So, clearly, I didn’t actually quite theatre. If I had, I probably wouldn’t have gone most of the year without writing and posting anything. As I discovered last fall (when I first declared my “retirement”), my writing output acquires a certain regularity when I’m not spending nearly all of my evenings in one rehearsal or another.
What did happen, then? After I “called it quits.”
Well, I caught up on reading. I wrote, obviously. And I had a lot of really great conversations with really great people about why I had gotten so fed up with theatre and grew so ready to quit it in the first place. Luckily, in the course of these conversations, most of these really great people convinced me I didn’t actually want to leave theatre altogether but that I just needed a break. A good, long, rehearsal-free break.
So, in the end, what I did was declare a sabbatical. And it was one of the best decisions I’d ever made in my life. In addition to the reading and writing mentioned above, I got to experience what it’s like to be at home every evening. I discovered the calm that comes from not having a score to prepare, or parts to teach, or musicians to hire, or actors to tolerate. I realized, in what must have been something of a shock, that I didn’t need theatre to be happy. I like having it, and I know that I’m good at it. But I don’t need it. I love it. But I don’t have to spend every single day and night doing it.