Living my minutes stretched out thin over a slice of life, I finally crossed over the crusty edges and careened on a downward spiral into hormonal madness.
It began with the evaluation of a singer. All I wanted to do was enjoy the music, to let it wash over my parched soul and fill in the cracks but each time I did that, my eyes watered. Yes… I was dry. And standing before a fountain, I neglected my thirst and very purposefully reigned in my thoughts, checking the boxes on the form, filling in the blanks with my comments…
I began questioning my purpose as an evaluator. All I really wanted to say was that the singer was doing a great job as a courageous vocalist – one who’s grown stronger and better, rising boldly from each failure. But no, I needed to quantify that growth with numbers. I know the importance of the evaluation but dammit, maybe it’s time I back out of all this. Maybe it’s time I turn away from what I like doing, to return to what I love.
Next up – auditions for a short drama.
So many of them tried their best… only to hear us say they weren’t good enough. I looked at them and again, was bowled over by their courage to try. The worst bit came when the Amazonian stepped in. God, I’ve missed my darling friend. She began her monologue, only to stop halfway…
‘This is too hard to read,’ she choked. She tried several times but was overcome by tears. The words I’d written in the script cut too closely to her heart and I knew, something was up. I wanted to reach out and ask if she was okay, what was going on, how was work, the family, the children… but all I said was, ‘It’s okay dear.’
I walked her out of the audition room to say goodbye, my eyes tearing again. I’d just watched her live through some pain she had yet to articulate to me.
‘I miss you…’ I said.
‘Me too. See you around.’ And then she was gone.
The part I dreaded the most though, was calling up three of the dancers we needed to turn away from the upcoming performance.
The first chap, I met face-to-face. We talked and he understood why he hadn’t made the cut. He appreciated the fact that I’d personally contacted him and I felt relief. It gave me the boost I needed to make the second call.
I picked up the phone, took a deep breath and dialed the numbers.
‘… so I hope you understand why we need to take you out of this performance, this time round…’ I finished my explanation, half expecting the same reaction as the first guy.
‘But I really want to do this…’ she replied, finally breaking down and sobbing on the phone.
My heart ached.
I spent another ten minutes talking to her, encouraging her and making promises about the future that (dear god) I hope will come to pass. When she finally stopped sobbing, we put the phone down… and that was when I finally broke. This was all getting too much for me.
‘Hey… are you okay?’ JapGirl asked.
‘Yeah…’ I sniffled. But I wasn’t. How can you be, when you’ve just spent an entire day judging if others were good enough? How does one determine that anyway? I’m not an expert. All I can go by is my heart and what it tells me… and I know when something fits right and when it doesn’t. But how do you make someone else understand that? How do you quantify that for them when all they hear is the sound of breaking dreams?
How do I convince myself that I’m right when all I hear is how wrong it feels?
What is the weight of a tear?
How much does it bear, as it rolls down your face?
What sound does it make when it hits your chest?
And where does it go when it’s finally released?
As a child, crying was the answer. It solved all problems. The cathartic bawling gave way to sunshine and smiles. But as I grew older, crying became a choice, one that sometimes, I didn’t want to take. Walking away and ignoring the ache was easier. Or so I thought.
I sat in the empty auditorium tonight and looked out at the sea of velvet chairs. I tried to hear the music, imagine the crowds, feel the energy… but was a little too late. The curtains had closed on yet another day of casting and preparation work for the event.
It will all be good. I don’t fear the outcome.
But for once… it’s not the performance I’m thinking about. It’s the people, their dreams and the journeys they are all taking.
I hope they aren’t alone.
I hope they turn to the Dream Maker.
I pray… that they felt my love, though frail.
Because if it weren’t for people like them, there would be no event, no curtain call, no applause.
There would be no chance of other people’s dreams coming true.