Plants First, Fish Next

The original intent of this journal was to chronicle the trials and tribulations of the struggling twenty-something, as I searched for love and happiness in the small city-burb of ManchVegas, NH. Now, I'm thirty-something, I've found love in many forms, happiness in even more, and now the struggle is just... well... life. And finding time to do the million and one things I want to do- including writing.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Coming of Age

Friday night My Runner and I drove up to Merrymeeting Lake in NH to visit with Face, Cap'n Mop, Smarty Pants, and a host of others. We sat around the campfire chatting, eating, and taking in the beautiful views of the lake. Being with my love and friends I've known for decades, I was very content.

Some unspoken consensus had the group head for bed before 10pm that night- they had been staying at the lake house the whole week and were likely tired from meat and booze- and My Runner and I tented out on the lawn. We kept the gorgeous fire going until after 1am, despite having to rise at the crack of dawn to head to an appointment. Chatting, listening to the loons, staring at the lights on the beautiful and huge houses surrounding the shores, we thoroughly enjoyed our relaxing evening.

It started out in the background, but in a moment of silence, my inner-radio turned up the volume. I couldn't believe what song was playing in my head... "Coming of Age." This song has never been played on the radio, and hopefully never will be, but it's the title track the 7th grade musical in which Smarty and I performed. An intellectually complex and emotionally charged- no, it was stupid and obvious exploration of puberty. Which, when you're actually going THROUGH puberty is really, really embarrassing to sing about.

With joy, I realized Smarty was mere yards away (as opposed to being in Ohio, so YAY) so I ran into the house, found Smarty's room where she was still reading. Peeking in, she looked up from her book

Smarty: Yes?

Me: Coming... of AGE! Coming... of AGE! Feeling happyy..... Feeling RAAAAAGE!

Smarty: (head in hands) Oh no... why?.

Me:(evil cackle, runs away)

This silly moment replayed in my head a few times over the weekend. I realized that this was the VERY FIRST play I was ever in, and I almost wasn't even in it. I had auditioned for a speaking role, but my voice was not up to par with the other nasal-singing 13-year-olds in Jr. High. At first, I wasn't even on the cast list. In my typical 7th-grade attitude, I thought "Eff this! It's stupid anyways," and wrote drama club off for good. I'd concentrate on singing (bad idea) and not having food caught in my braces.

Smarty, after a few rehearsals, somehow convinced me that I should just be in the ensemble because it would be fun. I didn't really want to miss two days of Animaniacs a week, but Smarty's a convincing person. So I joined the ensemble as a part of the "In" crowd. In "Coming of Age," the cool kids moved as a singular group, mocking those that were different from them and secretly worried that at any moment they'll get kicked out of the clique- unless they're too unoriginal to think for themselves. We were probably the only "cool" kids that wore black jeans and button-down denim shirts as our "cool kid uniform."

I'm sure I was thoroughly unconvincing as a cool kid. Even with training I'm not sure I could play a cool kid today- not really in my repertoire. Still, it was funny to look back at my very first play (and briefly at my stint as a priest in the wacky Cinderella-esque musical in 8th grade- who ran that silly drama club?). And despite those lack-luster beginnings, I went on to make theatre my major, learning not only about acting and directing, but all aspects of production. I moved on to working as an Education Director at a local theatre, directing shows and teaching classes. I worked closely with a small but well-respected professional theatre company, also directing and acting as well as assisting behind the scenes. Essentially, I came of age.

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