A Word or Two on Therapy. And Utah Shakespearean Festival.

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My turn as Katherina in Taming of the Shrew. I fought so hard I actually broke a rib in one performance and didn’t notice until my dresser took off the corset.

I have come to the conclusion that I have a general dislike for people. Only excepting that I am a humanitarian and have a fierce devotion to people. What the bleeding hell is wrong with me?

Ok maybe it is more like I have a disdain for ignorance and cruelty, which the human race has in spades. And maybe I am weirdly an empath and somewhere on the spectrum at the same time. I truly don’t know. I have run through dozens of psychiatrists, psychologists, the-rapists and even strangely a horrifying counselor who failed to mention until months in that she didn’t even have a masters degree and she was mostly trained in child abuse cases. I was neither a child nor abused so I stood up, walked out of the room and with a quick “You unqualified, lying cunt” or something there abouts, slammed the door to her little office. Suffice to say, I never took to therapy.

Theatre seemed a far better form of expressing my inner bullshit. Lady Scottish play (no I won’t even type the M word) was fantastic! I scared the crap out of my dad who still talks about it to this day. Funny anecdote: my mom and my best friend Chickenface and I had to high tail it from Phoenix to get to the theatre that day because we had spent the night smoking secondhand pot and dancing at the Fleetwood Mac concert. But I gave good crazy.

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I am the tall mermaid on the right.

I learned to work through depression doing “The Crucible,” I got to realize my dream of being a mermaid in “Peter Pan.” Anxiety got addressed in a particularly weird production of “A Doll’s House” which was immediately followed by some serious blackmail in “An Ideal Husband.” Of course Katherina the Shrew gave me the chance to be abusive to a man. Mostly though, I have to say that Shakespeare has been my best therapist. There is always something in there for any occasion of crazy. Anger, Strife, Murder, Lost Love, Wanting to be a fairy princess. The man gave good feelings and expression.

 

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Me, in black, rehearsing as Dogberry. That is the blessed Adam’s Stage.
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Top left and the only one not wearing a white shirt because they grabbed me on my way to rehearsal and threw a jacket on me. Melissa, my boss is center, looking sweet and 12 yrs old. Don’t be fooled. She’s hardcore.

Yesterday I received a package from my dad. From The Utah Shakespearean Festival. It made me nostalgic. It made me remember all my times, from being a small child seeing my first play (Taming of the Shrew) to going to Shakespeare camp under the illustrious tutelage of Ann and Larry, who cast me, strangely as Dogberry and conversely, Lady Anne. And then the next year when I worked as a teacher in the same camp, instructing kids almost the same age as myself. Damn those people believed in me. I worked 5 different jobs that year, including acting and understudying and front of house, which incidentally, I was crap at and was unceremoniously let go from…I think this all circles back to my extraordinary lack of people skills. I was running around so hard trying to be the best and the brightest I could be and also drinking a lot of rum from Vegas (Utah…gah!!) ¬†and learning about sex and how to do that messy, fumbling loveliness. And I was a mere baby. 18. The youngest member of the company. But hell, we won a Tony that year and I cried that day and clapped so hard my tits fell out of my really revealing fancy dress. On live TV. Later I went to the now demolished Adams Memorial Theatre and laid on that stage and watched the sky, thinking about the legacy of the place, the future in front of me and the bubbles from the champagne bottled I had kifed (Utah word) from the party. I just laid there in my dress with all my glossy trimmings and makeup and happy tears and I loved the entire world at that moment. I have had many great days. This was one.

So what am I really fucking talking about? My love-hate relationship with the human race? My gorgeous life living out my “crazy” in the theatre? Maybe I am just a little sad. Maybe I just looked back at something, as you do when you age, and thought, “Dammit that was great. I miss that shit.” And quite possibly I got a little angry because I moved out, I grew up and those things are not part of my life anymore. I am a sentimentalist. I even took my husband to Utah Shakes on our honeymoon. I saw Fred Adams, the founder and one of the most incredible geniuses and funniest, snarky bastards I have ever known. And my first professional director. That was just perfect.

And now that I am currently not working in the theatre (but works ARE in progress) maybe I am just feeling a little unsure of myself, because for my life, since I was 8 years old, I had the theatre as my therapist. Now I guess I have you, my friends, families, readers. Now all I have are words.

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4 Responses

  1. evan
    | Reply

    Nice!

  2. Danielle
    | Reply

    I absolutely love this. It is so open and honest. You deserve to go kife a bottle of champagne and give yourself a pat on the back. I think (eventually) we all find our “therapy” in places we don’t necessarily acknowledge. Glad you’ve found it. Great read, my friend

  3. Eric Schultz
    | Reply

    Great read! Thanks for sharing opening up your heart. Hi to Jason! I know it’s difficult not engaging yourself in acting. When I’m not involved in a project, I get depressed and start to get edgy. I know the theatre misses you. I don’t mean to guilt you. I just want you to remind you of one of your places in this world. I feel lucky to have been able to work off you. My girlfriend and I still talk about making a trip to visit you guys and see what’s it all about. Kudos for writing and keep having experiences worth writing about. Seems you’re pretty good at that. Xoxo and thanks for the shout out!

  4. Ema
    | Reply

    your writing shall lead back to the theater… dream darling and see!

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