This morning, I am awake and contemplating roles, and since I am a lover of all things bread, probably somewhere in that contemplation is a roll or two; more on that later, back to roles.
If I didn’t admit to sometimes experiencing a blinding fear that I have missed out on something huge by not choosing a more traditional role for myself, I’d be a big liar. When days and sometimes weeks roll past with few jobs or even job opportunities, my mind has far too much free time to roam around the places that might have been. Those are dangerous places, like scary abandoned carnival lots in creepy horror movies or Nordstrom’s Half-Yearly sale. The danger is in letting myself believe I would have been better off actually being a mom, not just playing the role of a mom. Or that the type of lawyer I could have been in real life definitely would have matched the one I played on stage, same goes for the doctor, executive and a bottle of coke. Okay, that last one is a deeply held secret that I promised T.HO I’d take to my grave.
Maybe the contemplation this morning isn’t so much about the ‘Woulda, Coulda, Shoulda Wheel of Shame’, but more about not knowing my place in this current culture of women and diversity in media. How there’s not enough of either. How we have a test that for generations we’ve been flunking. And then there are the #oscarssowhite and JLaw making excellent points on pay and, and, and….
And, I’m still seeing the breakdowns in my inbox with: “pretty, but not too pretty” or “maybe she still has some of the baby weight on her” or “healthy, down-to-earth”. I know the code word for all of these: normal. Which by the way I learned is nothing more than a setting on my washing machine. But all this demand for normal is in direct conflict with my daily role of feeling and being extraordinary! I know the courage it takes to personally expose myself time after time is not something for everyone; I respect my peers who choose roles with expectations around products and deadlines. My choice is a role where I must inhabit all that is the human experience thrown up large on stage, screen or over the airways.
Today, the auditions du jour are “Operator” followed by “Mom At Soccer Game”. Perhaps today is the day I will choose to work a little harder on the creation of those roles that align more perfectly with my extraordinary way of being. If I wait on the world to create them for me, the only role I will be offered is “a pretty corpse, but not too pretty.”
And for those of you who read this post believing it would be about rolls, here ya go! Enjoy every delicious and wonderful roll and role! That is certainly what I am doing.