FROM THE BLOG
Making a space for myself in the world of theater, and building a sustained career in it, was an all-consuming effort that lasted the better part of 20 years. I couldn’t afford graduate school or to gain experience via low pay, or unpaid, internships. I had day jobs and side hustles, paying my bills with jobs bartending and data management consulting. I didn’t have a steady paycheck in the theater until I was 40.
I was also married at 21 and had a son at 28. The peak years of my side hustles overlapped entirely with his growing up in our household. At some points, I was on the road six weeks out of eight. Even when I was home, I’d have rehearsals or performances at night much of time. I had ambition. I had passion. I had drive.
When my son was about 11, I returned home from weeks on the road with baseball caps from the cities I’d been working in. I was on my way out to rehearsal when I handed him the caps. “You know, Dad,” he said, sitting glumly on his bed, “you can’t just buy me things and think that makes it better.” My heart skips a bit even now as I write these words. It was a punch to the gut.