Monday, March 9, 2009

a penny for your thoughts

   I am thinking so many things right now, thinking like it's my job and I get commission with each new thought.

   I wish I did.

   I am thinking of the comfort I find in the weight of Drew right beside me; the way that he, being heavier than me, causes a compression in the mattress that rolls me in toward him. Closer. And I am grateful for any thing that brings us closer.  When you're spending most nights on level and lonely mattresses, you learn not to be so picky. You learn to roll with it, ah, literally. 

  I am thinking of the quick pounce and sudden weight of a fat cat that just landed beside me on the bed. I love how cats seem to materialize from nowhere. I love how God gave them springs for legs.  

  I am thinking how today, I just barely got to glimpse some of my dearest friends, dearest family. I suppose I should be grateful to have seen them at all, but truly it wasn't enough. 

  I am thinking how performing a musical in a large theater is so very different from playing your own songs in a bar. The former makes me happy to tell somebody else's story, happy to be just a cog in a wheel that is much larger than me. It's especially nice when things don't feel so good within; when I am overwhelmed. Insecure. When I have forgotten that love is much more than a nice ideal, that it isn't really just nice at all--that it is a force, an impetus, a word that clues us in to the mystery of God not being able to look away from us despite our mess, a choice He made long ago when it came to us, when it came to our worth, because, what's that saying?

   God don't make no junk. 

   Although, I am pretty sure Drew might disagree. He might say that junk has a couple of different meanings and that yes, God certainly did make junk and that he is certainly glad for it. And if Drew was meaning what I might think he was meaning then I would say yes, I agree.  


   But as I was saying, when I don't feel so great about life in general it's a welcome reprieve to just slip into Kristine Urich's story, do some steps without thinking so much, sing a harmony that is now second nature.  It's fun to go head over heels into her quirks, her idiosyncrasies, her life that is wrapped up in about two hours and five minutes.

   Not that I am counting.
  Not most nights, anyway.  

  But playing my own music, well that's just different. It's close to home, intimate, revealing. There is still a level of showmanship, sure; the pressure to entertain, absolutely, but you are coming from a much more base level. It's not so choreographed, which is nice for a change.

  And in a bar, you aren't just performing for the masses. People are close, you can see their faces, hear them talking, see what it is they just got with their sampler plate.  Instead of just a sea of faceless audience members, you are now playing for Joe who recently retired from the navy, got a bomber jacket and a pension he now trades for his pints because of it. You are singing for a couple on their first date; he thought a bar with live music was just the place; if the conversation was lulling they could simply listen for a while and try again at a quieter song. Anyway, you see these stories playing out before you and they become a part of the night, a part of what is happening right now and you're happy to score their stories with your music.  

  I really love playing my music for people. I really love musical theater... 

  I really want to do both. 

  One of the guys who worked at the East End told me, Listen, A Chorus Line sounds great and all--but you've got to do your own thing.  

  From his mouth to God's ears.

  Not that I don't love my job, because believe me--I really really do.




Mom said...

Wonderful to even have a glimpse of you. I'm grateful for small things....

Natalie said...

This post is...I think it's easier to just explain.
One of the reasons I'm a repeat reader (and commenter) of your blog is because you're doing what I want to do. I've known theatre was for me since I was a little girl, and now that I'm not that 6 year old I've come to grips with the realities of becoming a theatre major.
You provide such a wonderful insight into what it's like being part of a National Tour. You're honest and funny and it's just great to get a glimpse into what I'm (hopefully!) getting myself into.
This post made me think about that again, and think about why I love performing, and why I'm okay with probably living in a cardboard box after graduation.
Thank you. =]

kathiek said...

It was great to see you, Jess! It was wonderful to hear you perform your own music (apart from your worship music...which is some of my favorite worship music)! God bless you!

Jessica Latshaw said...

Mom--it is always wonderful to spend time with you!

Kathie--thank you so much for coming out; it means a lot;-)

Natalie--all I can say is--YES. Live your life, keep the vision of what your dream looks like alive in your heart and choose the next best step to making that translate from your heart to reality. We are all on a journey and we generally do not get to the places that we dream of without some risk involved, whether it's a relationship or a career or whatever.

Thanks for reading and commenting...And best best best to you;-)

David said... I just asked if I could contribute my 2 cents worth..and you gave me a 50% discount (although I know you were referring to your many thoughts). I can identify with your conflicts, mostly on an intellectual level, since my job does not take me away from home, and loved ones..and, of course, I can't sing or dance on any level for public consumption. But your (all too) brief interludes with husband, cats and family have to be bittersweet in that they are just that..brief. I have my dear wife, a beautiful 60 lb girl boxer (I was raised a cat person...and love them), and my daughter, and her daughters and husband, just 15 minutes away. I am blessed for that. But, let me tell you this...on behalf of the sea of faceless audience members, you and your show connect with individuals in a very special way...and I thank you for that. Not the same as up close and personal by any means..but special nonetheless. It's late and I'm rambling and I've used up my 2 cents. If you don't revoke my admission privileges, I'll touch base again. Keep the faith...I know you will.

Jessica Latshaw said...

Ha! Well, thank you, David--and you will continue to get the discount here (we ARE in a recession, after all). p.s. two of the cast members have beautiful female boxers and they are a cast favorite, for sure!

jason said...

Beautiful female boxer?

Jessica Latshaw said...

yep, that's one of them, for sure!