I recently wrote this blog post on our new company blog. It's the story of how we arrived at this incredible opportunity. Read about it here!
I would like to just expand on it a bit, in a more personal way.
I need to go back in time a bit. I'm not sharing this to seek sympathy - it's part of my path and I have accepted it and have come a long way in learning how to find experiences that will be fulfilling to me in the context of the life that I lead and the responsibilities that I own.
For years when my husbands theatrical experiences were outnumbering mine 5 to 1, I was depressed and unhappy. I felt like I was stuck at home, barefoot and pregnant and alone. In many ways, I was. Steve would work all day and rehearse all night, probably 9 months or more out of a year. We had one car so I literally was stuck at home most of the time. It was hard. Mostly I was just feeling like life was passing me by and while I love my children and chose to make the sacrifices to do what I needed to do as a mother and be there for them, there wasn't much out there filling my cup. I was drained. Even now as I remember and write about it, I'm at the verge of tears and I have a stomach ache!
I don't want to make it sound like during that time (about a 10 year period...pretty much my 20's) that I didn't do anything and my husband did everything. In the first few years, I was fortunate to play several wonderful roles and I don't discredit those opportunities. It was really once my husband started directing shows - in 2006 that it got really hard for me to do anything. From 2005 to 2010 I only performed in 3 productions while he directed 7 productions and performed in 7. Because his schedule was already planned, I couldn't audition for his shows or any others that would overlap because someone needed to be home with the kids, my skills got a bit rusty and my confidence plummeted after several poor audition experiences. Literally, his success was in many ways limiting my opportunities. Not in any way his fault or intended to be that way, just the logistics and timing of it all...and the fact that he's a guy - more in demand....and lack of a live-in nanny.
While it was a constant source of contention between my husband and I, I never asked him to stop. I never asked him to quit. There were a few shows he passed up - he made sacrifices, too, but not on the level I had. I know now that at the time I didn't embrace the concept that my children wouldn't be tiny forever and there would be more opportunities sooner than I thought. I'm also the type of person who far too often chooses to wallow in self sorrow. I am in a much better place now, seeking out and finding more opportunities to perform and finding joy in offstage production as well as working with my husband.
As I look back, I am proud of myself for continuing to be supportive of my husband. I'm not saying it was lollipops and roses - it definitely wasn't! Harsh words and solitary tears were shared on occasion and maybe a little more than that. There was tension! But the excitements, the successes, the learning experiences far outweighed the difficulties. It was a time of refining and growing for both of us.
Through these difficult times and in reference to the a-typical lifestyle we need, we are often asked why do we do it? Why have we sacrificed thousands of hours over our 13 years of marriage (and 12 years of parenthood), usually at our own personal cost to do theatre? Why put so much into it? Many of our family members have questioned the same, and I can't blame them. It seems a bit extreme. My husband, however, is completely driven by his creativity and his pursuit of excellence. He is fully committed to whatever project he dives into. That's just how he operates and he has inspired me in that way. And I'm thrilled beyond words that he has the opportunity to live his dreams and that we, together, are in a place where we can embark on wonderful new adventures.
Everytime an actor grows on stage. A set comes together. That last costume piece is finished. To hear an audience laugh the first time. To watch a video of a production years later and be moved to tears by it's beauty. That's why we do it.
Bermuda - this is the icing! This is opportunity meeting preparation.
To be recognized for our hard work and talents by TROIKA Bermuda to the extent that they would hire Steve to come direct the show and design the set, rent our costumes and props and arrange for housing for our entire family is one of those rewards life occasionally tosses your way. It's for all those nights I sat at home alone with 2,3 and 4 small children for weeks and months on end. It's for going to opening night and being so proud of what my husband was able to accomplish but the tears I shed because I would have loved to have been onstage. I never imagined that such good would come. I had learned to be content knowing that my husband was living the life he was meant to lead and not going slowly insane doing work that didn't take advantage of his creative talents. This is icing! And I'm still incredibly, incredibly grateful.
We don't have expansive goals other than to keep supporting our family through the arts and producing and contributing to great theatre.* And these experiences are just the start. There will be more to come! I truly believe that because I also strongly believe we do this for the right reason. For the love of it - because it is what drives us. And if something is worth doing, it's worth doing well. So we'll continue to put our heart and soul and energy into production after production and whatever other opportunities come along.
That's how we got here. And that's how we'll keep going.
*I also really want to sing in a rock band, but somehow it didn't work in that sentence.