Lately my thoughts have been turning in my head like soil in one of those soil turning machines- except it has a rock stuck in the works and it keeps tilling the same plot of soil over and over, crushing the little earth worms and seedlings repeatedly, into rich mush. I have been out of work, permanent, full-time work, since the beginning of the summer, and I'm trying not to panic. I'm trying to remember the happy times-what did I once enjoy doing? Where do my dreams lay?
My thoughts stray to the sunny, verdant days of college at UC Santa Cruz and my favorite class there- The History of Comedy taught by Classics professor, Mary Kay Gamel. I had studied in Italy the year before, in Venice, and suddenly switched my major from Music to Literature. This was one of the last courses I took, and I didn't know what to do. The class was wonderful- studying Greek comedies by Plautus and simultaneously looking at films to see how their structures, the characters, and plots reflected the paradigms laid down by the Greeks. We read Euripides's"The Bacchae," we watched "The Lady Eve" and "Shampoo." We performed scenes in front of the class, and that was my favorite aspect of the class. I remember I was up one day with a classmate of mine and being told to perform the scene one way, and then doing it again in a completely different fashion. One style dramatic, one comedic. I remember being able to see how I was going to speak each line and get a laugh here, a pause here - I even hit (stage hit) my scene partner. But the class loved it. I remember applause. I remember my professor being impressed, and meeting with me after the class. This was a high moment for me. Realizing my love of theater, classics, comedy, all in one time.
Remembering this now, while I'm struggling in New York City not knowing which way to go, what job to try for, which crazy overworked person to contact for guidance or employment, makes me slow down and smile. Makes me dream again, for something more pure and more beautiful than any thought I've had in the last six months. This is the direction I think I need to go in.