Monday, November 16, 2009

last dance

Remember when I said that I wasn't feeling a thing?

Yeah well, about that.

I started feeling something.

A lot of something. And the closing show tonight was amazing. Emotional. Exhausting. Beautiful. Magical. So sad. And so good.

But before that, I had a moment with some of my favorite ladies in the show. They are kind and safe, funny and kindred spirits. They love their men, respectively, and know what it is to begin to hate the phone because no, it's not enough, it's never enough when it comes to sharing your life.

We had already finished our first show of the day and proceeded to share a cast dinner in the theater when I quietly stole away to the piano. After about a half hour or so I hear a gentle knock on the door, and they walk in. Three beautiful, tiny women. Seriously, they range from 5'1 to 5'3 on a good day and when we are all together I find our height differences so funny. They ask me if they are bothering me and of course I say no. They've yet to bother me, in fact. They tell me that they could hear the strains of my playing from the dressing room and felt like they needed to be with me on this last day listening to the music.

Mindy pipes up, Can you play that song? The one you wrote about us?

Sure, I say, hoping that I remember all the words and chords cause it's been a while.

I play and as I do, I start to feel it. This great sadness. This acceptance of our parting. This breaking up of such a sweet community. I play that song and then I play another and by the time I finish we are just crying and so we talk. We share and are real and it's like therapy only nobody needs to pay anybody and nobody gets kicked out after fifty minutes.

It's cathartic and broken and honest and I think we love each other maybe even a little more when we finally get up to ready ourselves for the last show.

The last show.

But first I take some time to be sentimental. I walk on the stage and gaze out. I go over to our quick change station and see all our headshots lined up and ready to be put in dance bags at the onset of the show.
They are just faces, black and white features on cardboard, but to me, they are so much more. The kind of bond you create with people you've lived, worked, laughed, and literally been with for over a year and a half is staggering. It gets to be a part of you without even realizing it and suddenly you leave and you wonder at the bereft feeling that is left; you feel the ghost pains, so to speak, of the missing part and you might as well get used to it, I guess. It's gonna hurt for a while. But it's a good hurt.

I don't think I'll miss the gold hat so much.
It's pretty heavy and you can pop yourself in the forehead pretty badly if you're not careful. But after you do it once, you learn to be careful. Believe me. I don't think I've done that since opening in Denver last April, actually.

But I will miss what it means to wear that gold hat. The fact that you're in a show. The great story of it, the transformation that happens when you step on that stage. A friend of mine who has a resume that would impress God always says something whenever she leaves a show: If I am lucky enough to do another show...And there's a humility in that that I like. True, she's so talented and beautiful and accomplished that come on, she's gonna do another show. But the truth is we don't ever know, not really. Which makes me grateful for the job when it happens.

And here I am, as Kristine for the last time.
At my station. Which no, is not the neatest on the block, but neatness has never won anyone a Tony or a Grammy or even an Emmy, for that matter.

Though I am looking forward to going home again. And keeping a home. Even keeping it neat. A girl can learn, right?


Pop said...

Wow, Jess, a poignant and beautiful tribute to a very special season of your life. What a cool gift from God to you--not just the thrill of performing at a high level but the treasured relationships that have true meaning. I'm very, very glad for you. See you soon!

jendale12 said...

Loved the picture you took of yourself/Kristine, you look lovely! And just think how wonderful it will be when your path crosses with these people again; you know it will happen, the dance world is so small! So don't think of it as goodbye think of it as until next time!

Sachiyo said...

Jessica, I am very glad for all of the gifts you recieved from this amazing tour and sending you big applause from bottom of my heart.

- But I will miss what it means to wear that gold hat.

I am sure there are a lot of meaning in it. For me at least, since ACL is such a special performance to me, all the casts on the stage are a hero.
If I could ever perform even fake ACL, I would be just overwhelmed and weep so impossible to sing and dance.
I believe you know you are an artist of 3sets (sing&dance&act) and right now more possiblities to spearding them to the world is in front of you.
Please always carry the right proud and enjoy blossoming your flower.

You must be on your way for sweet home. I am so happy for you !!!

Love from India,


Mandy and Jack said...

Awww. This is kind of sad. But I'm so glad you get to go home!

Anna K said...

I miss you already, Jess, and those three wonderful ladies and everyone else in those black-and-white cardboard pictures.
But it is good to be home. Good to start a new chapter.
I can't wait to see you again! Thank you for a wonderful tour and thank you for a wonderful farewell. I hope this comes out right, but saying goodbye to you was actually easy--not because I won't terribly miss having you as a daily part of my life, but because I feel so strongly that our paths will cross again.
I look forward to reading your blogs from afar, and to the fact that your friends and family at home, who have been doing just that, now get to be a part of the stories.

kathiek said...

Sweet post, Jess. I am so glad that your run with ACL was so wonderful (and that during it you were close enough to home so that I could see you perform)! Blessings on your head, my friend.

James Ricardo The Actor said...

I miss you already! See ya in the city!

emilystella13 said...

Weeping, I am in my bed weeping. Thank you for this. Thank you for bravely sharing such an intimate moment. I am sad that I wasn't in that room with you ladies. I think I finally have a moment of sitting still and I am realizing that the whirlwind exit disallowed me from mourning the loss of the show and of you and of all the beautiful friendships that we created. It is crazy how far away it already feels.

ps I wrote entry number 4 in my blog, it only took a year, but here it is.