Honestly Kid

by Daniel Damkoehler


2nd thoughts

Why I Left Theatre

If you devel­op an ear for sounds that are musi­cal it is like devel­op­ing an ego. You begin to refuse sounds that are not musi­cal and that way cut your­self off from a good deal of expe­ri­ence.
— John Cage

Substitute the­atre for music in the pas­sage above and that’s pret­ty much the prob­lem I was fac­ing back in the mid-90s. I want­ed more expe­ri­ence. More life. And it had to be life beyond/outside the­atre. I didn’t see how I could ever make mean­ing­ful the­atre oth­er­wise.

Because I was 24, over edu­cat­ed and under-expe­ri­enced I didn’t real­ize that life hap­pens no mat­ter what we do or where we go until it’s done with us and we don’t get to know what hap­pens after wards. I didn’t nec­es­sar­i­ly need to drop the­atre, I need­ed to pay more atten­tion to the rest of my life and inte­grate what I found there into  the­atre when­ev­er and how ever I could.

Now, fif­teen-plus years lat­er, I feel a bit locked out of the­atre. Rivers crossed. Bridges burned. Chance and oppor­tu­ni­ty neglect­ed. Contacts lost.

I know. I know. I’m not dead yet. It’s just not an easy thing to fix, folks. And you know it. And if you know me, you know it’s not about join­ing a local com­mu­ni­ty the­atre group (may Shakespeare bless them from his per­fect­ly word­ed Elizabethan heav­en). It’s about gen­er­at­ing mate­r­i­al and get­ting it heard. Performed. Produced.

Pro for­ma blog­ging says I should end here with a ques­tion, instead I ask you for yours.