The glitter and shine of Christmas decorations are up all around the county and people are smiling a little brighter at one another. Letting the pedestrians cross in the crosswalks, tipping their baristas, keeping spoilers to The Crown and The Mandalorian to themselves.
Life is moving forward. Shopping is being done, plans are being made to visit families and Bad Romance plays through the speakers in Phil’z Coffee on Bristol Street.
I’m watching experiences happen because I’m on a break before I start my next performance tonight. I’m closing out this year working as an Actor. Professionally. That’s right, getting paid to play dress-up and pretend to be someone else. Actually, pretending to be two other people. From another time. Another place.
Earning a paycheck, adding to my pension, paying my taxes, social security, buying groceries, putting gas in my car. While I’m doing all of this, it makes me think about all those people who look at us doing this work and ask us about “Real Jobs.” And I just laugh.
I laugh, because the creative work I do feels more ‘real’ than any other work I’ve done. This work is my truth, my art, my heart and soul bared onto a page for others to read, on a stage for others to see. It’s the only work I’ve done where I feel most like myself. Even when I’m dressing up in costumes and pretending to be other people.
This work is real because it exposes truth, feelings, love, dreams, heart and soul. It’s real because others can see themselves in it. Their lives. Their reality.
And isn’t that what we want? To be seen? Someone to see the ‘real’ us and say, ‘me too’.
This work is real. This staged pretend work brought forth from imagination and suspended disbelief, under lights and choreographed and sung and dressed up. This glorious work. This heartbreaking work. This beautiful reality of ours. We Creators.