Saturday, October 30, 2010


Today is my birthday. Twenty four years ago today my mother was quietly waiting in a hospital room in Muncie, IN, having finally decided to undergo a cesarian operation, given I was two weeks late and had no intentions of leaving my warm bed (that hasn't changed). Today, my mom is in Spain, hopefully having the time of her life, and I am in New York City at the Astoria Panera and for the most part still running late. Sentenced to a life in the food & entertainment industry, I am of course working tonight, having a very Locale Halloween weekend. I am going as a cat burglar, not the most original costume idea given I work all black when I am there anyway, but it works and we were told we couldn't show an abundance of skin or work in heels. Monday, my friends and I will gather to celebrate my birthday and no doubt get into all sorts of mischief in Manhattan ("Mischief in Manhattan" that's a great title for something, right?). I could be sad about having to work on my birthday or having to compete with this weekend's ghoulish holiday. But you know what, I'm doing OK. Last year, I spent my birthday weekend at work and in bed, slightly under the weather and mostly out-of-sorts. This year, I am also spending the weekend at work and more than likely by the end of the night will be out-of-sorts, but I am also spending the weekend with some of my favorite people, my coworkers. I also am a genuine fan of Halloween and get to play my iPod at work, so it's not that bad, right? I also have the chance to fag-out to one of my favorite movies, Hocus Pocus, for two more nights ("the bewitching hour is about to begiiin!").

23 was a hard year in a lot of ways. I moved to New York, started writing this blog, I experienced a horrible tragedy in my life, said goodbye to my beloved great-grandmother, booked my first professional theatre gigs, and bought a lot of clothes (New York will do that to you). I also made a lot of new friends, saw periods of both sobriety and debauchery, gained and lost a lot of weight, and ate a lot of food (New York will also do that to you). I have gotten my first real tastes of the business, some I am still trying to swallow, and have seen my dreams at once crystal clear and other times foggy and muddled. If I had a prayer for this coming year, it would be peace and health and sanity. Am I less than ambitious than I was a year ago? Maybe. Or perhaps more realistic. Though if you take a short walk outside your door, one will soon realize that peace, health, and sanity are lofty goals indeed. A bit of advice I have learned from this first year in the big city, simply walk outside your door and realize how well you are doing (this applies both if you are wondering down 8th avenue or through the aisles of the New Castle Wal-Mart). Do I still have dreams of fame, fortune, artistic accolades aplenty? Everyday. But a lot of my thoughts are also centered on matters more simple, more humble. I want to fall in love, start a family (maybe not today), have financial security, love my job, love my family, get a better apartment in the neighborhood of my choosing, and grow wise and loving, instead of lonely and bitter. A lot my energy has been going into staying healthy, not just for vanity's sake (so I tell myself), but to appreciate and celebrate the body and health I have been given, to make what I've been given last a long, long time. I suppose that means I should probably stop smoking cigarettes (I only had one yesterday, so it can't be that bad, right?). Today I made sure to go to the gym for a bit because more than anything, it makes me a saner person. That and I plan on indulging myself over the next few days, and isn't life just one great balancing act? A lot of days, I pray just for safety and security and peace. That people would be kind, and I would be well and happy. That sounds like I have gotten scared right? It's probably true. My quest for theatrical achievement has not quite been a blaze of glory and my sister's tragic death haunts me everyday. Some days, I'm ok, I can do it. I can put on my game face and go to the gym and eat healthy and be kind and funny and smile a lot. And sometimes I'd prefer to stay in bed (and do). This past week, I attempted to go an audition and simply felt sick waiting in that cold and lonely room. After waiting around for a couple hours, I went home, deciding my own inner peace was ultimately much more important than whatever opportunity may be waiting for me behind that door. Right before my mom left for her trip (of which, I am so, so, so jealous!), I got really worried, really afraid. My Wantz genes began to kick in on overdrive, the question, "But what if something happens?" reeling through my brain. Every time my grandmother hears an ambulance, she calls our house to make sure everything is OK. My grandmother also takes a lot of Xanex. Some days, I think I should do the same. Well, so far nothing has happened, and I don't think anything will. Fear can be so crippling, so exhausting. And fear is something I have been battling a lot this year. What do I want out of this coming year? Growth, a return to simple things, health. A trimmer waistline and lots of money? A simple pleading for happiness everyday seems a little childishness, but perhaps just the ability to take in a little bit of joy from the things around me, even when a lot things are not as they should be. As I have been reading and thinking, watching and moving, trying to grow as an artist and a thinker (though I have no visible proof, I feel I have made some progress in this arena), I do feel that I have something to say, that I do have some great work ahead of me, but in what form I do not know. Options loom in front of me: should I stay in NY, keep plugging away auditions? go to grad school? study what? acting? directing? maybe writing, or even something totally different like arts administration, English, or education? Some days, especially after reading a political article in NY mag or the Times, I think I should jump on the political bandwagon, because these can be scary times. Whatever I do, I have the strange feeling that I will need to do it my way, to follow my own path, that that's the only way any of it could ever work. I look ahead, and I see no proper prescribed path to guide me. So, maybe after get myself feeling safe and stronger, I'll be up for a little adventure. I was recently having a little talk with God, and I told Him I was ready to take a chance, to go out on a limb. I have a feeling that this opportunity may be coming along soon enough. But will I be ready to take that leap? Only time will tell. For now, Happy Birthday to Me (to quote my favorite character from A Little Night Music - can you guess which one?) and Happy Halloween to all of you.

1 comment:

  1. Happy Birthday Bradley! Hope you had a good one! (P.S. this is Chad (Sara's husband).