My Apprenticeship at Portland Playhouse is over. If you really think about what “apprentice” means, now that my apprenticeship is over, I am I guess a master. Or at least an actor. I was an acting apprentice, that’s over. I guess I’m an actor now.
I don’t know what to do with my days, these days. I am walking dogs for the next two weeks, filling in for a friend out of town. This morning I went to the DMV, and got the Oregon license I guess I have to have, having an Oregon-titled car. I still need to buy a bookcase, move some money around to finalize my security deposit at my new place. After I finish this blog post, I’ve told myself I’m going to call Oaks Park. Try to get some hours.
(I don’t like this blog. I don’t like having to think so much about who I’m writing to, what I should and shouldn’t say. Not wanting to mention food stamps. Or talk shit about Oaks Park. See, I’ve probably said this but this blog is an attempt to refine and share what for years has been a personal journal. A journal that was a huge part of my inner life, but has fallen off in recent years as I blanche at the sheer vanity of it all. My hope is that with even an imaginary audience, I might take more care to what I write. I might write more. I might write differently. Perhaps even better. )
I feel this compulsive need to be productive. And there’s a long list of things normal people do that I need to do. Things ranging from one time items (buy a bookcase) to every couple months or years (go to the DMV), to everyday shit (groceries).
It is stressful. And strange. And I am getting the sense that this year, not the last one, will be the real year of life transitions. Of starting a more adult existence. I was reading Montaigne last night, an essay called something like, “On Solitary Life.” He said the primary reason all of us at times seek alone time, when you get right down to it, is to make life easier. It was a good reminder. Because here I am, acting but only partly employed, and feeling bad for not having enough to do. Struggling to fill my days. Waking late and wishing I had woken up earlier. Staying up late, having to will myself to bed. Going to coffee shops, libraries, the DMV at 9:30 in the morning. Getting shit done. All so I can make this life of mine a reality. All so someday I can rue how busy I will certainly become. So I can maybe someday work so hard that I have the luxury I now can’t seem to shake: nothing to do.
I saw a documentary about character movie actors, one of them said “Actors need hobbies.” I think that’s very smart. Actors need hobbies so we don’t go crazy when the phone isn’t ringing. We need other things to focus on occasionally. I have never been a natural hobbyist, but I’m working at it. Getting better at recognizing and then cultivating those things that bring me joy. I love cycling, and now that I live in the SE, I am happy to discover I can do that more. Avoid the traffic and the freeways, get to know my city a little bettter. Feel the wind in my hair, the sweat on my brow. It’s a delight. I also like chess. And I hope to seek out more players and maybe even organizations of like minded people. And sitting at home is five gallons of apple juice, waiting to be fermented into apple wine. For six weeks, I will have billions of microbic pets. I will feed them cane sugar and apple juice, and they will make me a delicious beverage.