Doing a show is like having a whirlwind romance, where you meet and get married in like a week, and said relationship lasts with total devotion, until you unceremoniously strike your home and get a Mexican divorce–however long your run is-days later.
…Because working on a character across a full rehearsal and production schedule, is absolutely consuming and requires not only devotion of time and physical and mental presence, but also through sickness and through health, as long as you both shall live (together .)
…And it doesn’t matter if you “have a headache tonight, ” or “really need some alone time, ” or “start to feel suffocated” by their insistent presence. Doesn’t matter that it seems you –at times– have absolutely put yourself and your needs on the back burner and have from time to time gotten completely lost inside the relationship, which starts to blur (as time goes on) in fully realizing just where you end and they pick up (or vice versa.)
…You see each other through your finest moments, and miserable worst, and yet you are able to commit fully to this marriage because –I guess, really– of two things:
1. You have made this commitment with full knowledge of what is required of you, in front of all of those witnesses, who will hold your ass to it, by supportive teamwork.
2. This passionate affaire, has a sell-by date, which you are also fully aware of on the outset, so: there’s really just no damn excuse not to give it your all, while you can.
At this point, I’ve been married –MANY times. 59, in fact. I make Liz Taylor and Mickey Rooney look Catholic by comparison. And luckily for me, I’ve enjoyed the HELL out of the bulk of them, and have bins and books full of our Honeymoon days together, which already make me misty-eyed with memory, and I’m not even middle-aged as yet.
…The thing is: as great as the bulk of those marriages are in my memory, there is even something singularly satisfying in the terrible ones, in that: I made the absolute best effort I could to make it work out, and even if it ended shitty, I know that to be true.
…Because I actually really really love to “commit.”
…(In a show, that is.)
…But along with these “marriages,” I’ve also had me some “flings.” 27, of note. And these, while intriguing, only seem to mostly “hot and bother” me, and while enjoyable in the moment, leave me as unfulfilled at their ending, as a one-night-stand.
–Which, in fact, most of them ARE.
The Staged Read, is an enigmatic animal. They are considerably lower maintenance than a real relationship in that you don’t live with the character. At most, you might workshop (or, “date”) it for a few days, but by and large, it’s just a tease.
…Even if you really like the character. Even if the cast is a dream. Even if your Director is creative as fuck. You still are hampered from full investment to grow it into a real relatonship, because Staged Reads are the flings we have in foreign countries, while on Holiday. They aren’t allowed to become more than that, because of your surrounding circumstances, even if you really, really, really like them, and you get on with total ease, and know you could make the most magnificent children together…
…And even knowing this, a lot of the time, you still can’t help getting sucked into the “what if,” daydream which sometimes comes with the really, really special flings.
…These will be the ones you always pine over, the ones you wish you could learn all the secret intimacies about…everything from the corny, “how they take their tea, ” to the deeply sheltered truths they hide… the ones that even though you held them for a moment, you can’t help but think that they are one of those ones who,”got away. ”
Yesterday’s “Joe Egg, ” read is one of those for me.
We dated heavily for several weeks, and it was disturbing but so enlightening, and…She’s gone now…
…Out of my life…
…The supremely gifted family: broken up. And though I am so very satisfied to have met the role at all, never mind with this amazing group of people — I know in my gut-parts, she and I would have had one of THE best marriages that I have ever had…