Friday, September 18, 2009
ALONE IN A CROWD
When I was in school, I never quite fit in, though I tried to.
The first time I went to a Saturday night dance, nobody asked me to dance except Lennie, who was a "drip."
The one college orientation get-together I attended was grim. The other girls and guys seemed like a collection of drips from all over the world.
I went to a couple of parties and pretended to enjoy myself, but Christmas Eve was awful, and New Year's Eve was seriously depressing. (On New Year's Day I took a train to New York and never went back to college except as a performer on the college concert circuit.)
In the city, there were lots of people to have quick conversations with, but they were too busy and I was too busy for get-togethers.
I got my first dance job, then a husband, and we got our Dance Drama Duo going. Socializing with other dancers, actors, fellow artists was okay -- part of "making it."
At cocktail parties I never did feel like I belonged.
After a show when people came backstage, it was exhausting -- a performance after the performance.
My very first creative effort was a solo done to the sound effects of bells pealing, a crowd celebrating. I stood upstage in the center, and walked very slowly, skillfully, smoothly downstage, forward to the edge of the stage, while slowly raising and reaching my arms -- reaching out to the people -- trying to join with the crowd that was celebrating in the world beyond the stage.
It's a simple sol0 (I've seen it on film). There's no dance movement. But the vision of one person in a crowd, not being able to become part of the crowd is touching.
Aloneness ... each of us is one person, a solitary, lone figure ... loneness isn't loneliness unless it makes you sad. It doesn't make me sad anymore.