I love working on my birthday. I know, strange.
One of my favorite working birthday memories was some years ago while on tour with the zany musical, “Church Basement Ladies.”
I loved doing the show, and being on tour was a welcome distraction from the grieving life had brought me to following my mother’s death earlier that year. It was autumn and we were in the Blue Ridge Mountain area. The foliage was breathtaking.
On the day of my birth this particular year, it was a “two-show day,” meaning we had matinee and evening shows. We’d been in this small city for a day already, and earlier in the week I had hatched a plan for celebrating my big day.
So when we got to this city, I found a bakery nearby and ordered myself a huge decorated sheet cake – my own birthday cake – the day before. I told no one.
On the day, in-between shows, I did laundry, and walked a few miles to find some booze for the cast and crew. I was throwing myself a surprise party that night after load-out! I didn’t drink, but the cast and crew highly valued a drink once we were all packed up onto the bus and on the road again, headed to a new stage, a new city.
I was so excited about my surprise “party”! I just felt so good, I wanted to share the feeling.
I think they were a bit stunned, and who knows what they really thought about it, but I loved it.
(Especially the cake.)
I look back and see that that was a key birthday for me. I was beginning to get something…that I didn’t have to wait around for someone to throw me a party. I had full license to make my own joy, however and wherever I could.
What a beautiful lesson and gift.
For day eight of my Get My Work Out There Challenge, on this day of my birth, I am working, and glad for it.
Here’s a press clip from that show – so fun. William Christopher played the pastor (remember him, from M*A*S*H?), and the cast and crew were so talented. I made some good friends on that tour, and got my Equity card. The musical was funny and touching, and the music and harmonies and dancing were just pure joy.
Today I celebrate my life, my art, my joy, my ability to make life a surprise party.
What do you celebrate today?
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