So it begins…

I thought my mid-life crisis had already come. No, not an affair with a sexy young thing (preferably brunette, relatively voluptuous, Mensa-eligible but too laid back to ever actually think about joining, a traveler, an old soul – wait: this is entirely too much detail for a thought that never happened…). Not a sporty red car (I detest driving more and more) or a sailboat (can’t swim) or a macho, mano-a-mano faceoff with my boss (I’m self-employed). No, as I grappled with mid-nearing-late-40s angst and insecurity and a sense of wholelessness, I decided to self-produce a solo show.

Maybe not the best of ideas.

Ok, it wasn’t horrible, despite the assertions of the one and only review it received, from a critic notorious for his abhorrent personal habits (can you say “Eat your boogers”? I mean, during the show. Like, instead of popcorn or Good ‘n’ Plenty. And, if you can imagine, as told to me by a trustworthy correspondent, there were acts even more stomach-churning), yet a critic many young Chicago troupes court, because he’s known to like just about everything produced under the auspices of Melpomene and Thalia. Except my show. If I were a braver man, or more carefree, I would give a link to it and say “Be damned.” I am neither. And I probably will be damned.

I mean, the show had/has some funny moments. It made more than a few men, young and stalwart all, blubber. Yeah, the production values were cheesy, and the houses on average were small, but damnit, I took a risk and pulled it off. Take that, mid-life crisis!

But on the other hand…the tepid response from some people I like and whom I wanted to rave about it, the number of no-shows among the theatre folks whose work I have supported (the list quickly grew longer than the number of my digits, so I stopped counting), the lack of results – another, splashier staging, ties to new theatre types who finally realized my genius, maybe even, a film version, starring…I don’t know, don’t care; it’s a film version, for god’s sake! – all that left me feeling deflated when it was over. And the realization that, yes, it could have been shorter, could have been structured differently, could have just been better, and I definitely needed a hipper MySpace page; that was not so much fun either. And the second realization that I could say the same thing about most of my other plays, all that shit left me feeling depressed. And still in crisis mode.

So what else could I do but tell Samantha, my too-patient (although still all-too human – and you know I say that with lotsa love, honey) wife, that I was ready. Ready to admit defeat in the world of Chicago theatre, go back to our home state of Connecticut with my tail between my legs, and face impending death with no dignity at all. She was thrilled. Though hopefully not about the impending death. I’d better check on that…

And then Samantha said, “You want to take a few months off and drive to Alaska (pre-Palin, thank you) and then volunteer at the Omega Institute when we get back and then look for a house? We’ll have no money coming in for months and have to spend thousands, and I won’t have a job when we come back. But it will be fun. I think.”

Well, jeez, I was already in crisis mode. What could I say?


Stay tuned…


~ by mburgan on September 17, 2008.

4 Responses to “So it begins…”

  1. I love the Omega Institute idea. Glad you’re blogging….how can creation be bad? (unless it’s something like the ebola virus)

    Great that you’re coming back home, too.


  2. You’re right, creation in this case is not bad at all.

    Hmm, “home.” For more than 4 years I have so tried to avoid calling CT home, saying we were “going home” when we went for a visit. Chicago was home now, damnit. But I guess in a sense I knew that was a lie. So, yes, we are coming back home. We’ll see how great it actually is…

  3. Actually, I’m sad to see that you’ll be LEAVING home to go back to CT–but maybe that’s just a matter of perspective


  4. I appreciate the sentiment. “Home” is such a funny concept. And it seems like since we’ve made this decision and the time to act gets closer, I establish relationships with people that do make Chicago feel more homey. A place I should be. But I don’t think there’s any going back on this…

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