When I was talking to someone about my busy recent schedule, that person asked me, “How long do you think you’ll be able to perform and be a critic?” I believe my response was a shrug and, “Dunno. As long as I can do both, I guess.”
Here’s the thing–I love doing both. I love being onstage and performing, and I honestly cannot go to a musical performance without aching a little bit on the inside as I sit in the audience thinking “When, DEAR GOD WHEN, can I do this again?” Those of you who are also performers know exactly what I’m talking about. It’s intangible, really. I can’t answer why I love doing it, just like I can’t answer why I continue to do it even when I’m exhausted, frustrated, stressed, etc. It’s just…because.
And on the other hand, I love being, even in my very small, insignificant way, a theatre resource for people. If a review I write convinces someone to go see the show, even just out of curiosity or to see if what I said about the sets/costumes/actors’ performances is really true, that’s fantastic. If one of my Facebook friends clicks on a link to an article or a link to a YouTube performance of something particularly fierce, that’s excellent! If six people read and enjoy this blog, that’s great, too! It also broadens my own horizons. Reviewing gives me an opportunity despite the financial limitations of being…ahem…a twenty-something newlywed to go see shows all over the Metroplex and, who knows, maybe even farther some day. Plus, as someone who has always enjoyed writing and blogging, I’m getting the added professional benefit of having my reviews published in such widely read online publications such as The Column and PegasusNews.com.
However, I know what this person meant by asking me that question. Eventually, despite my intentions and my desire to write with tact and objectivity, I’m bound to someday get on the wrong side of an actor, a director, a choreographer, a producer…you get the idea…and it could very well affect whether or not I’m cast in some places. And that’s fair – it’s their prerogative! My career aspirations are not to make a living on the stage; if they were, I’d stop reviewing now and focus on performing only. My goals are to just keep doing what I’m doing for as long as someone lets me do it. I want to perform as often as my schedule, my day job, my home life will allow – and not necessarily in that order. And I want to continue seeing the myriad high-quality theatrical productions that Dallas/Fort Worth and its surrounding suburbs have to offer.
I also want a million dollars, a new car, and maybe just one pair of Jimmy Choo mary janes…so if someone could get on that for me, I’d be much obliged. :-)