Wednesday, February 08, 2012


Carl Jung accepted would-be analysts for training with him only if they'd first achieved success in a field other than psychoanalysis.  I believe he wanted them to have earned not only a measure of self-confidence, but also to have proved (to themselves) like-measures of resilience and self-knowledge which, only now in my own life--at a rather late date--I realize comes with having worked one's way 'up the ladder', with at least partial success, in one's field of choice.

I'm still far down the rungs of any particular career ladder you might identify as the 'path up' in theater, but I have, of late, found myself no longer swinging my hands wildly around in search of the bottom rungs.  I've been playing fantastic roles in varied venues with dedicated professional theater artists and have begun to experience the sense of security that comes with having established satisfying, fruitful, artistic collaborations, with people I'm sure to work with again and again.  As long in the tooth as I may be, I can't say that I'd achieved this in any of my earlier career ventures.  As a result, I can feel myself letting go of certain neurotic, and off-putting, behavioral tics that had, until recently, been signs of not only my professional greenness, but of a persistent, sticky, personal immaturity, as well; signs that I was not quite ready for certain professional and personal challenges.  They were signs that I hadn't yet passed certain tests of maturity we rightfully (and intuitively) expect an adult to have passed; tests which I see professional peers who are my junior by fifteen or twenty years having passed far earlier than I did and, perhaps, with measurably more grace.

I was once puzzled and bemused by being asked so frequently to audition for, or play, authority figures. But those days feel as if they've passed, I'm pleased to say. I'm wearing my long pants now and the fit is comfortable.

1 comment:

suzy vitello said...

Ah, well said, Millstone. Today, Tricky Dick. Tomorrow? It's all good. One of these days I'll make it to one of these "artistic collaborations" you speak of. Can't you see about getting a part in some Hawaiian theater production? Any island will do...