Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The Coldest Morning Yet

It's cold here at castle Grinder this morning - getting out of bed wasn't a lot of fun, and while I think the furnace is good to go the world's greatest wife and I are holding out as long as we can for fear of the exhorbitant cost of heating oil (though I actually think the price is quite reasonable at the moment, so we should probably place our order soon before it goes up any further).

So here I sit, cold and alone (even the cats have left for the morning), finally able to digest some of what I have been through in the last few days.

The last week or so of my life has been lived in more or less of a daze. I can't go into the specific details of what has occurred, except to say that a number of people have done a number of things of their own accords (and not in concert with each other) that when taken together served to push me over the edge.

I snapped.

I lost control of my feelings, shed the usual stoic optimism that I've found to be essential for surviving in this business and just went straight over the edge. It wasn't a fit of violent rage (though I was gripped with the overwhelming urge to drive my fist through a few pieces of scenery) but rather a desperate, futile grasping at the pieces of a carefully constructed life and work as they fell through my fingers.

There was no quick release. No catharsis. No epiphany. Just frantic flailing, then futile pursuit, then utter despair.

I'd better clarify as best I can. Basically, in the past few months I've arrived at a point in my life where there finally seems to be less darkness and more light. As the world's greatest wife is always telling me, "we're very blessed." And we are. I am. I have a roof over my head, food on the table, the love and support of family and friends, and her.

I have so much to be thankful for. So much that's going right. In fact, for quite some time I've come to realize that my life is pretty much perfect, save for one thing - my profession.

Despite achieving great success in my personal life my professional life has been lurching from one failure to another for quite some time. I'm not talking about end products here - the shows I've done and the things I've written have been both good and bad, and in that respect it's not even my place to really decide what's good and bad - that's up to the audience and the readers.

Where I have failed, and where I continue to consistently fail is on the process. Despite years of training, study and reflection I am unable to get things done, done right and done on time, for lack of a less blunt way to put things. While the results of this on stage and in print are for someone else to judge, the resulting balance in my bank account is my business, and business has been consistently disappointing.

I can't even keep this blog updated consistently. If I did, every weekday there would be a fresh posting waiting for you. But some weeks I don't get those posts written, and some weeks I don't get them posted on time, and some weeks I post things that I've already posted without realizing it.

This is just one example of an endemic problem that pollutes everything I say and do.

So what's to be done? Give it all up and work at Tim Hortons? There are people out there who would desperately wish for that to be so. There are so many who seem to crave the day that I "admit defeat" and "get a real job" as if what I do makes me something of a ne'er-do-well or free-loader, people who gush with hollow praise and ill-considered advice but secretly fear that if I ever do "realize my dreams" then it will invalidate their own failed attempts at professional fulfillment.

Well I'm not going to give up. I'm not going to give in, and I'm not going to forget that what I do is just as worthy of respect as the work of any auto mechanic, machinist or brain surgeon.

What I am going to do is step back from the precipice a little, to make sure that I don't go over the edge once again. Next time the world's greatest wife may not be there to catch me and keep me from falling.

I'm going to take this winter to re-brand myself. There will be no shows between December 09 (after the Christmas show) and the start of the summer season in June 2010. Between now and then I won't build a new company (as I think the company is doing just fine) - I will build a new me.

Here's hoping that by the time the cold mornings are behind us once again I will finally be freed from the shackles of my past mistakes and able to enjoy all that a beautiful life has to offer.

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