First off, I'd like to formally say, "Welcome!" After about 8 years of waiting, I've finally been able to snatch up chrisleyva.com! It's nice to be here. Finally. Welcome. Make yourself comfortable. Stay awhile.
Back in December, I had a massive sinus infection that spread into cellulitis that caused massive swelling in the right side of my face. I was hospitalized for about 5 days and forced to sit in bed and, you know, do what you do when you sit in bed in a hospital:
I once had someone tell me that your body understands your emotions and can and will do whatever is necessary to try to deal with those emotions. In December, I think my body was yelling at me to slow down. I needed to sit and think and look at my world. This is a longish way to say... That infection is back. My face is swollen. And it looks like being hospitalized may be a reality in the near future...
I suppose my face is telling me that it's once again time to slow down and really assess what I need to do. And what I have been doing. Lately, I've read some plays (M. Butterfly by David Henry Hwang, The Beauty Queen of Leenane & A Skull in Connemara by Martin McDonagh), I read the screenplay to Whiplash by Damien Chazelle, I saw an adaptation of The Jungle Book by Steven C. Anderson at CATCO, a production of Dreamgirls by Imagine Productions of Columbus and started writing the script for my children's play Cowgirls Don't Ride Zebras.
That's what I've done theatrically, but we're not all about our art. We can't be. We have to be human. We have to be three-dimensional beings, just like we want our own characters to be. So, I've been a father and husband and continued at my full-time day job and maybe it is too much. Maybe I didn't take enough breaks. Yes, I went to things such as a train show and visiting the park (yay for random days of nice weather) and heading out to New Mexico to visit family, but I started to stress out and kick myself whenever I wasn't writing or looking for places to submit to because how can I call myself a playwright if I'm not writing and constantly submitting my plays? My list of projects isn't going down. Okay, not really true because I did finish a draft of my play Persephone UNCUT, so there is that. It's easy to feel like a lump, like you haven't really accomplished anything or done anything, but to lay it all out it seems like a bit more. There's also some emotional stress about the uncertainty of the future (my lovely Dr. Wife is on a job hunt) and no wonder my body is a bit angry and has acted out.
If we're to be complete human beings, truly complete, we need to be more than our art. We need to be those other labels, too. I have to be husband, father, son, employee, Creative, and, yes, of course, playwright. I have to be all those things and that can be exhausting. I am exhausted.
"Hey baby I hear the blues a-callin' Tossed Salads and Scrambled Eggs..."
Stay healthy, my fellow theatre-makers and be excellent to each other.