Okay, here’s the deal. (By the way, that phrase is so me. I use it all the time.) My work as a vocal coach is freelance, therefore, I never know how long it will be between jobs. Don’s work as an actor is also freelance – just being an actor guarantees uncertainty. It makes for a crazy and, at times, very stressful life.
For the last 3 summers I have coached at The Old Globe Theatre in San Diego. This is the theater where I taught and worked full time for 8 years – and where I met Don. Because we moved to the East Coast, I hadn’t worked there in 7 years when they called me 3 summers ago to come and help them out. Last summer, a lot of changes occurred – enough to make me realize that it was time to move on.
I was extremely blessed to work with the company that is producing The Merchant of Venice. They have integrity, loyalty and a mission to bring vital, powerful productions of Shakespeare to a new audience. The director of MOV, by the way, is the same man who brought me to San Diego 3 summers ago. Though I thought my work was done on the show, I have to travel to Boston next week to work with an actor who is replacing one of the cast members. Since I lived in Boston and Cambridge for 5 years and loved everything about the city, I am very happy to have the chance to go back there.
In the meantime, I have been approached by a wonderful theater in Wisconsin to coach one of their productions this summer – Blithe Spirit by Noel Coward. I was recommended to them by my former boss at Boston University – you see how this circle of contacts over the course of a career can work? Again, a theater whose mission is to do the best work possible. Both of these theaters believe in voice work and feel that it is as important an element as costumes or sets – in fact, more so. That is a rare thing, my friends. I can’t tell you how many times I have been contacted at the last minute to try and ‘fix’ a show because no one wanted to fork out for a coach at the beginning of the rehearsal process or have been underpaid for my skills or simply marginalized.
I feel that the chance to work with the company producing The Merchant of Venice and to start work this summer with a new, to me, company is a form of approval from the universe that says, “Yes, it’s indeed time to move on and have new beginnings.” I am enormously proud of The Merchant of Venice. I am proud of the work I have contributed. I feel blessed to have worked with the director and a cast of wonderful, brave actors. I suspect I will feel the same way, if my gut instinct is right, about the theater in Wisconsin.
I was thrilled at the thought of being home this spring for work in the garden. Not to be: this summer job goes from the beginning of May to mid-June. The good thing is that I’ll be here a bit longer before I leave than I was last year and I’ll be back over two weeks earlier. Only seven weeks away this time. There will still be time to work in the garden before the heat of July comes.
Of course, that means I have to work hard and fast to clean up the gardens and mulch and everything else necessary before I leave and this cold yucky weather (more snow tomorrow!) is not helping. I also have to fly to Wisconsin on Saturday for production meetings. I will return home on Tuesday. Then I leave for Boston on Wednesday. Yikes.
That’s the update. I can’t think about leaving my loved ones for another long stretch of time. I can’t go there yet. I tear up at the thought. The work can be exciting, yes, and rewarding, but it requires a sacrifice. And that’s very hard, indeed.
My heart is grateful for the opportunity to do satisfying, good work. It also breaks a little at the thought of leaving my family. And so it goes.
Sign by the talented Paula of Castle and Cottage.