We did the Fred Allen Show on Thursday night. My first show in over two years went very well, as far as our performances and the audience response were concerned. Afterward, though, there was some of what my Mama, Rosy Cheeks, calls "difficult sociology."
First, there was the uncertainty about whether we (the cast) would be going to the diner down the block for a post-show dinner. In all our years of performing together as a company, the post-show diner meal had always been a ritual for us - a way to celebrate the work we'd just done together, reminisce about past shows, speculate on future ones and just enjoy each other's company. But that was before the Artistic Director and Musical Director (both also actors) got divorced...I think everyone in the cast had the feeling that something was "different" because several of them asked me whether we were going to dinner (before, it had just been assumed and never thought of as MY decision). So, I said we'd go (with inner misgivings).
I pondered the idea of not going to dinner with Iggy and the others. I could just slip out of the auditorium and ride the subway to the Punk Princess' apartment (where I've been spending the night when rehearsing in Manhattan). But then the other members of the company might feel that I was snubbing them...and it might be even more uncomfortable for Iggy that way.
So, we went to the diner. I actually ended up spending most of the time talking with Iggy! (I think because the others weren't sure what to say to me). Iggy and I talked about the food and how the show had gone and what scripts had been our favorites to perform in the past. All safe, superficial stuff.
When it was time to leave, I again thought about just getting on the subway but...Punk Princess lives in the same building as Iggy. I'd get there faster (and save a fare) if I rode with him in the car. So, I said, "I have an awkward question. Is it okay if I ride up with you?"
He said, "It's not an awkward question. Sure, it's okay."
Fortunately (from my point of view) there were others in the cast who needed rides, too, so we weren't alone in the car together, and Iggy dropped me off at the building before heading further uptown with another actor (which meant that we avoided the uncomfortable experience of riding the elevator together and getting off at different floors).
When we first agreed to end our marriage, I had this fantasy that we'd be like characters in a Woody Allen movie, where everyone keeps working together and having the same friends after divorcing. It didn't work out that way, I think, because Iggy was too hurt and angry to deal with me at all at first and, even after those intense feelings died down somewhat, he considered our divorce (particularly the fact that I'd instigated it and was in a relationship with a woman) an embarrassing reflection on him. I'm sorry he felt (and, presumably, still feels) that way. Iggy is super-smart, ultra-talented and all-around admirable. He's also very attractive, physically, and, for the right woman, would definitely be a "catch." The fact that he wasn't the right partner for me to spend my whole life with doesn't make him a loser...
I don't know whether we'll do more shows together. The show, itself was fun to do and our audience did enjoy it but...I don't want to make Iggy sad and I suspect that the experience was, essentially, a sad one for him, 'though he'd never tell me outright.
There was a long period of my life when I could never have imagined being "retired" as a performing artist. The cliche about theater being the artist's "life" seemed true for me. Now...I have to admit that I miss it when I'm away for a long time but there are things that are more important than work - even the most meaningful, creative work. One of them is living the most ethical life I can for whatever time I have left. I'm not always sure how to accomplish that, or which specific decisions will bring me closest to it, but I have to try.
I suspect that, if I don't do any more shows with Iggy, I probably won't do any more shows at all. We have all the same show biz connections around here and any Director who wants to cast me in something (as Fanboy did) will probably want to cast Iggy, too. So, will I or won't I? I can't know for sure right now, with the most recent experience so fresh and no immediate offers. I do know that, should such an offer come my way again soon, it won't be easy to decide. And maybe my decision (in whichever direction) doesn't matter much anyway...
May I do my best to do my best each moment of each day...
Blessings and well-wishes,