over 1 pound since Saturday and trending up I need to be accountable. I think to cap off my experience I should show a few more photos from the production. Thank you to all of the photographers who helped capture the show and to all of my castmates for a tremendous experience.
Thank you everybody.