Be Careful What You Wish For
So, yeah. They say you should be careful what you wish for. Wow, is that ever true.
About two weeks ago Eric had an audition for the role of his dreams. He’s always wanted to be on a touring show. This one was touring Europe for seven months, travelling with the Bejing Opera, I do believe. He was up against a thousand people or so.
Their audition process was simple: “Bring in something that showcases yourself as an actor. How you’d like to be represented. Don’t do a traditional monologue.”
And Eric was stressing, wondering what exactly that meant. We talked about it for a little while and I said, “Why don’t you just go up there and talk? I mean, have a piece written, but it’s you, talking about you. Say what you can and can’t do as an actor. Say you want to be presented fairly. That you want to be put in the best lighting, with the strongest cast, with a supportive director. Tell them that you give all of yourself, and you want them to give back just as much as you’re giving them. Be honest. Tell them what you’re passionate about. Say, ‘This is me downstage. I look best on my left side here. Upstage I look like this. This is my loud voice. This is my quiet voice. Here’s what I sound like when I’m being actor-y. Here’s me in a chair. I am doing what I love to do. Simply, I like being up here. On this stage. With these lights. With you watching me. This is me. This is how I want to be represented. Fairly.’”
And it was quiet for a little while. Then Eric said, “I’ve been stressing for a week on this thing trying to come up with what to do. You listen for five minutes and you’ve come up with an entire piece that’s better than anything I thought of. Man, you’re good at this.”
So we talked through it. He wrote it that night. The next morning he sent it to me and it was really good. He memorized it and went to the audition.
They loved it. They said the piece was bold and risky. That he took a chance by being honest and not just being safe with a monologue or a song. They said they were narrowing down to about three hundred people and they were probably going to take somewhere around twelve and they’d let him know next week.
That was last week.
We got together over the weekend and talked about how crazy it would be if he had to go off to Europe. How this summer would be spent rehearsing outside Santa Barbara. He didn’t want to talk too much about it. He didn’t want to jinx it. But we talked about how much we’d miss each other. Our fears if he did go away. Whether or not I should go and visit. I’ve never been to Europe. Eric’s pretty sure I’d hate it. We decided that if he tours Amsterdam I’ll go and see him. I’d have to get a passport. We stopped talking about it because it got to be sad.
But I knew. I knew he’d get the part. That’s what Eric does.
He called this morning. “I got it! I got the part, baby!”
And just like that, everything is going to change. He’s gone from August until next February. I was and am very happy for him. This is something he’s always wanted. This is something he never would have auditioned for if we were still together. This is exactly what he needs right now. But when we said we wanted some space, I didn’t mean we needed an ocean between us.
So, after telling him I was proud of him, I just started crying right there on the phone. I’m happy for him. But I’m very sad about it. He’s going to be very far away for a long time. And we’ve been having fun together again lately. Just hanging out and talking and laughing. We had gotten the good parts of our friendship back, and we were both really enjoying it. And now I feel like there’s going to be another feeling of everything ending. Of breaking up again. Of saying goodbye again.
How many times do I have to say goodbye to this boy?
I really couldn’t be happier for him. And my sadness only comes out of selfishness. I want Eric to be here. I like watching television with him or getting coffee and discussing the crazy lady he lives with or the new projects Ray’s working on. And I love him. You don’t want someone you love to be far away. But that’s what’s happening. And it’s a good thing. I know it is. This is something he’s going to love. He’s practically floating around right now. And I couldn’t be happier for him.
But my sweet friend is leaving on a jet plane this summer and I don’t know when I’ll see him again. And that’s hard. It’s a few months away, sure. But tonight, sitting here alone in my living room, looking at a picture of us from three years ago in San Francisco, it’s very hard. So much has changed for us over the years. And I can’t believe we just keep getting hit with bigger and bigger changes. It’s incredibly exciting. But it’s also very taxing on the heart.
He’s going to be brilliant. He’s going to have the best time.
He’d better write me letters or I’ll shoot him.