Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Fantastick Dreams of a 45-year-old

August, 2011:
I have been attempting a Perfection streak, lately. I know I'll never actually reach a status of perfection, whether actual or only imaginary, but the perfectionist tendencies that a therapist had pointed out in me, back in '88, are coming in handy.

Focused, I am trying to stay focused. Goal: to get hired as Christmas caroler this holiday season, a paid caroler. I miss performing, all of the time. Missing the endorphin high of being on stage got me back to voice lessons last year, and led me to an excellent musical theater workshop.

Thank God.

All of last year's investment has turned into useful, tangible tools for working toward this year's specific goal of caroling.

My scooter has been in the shop for over a month, now. Normally, that would upset me because it means having to sit in Los Angeles traffic in my car. Instead, I'm just grateful that I even have a second vehicle to get to work and back. I'm not upset because my weensy smartcar has become my personal plastic bubble for practicing my vocal exercises.

I do warm-up exercises for singing on the way to work. On the way home, I sing along with a favorite musical, either "Little Shop of Horrors," "The Fantasticks," or "Jesus Christ Superstar." I have been exercising when I get home (after a triple shot of espresso), either going to Pilates class or jogging in my Vibrams five finger running gloves.

I'm up to five miles, now! I can't believe it. It's been hard but I'm doing it! I'm doing it!

I'll eat dinner as late as 9:30 pm on some nights. Domestic Partner can't believe it, but I will practice my audition songs around 10:00 pm or after, if that's as early as I can get to it. I ask him, "When else can I fit it in along with everything else?"

I've been averaging about six hours of sleep a night on this current schedule. Normally, this would start to take its toll in less than a week. Maybe I've been okay because it's still summer. Maybe the longer days help.

Recently, a high school friend posted photos on facebook, pictures from my first musical ever, "The Fantasticks." I love that they are in black and white, emphasizing my own nostalgic era that seems to mirror past decades before the early 80's. I even love that my stage make up is both poorly and overly done, highlighting the naivete and inexperience of my 17-year-old self - perfect for playing the role of Matt. What a gift to see these images again, after twenty-eight years.

Damn. Am I that old? It makes me laugh a little and smile. I don't feel "that old."
The pictures are such a lovely and vivid reminder of my original goals, and of the days when I wanted to be like the dancers and singers on the television series "Fame."

Twenty-eight years . . . And here I am, again, wishing and wanting and working to be a performer. I never stopped. Even if I can't be a perfect performer, working toward that status will make me a better and stronger performer.

The problem with perfection is the inherent improbability of it all. I can't do everything. I keep thinking about how I am not able to fit any writing attempts into my schedule of vocalizing and exercising.

I am okay with that, for now. My practice of perfection also doubles as an effort to build up my stamina. If I can stay consistent and strong with singing practice and jogging and other areas of my life, I know I can have the stamina to make regular attempts with my writing as well, hopefully in the near future.

I am practicing Believing in Myself.

Stay tuned for Fall - and Winter! - 2011/2012.

(The photo above is from our high school musical, "The Fantasticks," in 1983. Sharon, my show choir classmate, played Luisa to my Matt.)


MuseNoir said...

I had the honor of seeing your perform in The Fantasticks in 1983! I remember being in awe of you.... I remember thinking how much you had come into your own since you were at LM High School! It was, in a word, fantastic!! Love you!

Peter Varvel said...

MN, thank you! It was an honor for me to have you drive all the way out from LM for my very first musical - I'll never forget that.
Love you, too!