Earlier this week, I sat down to write about the Boston Marathon bombings, but found I had not a lot to say. I echo the world's disgust that they happened, and I'm grateful that, relatively speaking, the number of fatalities and injuries was low. After the manhunt, I shared the world's relief that the perpetrators were found. Though one was killed, the other will be brought to justice, and hopefully we'll soon have some answers as to why this happened.
I reached out to people close to me that Monday, as many do when tragedy strikes. Boston hit me hard. I have a lot of family there. My Mom grew up there; my boyfriend grew up there (in Watertown, no less!). I spent many days in my youth visiting Massachusetts, not to mention four years living there as an undergraduate at Harvard. I know that city well - hell, I know that intersection well. Still, I had no profound thoughts, no brilliant insights, no comforting words - no way to respond. Mostly, when I heard the news, I felt far away and impotent. I posted things on Facebook; I sent good vibes; I texted my family and friends. What else could I do?
The whole thing got me thinking, oddly (or perhaps appropriately), about sacrifice, which is where the anthem from A Chorus Line comes in. It was a toss up between posting this version and a spectacular one by Shirly Bassey, but the fact that the late, great Marvin Hamlisch was on the piano here made the choice for me. Also, I've been weirdly digging on Idina Menzel of late - I'll even admit to spending a few recent mornings listening to her Pandora station (no, I'm not proud of it).
Unless you're lucky enough to be gainfully employed as a theatre actor in New York, (which, let's face it, means you're on Broadway or Off-Broadway) much of the time being a working actor means doing regional theater (like I'm doing right now) or being on tour (like I was last year). That means you're away from home, family, and loved ones all the time. Apart from the Boston bombings, the past few weeks have stung even more deeply because two of my best friends who don't live in New York anymore happened to be visiting the City while I'm here in Michigan. It sucks to miss them, but would I rather have a job? Yes. Do they understand that? Of course they do - that's why we're friends. But basically I've sacrificed that closeness and availability in order to be doing what I love.
When tragedy struck Boston, all I wanted was to be near the people I love and feel safe and comforted - a pretty natural response I'd say. I guess my point in writing this post is perhaps to assuage my own bad feelings about being away so often. I don't regret what I did (and do) for love - in this case, my love of performing - but, when times are tough, it's hard not to feel just a little twinge of it. Kiss today goodbye, as they say.