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Starting over again, Day 2

January 20, 2010

It happened again. Someone actually called me brave tonight.

I went to Naked Angels, a great theater company on the lower west side about which I’d heard more than a year ago in an interview with David Schwimmer. When I first heard about their process of developing and workshopping new plays, a process that includes weekly cold readings, I put Tuesdays at 9 at Naked Angels on my calendar to repeat every week. Would a brave woman who loves to act wait this long to finally attend?

My family moved to Ohio when I was just four years old. At that age, moving didn’t seem to phase me much, perhaps because my mother was still generally in charge of making new friends for me. Moving a month before my eighth birthday from all the friends I’d grown to love in Ohio hurt far more. I still remember crying on the monkey bars at the playground where I would attend school in just a couple of months.

Remembering the lessons taught to me by my father about introducing myself to other kids at the sandbar by our sailboat in Lake Erie, I did manage to make some great friends in New Jersey despite my fear and sadness. Nevertheless, every move or trip since makes me nervous to tread in different waters, and making new friends alone can scare the best of us.

Tonight at Naked Angels, a children’s novelist read a selection from her new book.  In her reading,  a ten-year-old insists adults lie when they tell her it will be easy to make new friends in her new school. It reminded me that I’m not alone in my discomfort. After the show tonight, several of my new acquaintances praised me for coming out alone and for daring to stay and mingle my first time. I have yet to do any straight acting in this city – I truly have to start all over in my networking. This is hard. It’s also very, very good.

Day 2, I went to Naked Angels (and promised to return next week).

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