Today I told my commercial agent that I am moving and will no longer be available to work. I have been with this same agent at this same agency for about 17 years. Longer than I've been married. Longer than many of my friendships. She was, as always, gracious and kind, asking caring questions and listening intently to the answers. She said she was sad to see me go, that she enjoyed working with me, and wished me the best of luck.
It is a final nail in the coffin of who I used to be. Who I was, the career I had, before I married and had kids. A person who was a performer, who loved performing with a fierce passion. Who worked hard and had many failures and a few amazing successes. Who drank in the theater like lifeblood and who stayed out late, studied with great teachers, got to eat at great restaurants, and meet amazing creative people, and travel, and date a variety of interesting men. A person who now seems completely foreign to the suburban wife and mom that I am today. This chapter of my life has been ending for some time. I married. I had kids. I got older, and gained weight, and got busy with family instead of dance and acting and voice classes. My tv and film agent retired. I moved, and moved again, and now am moving again. Still, I would occasionally trek into the city for commercial auditions, and it was a modest little vestige of that former self I could hang onto. I did well at my auditions, with several callbacks and a couple of "holds" although I haven't booked a job in some time. With the announcement today that I was leaving, that part is finally over, too.
It's probably time. I'm happy. I love being a wife and mother, and want to devote this portion of my life to doing those things well. And being a mother isn't always going to be this intensive. Their childhoods will be over in the blink of an eye. It is appropriate for me to let go and embrace my roles as wife and mother.
But it still stings. It saddens me. To finally acknowledge that this is no longer the truth of who I am right now. It is my past. A wonderful, valuable past that I wouldn't trade for the world, but it is the past, it is not the reality of who I am, what I look like, and what I am capable of right now.
It is a passing of my youth. It is a passing of career. It is the nostalgia felt for a city jammed full of memories for me. It is the passing of a fulfilled childhood dream.
I still have friends who are married and have kids and are sticking it out in the career, and making it. I admire them and envy them and part of me wishes I had the guts to do it, too. But I also see the sacrifices they are required to make in a profession that is all-consuming, and I am clear that those are sacrifices I am no longer willing to make, because I would no longer be the only one making the sacrifices--my husband and children would be as well. Not to say that my friends aren't making the best choices for themselves and their families, just to say that I recognize it's not a choice I am prepared to make.
So I have to say goodbye to the person that I was. She formed who I am now, and certainly will always be a part of me, but I am someone different now. I am defined by other things, other identities, other people. Good things, good identities, good people.
Still hurts to say goodbye.
As I drove home from my "break-up" with my commercial agent, I was brooding over this final release of my former self. Feeling the sadness of the end of an era. I stopped to pick my two kids up at their school and tagged after them as they ran into the office to say goodbye to one of the staff members. She hugged them goodbye then looked up at me, studied me a moment, and then asked, out of the blue, "Were you ever a Rockette?"
I was floored and unable to answer for a moment. This is a woman who knows nothing about me, whose only experience of me is when I dropoff and pickup my kids, usually in my sweatpants with no makeup and hair back in a ponytail, who knows I'm a stay-at-home Mom. There is no way she could have known I used to be a dancer--my kids don't even know--and I most certainly have never mentioned it to her.
Before answering I asked her, "Why do you ask?" And she shrugged and said, "I don't know, you just look like you could be a Rockette."
Yes, I told her, I had been a Rockette for four years, and she was surprised and impressed. And I felt like even 15 years, 15 pounds, and 2 kids later, a little bit of that former self was still visible in me.
Felt even better to walk out hand in hand with my little girls and take them home to who I am now.
Doodlebugheart is moving to Larchmont, NY! Come play with us this Sunday, April 29.
We are celebrating, so there will be champagne, cupcakes, and *free gifts*! There will be crafts available and a special give-away. It's all free! Come by, say hello, and start unfurling!
Sunday, April 29, 2:00-5:00 p.m.
3 Highridge Road, Larchmont, NY 10538
Doodlebugheart is hosting the beauty-filled, super creative, ahh-mazing artist/teacher/guide Erin Faith Allen in New York!
Email us immediately for more info and to register. This class will fill up fast!
June 9 and 10, Saturday and Sunday, 9:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
$200* (*sign up by May 5 and get $20 off!)
Erin Faith Allen ~ As an international mixed media art teacher, I act as a guide inward ~ to the innate creative genius spark that lies within every one of us. An artist and empath, I experience the world on a supernatural level. I make art to understand and process my self, life, and the planet I live on. My work conveys the delicate dance between light and shadow, and I believe we must know our depths to know our heights: we must howl in wild stark exposure at the moon in order to know true bliss in the glow of sun.
My artwork can be found on www.erinfaithallen.com
SOUL PORTRAIT EMPOWERMENT WORKSHOP
Is your soul a stream of consciousness word parade that flows across your surface? Does it swoosh in gentle abstract harmony, or blaze it’s way vibrantly across the page? Have you ever created a piece of art with direct connection and intention to express this pure and unique essence of self? In this soul-full hands-on collaging workshop we will dive into the depths of our very being, to find our own unique soul signature and express it through mixed media collage.
The clarity of self-image will assist greatly in manifesting your dreams, desires, and circumstances that are your hearts desire. To hold a self-created image of WHO YOU ARE is a talisman for growth, a gift that keeps on giving for years to come! You will be given tools of self-awareness that can be utilized in your studio and career, to unleash your potential through this creative process at any time you need to connect with yourself for answers, guidance, or fun.
With guided visualizations, music, and stream of consciousness writing we will create at least one Soul Portrait, and as many as time allows! See some examples of Erin's work below: