Wednesday, March 12, 2014

"Good morrow, fool" -- in which I consider some personal and professional revelations.

It seems like I start out most of these blog posts with a moan and a groan about how rarely I post. This time, I'm giving myself permission to just post what I can and when I feel like it. So ... I feel like doing a little writing and a little thinking at the moment. Hi, and thanks for listening.

At the risk of getting a little personal here, I've been dealing with some pretty severe depression and anxiety over the last several years. I sometimes come across old emails that I sent out 10 years ago, 5 years, and it sounds like a completely different person wrote them. When I rack my brain, I'm able to come up with happy memories in the last 10 years and really it's not even racking ... they come without too much trouble. It's more that my overall disposition and outlook seem to have taken a major dive, and I've spent a lot of time thinking about why.

Well, I still don't have a definitive answer to that question, but I've been making positive strides so far this year. I went off some medication I'd been taking. I've been rethinking a lot of my work and school commitments, trying to figure out what in my life has meaning and where the disconnect is between what I'm doing and what actually makes me happy. In my last post, I vented some frustration about the company and tried to wrestle with what originally drove me to want to do this kind of work. And honestly that did me a world of good.

This wrestling match continues to bear fruit so far in 2014, and I hope it will continue to for many years to come. Despite major ups and downs in my emotional state over the past months (and let's face it, years), I am feeling more in control, more purpose-driven, and more excited about the prospect of the work that we're doing. This month we're presenting a Sunday Shakespeare Series at the Lake Placid Center for the Arts. We are doing educational tours of The Course of True Love (a collection of scenes that I adapted). And we're on track to produce our largest summer festival yet with five Shakespeare titles as well as Patrick's original children's play, David & Goliath. And what's more ... I'm excited about it!

Honestly, really, and truly excited about it.

I mean, check this out. It's exciting! And I'm excited! Isn't that exciting?!?

ADK Shakes, this strange and wonderful thing that was born on a tiny wooden platform on a hillside almost six years ago, is growing. It's nice to take a moment and stand back to admire the work we've done and the accomplishments we've made in the last six years. Not to brag, not to feel prideful, but to actually acknowledge everything that has gone into creating this company -- and if you're reading this you are very likely one of those things. Whether you've submitted a headshot, come out to audition, shared a post on Facebook, attended a performance, or worked in the company, I want to take a moment to thank you for all you've done.

Sometimes it feels like I work in a private bubble typing up press releases, creating social media posts, updating the website, or editing scripts ... and it is easy to lose sight of the countless helping hands, but the reality is there is no private bubble. I work really hard, but I definitely do not make this company go all by myself. Neither does Patrick. We need your help and support. This year (as I embrace personal revelations and as the company faces the prospect of some massive growth), I'm not going to be afraid or ashamed to ask for it and in fact I'm going to (at least attempt to) even feel empowered by it. Because you know what? It's really the community that we have each and every one of us created here that gives me the drive to keep going and keep creating.

Thanks. No, really. Thank you.
"The fool doth think he is wise,
but the wise man knows himself to be a fool." 
(As You Like It)
So ultimately what I've gotten out of all this contemplation is that the older I get, the more ready I am to embrace the reality of how little I know. Hopefully this signifies a movement from foolishness to wisdom. Or perhaps it merely confirms my foolishness...

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