i do not have a connect-the-dots kind of life. i have a life in very separate chapters. separate compartments. i must have been destined for some kind of life-on-the-stage because i have spent much of my life recreating myself into various themes/jobs/looks. this is all to say that i am always a bit nervous when my past crops up in front of my present. because my past was ‘someone else’ ago (or a few someone elses ago) and my present is whatever i remade myself into and before my newest recreative attempt.
the funny goofy slightly-nerdy definitely-geeky highschooler with bushy eyebrows and a hint of the possibilities propelled herself out of home and hearth and became (for no apparent reason other than to get out of home and hearth) a tech theater student with hammer on hip and a bold exuding sexuality that was all bravado and little actual experience. one almost-welded eyelid episode aside, i threw myself into the part but it was an experience in learning that i was trying to remake myself a little too far from my wants and wishes and hopes and so fell down miserably – until i fell so far that i was disgusted with myself and said publically what i really wanted to do which, of course, was to be on the stage.
off to nyc shedding weight and teenage plumpness and doing what i do best: working in front of an anonymous audience. the whole city was my anonymous audience and i could make myself whatever i wanted to be. and that was in the middle of the most exciting time for cabaret clubs in nyc. oh those mid-80’s. catch a rising star; greene street cafe; even the village ‘duplex’ were learning grounds for reinvention. i molded look and sound – tho i slugged through a life of some auditions for the legitimate stage and came close to one bway gig – even then i think i knew that i was an undisciplined actress but a very good funny often sultry jazz and cabaret singer. they were heady days that took me from 3 am sets on nyc club stages to a career around the world in sophisticated jazz rooms – perched on the edge of whatever baby grand was around and belting out my heart together with a few bawdy jokes. let’s not even get into the guy factor…another post for another day.
when i found my now-husband, i think i sealed away that part of my life. i’m so black and white…if i can’t have that; i’ll have none of that. and after a few office gigs and a small stint as a little kids’ music teacher, i became the real estate broker. not for me the piddly real estate broker. for me the big name real estate broker with a big name brokerage as my partner and a whole new much more conservative wardrobe to match. i became the part. but i have always felt the tug of the middle and the wish to be more connected to it.
this is the first time in my life where i can feel a sort of ‘through line’ that has worked through each someone else i’ve been. i guess that means i’m old now. some old buddies and partners-in-bawdy-musical-crime-and-comedy got in touch recently and i became keenly aware that i am, again, someone else. what will they see when they see the me that i am now? but maybe i’m still just a little of that 2nd stage? that’s the one i want to keep a little of in my pocket – that singing girl i once was: it had a certain sparkle!