12 Oct

…I have to think of something else.

My brain has been full of horrible thoughts for far, far too long. It has consumed me entirely. It has stripped me of everything from joy, to my health, to my dignity. And with nothing else to lose, (except, of course there is,  and when you’re me and my brain, we can even itemize them out for you…alphabetically, if you so choose) I sit here in between hour two of what will be a lot more, running lines tubed into my left ear, via my phone headset…during work, with the still dark thoughts absorbing me where they should be concentrating on lines I’ve had to relearn so many times now, that I can’t remember the count.
I’ve failed at a lot of things in life, but this was always the one thing I could count on to be solid. 

Art. 

Theatre.

I’ve always worked my damn ass of to assure that no matter what, I am prepared. I am professional. I am solid. Because I have no other self-identity other then being an actor. It’s what I am. It’s what I do. It’s my purpose. And now it’s failing me too. Or rather, I’m failing it. 

A lot terrifies me. But my “purpose” leaving me, is now officially taking the damn cake. I couldn’t try grasping frantically for some shred of recognition or safety more, if my life depended on it. And it feels very much like it does. Couldn’t pray harder. Couldn’t lose more sleep, push more, plead more, cry more, melt down more. I couldn’t lose more dignity if  every bodily fluid expelled at once, on stage vs the humiliation I put myself through, at last night’s rehearsal.

…Absolutely zero control.

Despite an extremely understanding and totally supportive team, I can’t help but see the inevitable trajectory this shit-fest is taking, and my total inability to stop it…despite all major efforts I am attempting to negate it.

I just closed “Dark” on Sunday, and “Blithe” opens in 8 days. I have never struggled like this for the most basic requirements of doing the job I need to do, on that stage. Never mind the character, I can’t even get grasp on the fucking text. What should be a light and airy word-play of epically brilliant double-entendres, and bitch-bitey exuberance, is a nightmare of impossible-to-recall word specifics that no one uses outside of a Mensa meeting, and broken record of Agatha Christie repetition-hell, of saying the same thing, slightly different and more catty, 13 times, in 15 different monologues, without rest.

Am still very broken from the last show, all but shattered before we’ve even opened this one. And for the first time I am really and truly actually questioning my ability to do this anymore. 

…And if I can’t. What in the flying fuck has it even all been about?

I’m trying to open a show in the middle of my biggest fucking mental breakdown since I’d been diagnosed, in 2009.

… I have to think of something else.

~D

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3 Responses to “…”

  1. Sherry Juhl October 12, 2017 at 8:21 pm #

    I’m no doctor, Deya, but I’m thinking you are exhausted. That may sound trivial and ” well, duh!” But “Dark” put you in places you’ve never been, and you’ve not had a chance to recover, mentally or emotionally, from it. I don’t think for a second that you are in danger of not being able to act any more. And at this point, with opening in 8 days, you must push ahead, but PLEASE don’t do another play after Blythe, without giving yourself AMPLE time for genuine recovery. Your body, your brain, need the rest. Actors take breaks between shows for good reason. You are in my prayers that you will be brilliant in Blythe, and be given the strength to be so. I love you, Deya!!! ❤️❤️❤️
    On Thu, Oct 12, 2017 at 12:15 PM She Writes A Little… wrote:
    > She Writes A Little posted: ” …I have to think of something else. My > brain has been full of horrible thoughts for far, far too long. It has > consumed me entirely. It has stripped me of everything from joy, to my > health, to my dignity. And with nothing else to lose, (except, of cou” >

  2. Anita Pirkle October 13, 2017 at 12:03 pm #

    This resonates with me, so here are my thoughts.
    Deya, you ARE an actress. Whether you’re in a production or not. Never doubt it, because you have an incredible calling.
    You’ve chosen to do your acting within the framework of live theater – which I think is the most difficult format of all. There’s no retake or do-over onstage. It requires all you have at every moment of every performance. And that takes a toll.
    With the way you immerse yourself in a production, you’re going to need down time between them to recover your own personal self between roles. It’s that personal self that allows you to internalize and build each character.
    I suspect you operate on sheer adrenaline much of the time, and the body can’t produce unlimited amounts of adrenaline forever. We all have very real physical limitations on that score (naturally, they vary from person to person).
    As a high achiever, you may try to reject these limitations, and then they eventually catch up with you and you hit a wall. Please, please, lovely Deya, schedule some “down time” for yourself at reasonable intervals. I realize that you can’t abandon your current obligations, but as you fight your way through them remind yourself that you’re effectively working with an “illness” or “disability” at this point. You simply can’t be at your best in these circumstances, however much you want to.
    Please, promise yourself the time to “heal’ as soon as possible. By recognizing your physical limitations and proactively conserving your energy you’ll be able to continue amazing audiences for many years to come.
    And consider yourself loved and hugged.

    • She Writes A Little November 15, 2017 at 11:01 pm #

      Am taking the time now, at last, and working hard to heal up. Thank you for your so very kind support ❤

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