Miscellaneous Mental Musings of an Emerging Artist
I and most of the cast and crew of The Permanent Way attended the Jeff Citations Ceremony on Monday night, as red-ribboned nominees. When you enter through the doors at Park West, one usher takes your ticket and another stamps a thick red line across your left wrist, so you know where to put the razor after you don’t win anything.
The stamp is exactly as I described it, but it’s only there so you can come back in if you decide to leave the venue in the middle of the evening. Which you do, in great screaming tears, after you don’t win anything.
I kid! Again!
This was the first awards ceremony I’ve attended since my senior year of high school, when I attended both the Drama Club year-end awards and the Class of 1995 departmental awards, and although I half-expected that I’d be writing about it here in the same sort of dry, acerbically witty tones akin to the observational essays of David Sedaris or David Foster Wallace, the fact is that I genuinely enjoyed it, even when New Leaf was not recognized with a Citation for Best Ensemble and we ran wailing out of the venue, spurting fountains of blood from our left wrists.
(That was the last one, I promise.)
I didn’t enjoy it for all the fun little gaffes and quirks that occurred, although several of them I will occasionally recall with uproarious fondness. What I enjoyed was being at the same table with New Leaf, toasting for one last time the work we did, the story we told, the time we shared. I enjoyed watching the same energy coursing through the men and women at the other tables, the mad cheers going up for actors and artisans even for productions unrelated to the cheering section. I appreciated the winners who honored their fellow nominees in their speeches, the way Nathan Allen referred to his colleagues at The House Theatre as his “brothers and sisters,” the joyous, glowing energy of the kids at BoHo being recognized in their first year of eligibility for Side Show.
I enjoyed being there and, simply by the act of being there, being reminded why I wanted to keep going. I was reminded why I live as I do, why I work as I do, why I haven’t just shoved it all aside by now and gone back to school to get my MBA.
I love these people. Even the ones I don’t know. Even the ones I can barely tolerate. Even the ones who never remember my name despite my having met them several times and told them how much I enjoyed their work. Even them. I love these people. I love the way it feels comfortable and familiar the way oxygen tastes when you emerge from underwater. I love loving these people.