I feel as if I have dedicated my being to a cause which is now
dead. The performing arts are more mortal than even the frail
humans who create them; are intensely addictive to those who engage
in them; are never able to last long enough for those who are
addicted. Unlike the more conventional (but less legal) drugs, one
does not need to get more of a fix each time to get the same
effect. Instead, each hit of performance seems better than the
last. I cannot draw myself away from this feeling.
The depression in which I am immersed is the leftover of
Candide. Bernstein must have been a genius when it came to writing
Let dreamers dream what worlds they please;
these Edens can't be found.
The sweetest flowers, the fairest trees,
are grown in solid ground.
We're neither pure, nor wise, nor good.
We'll do the best we know:
We'll build our house, and chop our wood,
and make our garden grow.
Every time I recite the lyrics to this, the finale of the musical,
I cannot help but cry.
The depressing parts of Candide are obviously the most pointed
in my memory, but the cradle of love which the performers maintain
for each other is the part that I really miss. Perhaps there is
want for harmony, both musical and interpersonal, but the goodwill
which pervades through the people who work together to express an
idea to an audience is seldom matched; is seldom anticipated; is
seldom maintained after the work is done; is often missed.
Isn't life.... odd?
Other people from the cast complain that they have nothing to
do all evening; I simply sit in front of my computer. I am always
occupied, never bored, easily amused. Still, reclining in my black
leather chair before my terminal is not the apogee of my happiness.
The peak of my happiness is to be held in the cradle of love which
I mentioned before. This happened before each performance, when all
of the members of the cast formed a circle and held the sweaty hands
of the other members, and said some words of thanks, or praise,
or advice, or humor, or self-deprecation, or contradiction, or
ineffective expression of immense emotion. Hugs flowed freely.
The final cast party was heavenly. We watched the video of the
performance--it was the first time we got to see ourselves. We all
lay on the floor and sprawled on the furniture and put our heads in
each other's laps and laughed. We talked about the little details of
the show which were hilarious, and complained about the audiences, and
compared notes on who came, and sang along with the songs, sometimes
corrupting the lyrics to humorous advantage; sometimes near tears with
the sweetness of the music. And then I walked home. And then I sat
down before one of my computers and wrote a short essay about the
post-production downer. And then I went to bed.
It's supposed to be the seniors that cry.