“Speak the Speech; I Pray You.” – Hamlet


Beginner’s acting class. Ok. I’m signing up. Ten weeks. Thats almost… 90 days, right? The magick number: 90 days. I have two useless, unused degrees in theatre, right? What am I waiting for?

There are some big buggers about the situation: everyone will be 18 years old and pompously blustrous; we will nervously fidget in front of an ancient, crass, rude teacher, and I will feel inadequate and old and wasted.


Fast forward: I went to the class. There were people of all ages; since it was a beginners class, most folks were egoless -they were looking for relief from the monotony of their day jobs; the teacher was a vibrant, kind woman, and I felt alive and rejuvenated.

During this week, I have begun to prepare audition material and have dusted off the plays in the very back of my bookshelf – the ones which I could not hold in my hands for 15 years, lest my heart break. They’ve transformed into sources of possibility. I have even decided to audition for the Renaissance Faire, which has been a dream of mine since I was 15.

My sponsor has insisted that I begin my daycount again. At first I agreed to do as she “suggested,” but then my guts screamed, “NOOOOOOO, you have not lost. You have let go of the craving for alcohol. You are a transformed person. Your self-esteem is growing from the baseline of this accomplishment. To count again would be suicide! The plays would turn to ashes if you start over based on the teeny blip over the holidays.”

I agree with my innards and have emailed my sponsor about my decision. I’m awaiting her response with mounting anxiety.

I will not let someone else bring me down. Not today. And I go back to class tomorrow. Toting my “Actor’s Companion” with swiftly melting bitterness.



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