Last night I performed in the play reading THE HEAD OF MARY at the Ohio Theatre in Soho. It was the first time I’ve been on a stage in over two years. Truth be told I absolutely loved performing again! Of course I would read the phonebook or play a tree bush for this particular director I love her. So when she asked me to do this I felt the reverberating ‘YES’ inside that Oprah mentions and agreed. How great to once again be utilizing the ‘artist’ inside me versus the corporate me. It was good for my spirit.
Some friends have asked me as of late why I’m not performing anymore. I kept feeling like I wanted to write about it and also to just clarify it for myself. For the record, I haven’t left performing completely I still go to the occasional agent call. But I feel like I’ve been on a permanent sabbatical (is that a phrase?). I had a singing gig in Feb and one in the fall but aside from that nada. Nor have I had the desire really. I am doing fine with the occasional stints (and of course singing in my apartment!). My buddy Vance told me at the recent gig ‘you still got it Thadd’. That made me happy. But all in all I am in-limbo artistically.
The last three years of performing I wasn’t happy. Particularly in theatre. That quiet voice inside me kept reverberating ‘ Thadd why are doing this? This is not fulfilling you bouncing around with pogo sticks and yelling at people onstage’. I didn’t want to be other people anymore I just wanted to be me and I definitely did not enjoy auditioning or the lifestyle. Many performing friends I know have gone through this same journey of self awareness. Some have left the business altogether. Some continue on and are miserable. Some have restructured how much they do it. Some continue on performing and love it. Different strokes and for all of them I respect whatever decision they’re making.
I think the main reason I’ve stopped is because…I’m healthy inside. Or at least I’m getting there. I’ve worked so much on self and am more interested in life’s other potentials. There’s something about the business of performing that seems way too much ‘of the ego’. Craving too much attention from others and having too many shallow theatre friendships. Displaced narcissism. I think a lot of performers are not addressing insecurities that brought them to the stage originally and that’s not conducive to growth. Sometimes what they think they get from it only gives the illusion of fulfillment, the illusion of contentment. Use your gifts, yes, but keep the ego in check and address why you’re doing it. I have a great job working 30 hrs a week with amazing benefits and low stress. I’m out early enough to have the rest of my day to do whatever I want. I’m extremely grateful to just have a job with the economy. I volunteer when I can. I get outside go to the gym and feel strong in body. I still love New York and Brooklyn after 8 years and take advantage of all that it has to offer. All in all I am a very blessed individual.
Yesterday, as show time drew near, I was completely and utterly convinced no one would come see this. It was Memorial Day it was Monday people are busy. What an amazing treat to see the audience filled and SEVEN of my friends afterwards! It meant so much I was soooo happy they came but more happy to just see them and spend time with them afterwards. I think it’s very important to not let your artist and the God given gifts you have lie dormant definitely definitely use them. My agent said to me years ago “I don’t think this is going to happen for you until your 40’s”. I find that very interesting. So maybe come my 40th birthday I’ll start again. Hello Tylenol and Sears commercials!I am very grateful for being reminded last night that I am still an artist deep inside. And with that valuable spiritual information, I continue on….
With director Sonoko Kawahara.