a little green
I was hesitant to write this post because people involved might read it (if anyone really reads this besides the few I’m already aware of that spend much of their time in close proximity to me) and I’m sharing a pretty unflattering side of myself. Well, I guess that’s what blogs are all about, a transparency… so here goes.
I am involved in a show (it runs Jan 21st– Feb 7th so here’s the info) and it’s mostly the normal process of a production. It’s not a new play, which is a change from over a year of solely new work, and I truly enjoy its embracing but lacerating story. However, I find that I have this high level of envy going on. The cast is two guys and three girls. Usually I slide into my role and move forward but in this play I am very covetous of the other two female parts. There are many reasons for it. Some are very basic and perhaps childish: my part is smaller (please don’t say “No small parts only small actors” to me, I know that and she is a great role, blah blah blah) and circumstantially less developed because of it. That I can handle. I can rope in my desire to be on stage more, my wish to dive into pages & pages, scenes & scenes and really chew up the furniture. I read the play; I knew what I was getting into when I accepted the offer.
The deeper and more challenging part of my jealousy is that I want to say their lines, their characters’ words. Not because I wish it was me instead of them, they are lovely, but because I want it too. Does that make sense? It’s especially true with one of the roles. I would love to play her. That’s it. And there’s nothing I can do about it. I cannot change it, not right now. So, because I’m in this situation for another month, I have to find a way to cope (hell, to thrive) despite my conflicted nature. They were cast in the role, I was not. Believe me; I’ve given myself a stern talkin’ to about that…
I received great advice early on in my endeavors. Someone said to me that it’s okay to be envious but the trick is to get to the place where instead of “I want it/that” you can truly say/think/feel “I want it/that TOO.” This helps make it about how you feel without lessening the accomplishment or experience for the other person. (Truthfully, I have been on receiving end of “I wish that was me” and I felt kind of crappy about that scenario as well so maybe jealousy is difficult from any angle.) It’s the feeling of exposure, of vulnerability, of lack.
But maybe I should choose to see it as hopeful. My mother and father, the brilliant parental strategists that they are, always embraced our wild emotions with the affirmation “That means you really care about it. That’s a good thing.” When something was super exciting or infuriating they would never invalidate our reaction. Instead they told us that the feeling meant something positive, it meant that we cared so much about the thing/person/event and that IS a good thing. So maybe the green monster is our friend. Pushing us to be more by showing us what we are not. And there’s always next time…
Thanks for “listening” and I hope you don’t think less of me,
Dream Role: Mae in Maria Irene Fornes’ Mud