Third Act…Enter the Fool

Somewhere from the Middle of Act Two

If one third of life is sleep what is the rest of the time for? Oh, I get to use it for making things. I have spent much of these past years making shows. I have made a lot of little things too. I’ve made songs. I’ve fixed sailboats, and overhauled engines. I made a family. I’ve made a real mess of things now and then. I’ve almost in addition to all that I’ve accomplished nearly not made it too. Sometimes I missed the boat. I’ve failed and had success. I’ve worked hard and goofed off. I’ve forgotten more things than I’ve ever learned. I can’t remember jokes and now that there is an automatic dial function on my cell phone I seem to not to be able to remember any telephone numbers.

My wife is happy with me. That’s saying something. I think some of the people I perform with like me. I’m sure many find me annoying. That’s a good thing. We really can’t spend all our time being innocuous. Better to stand out a little here and there. Still I prefer to be likable but it is hard to just do one thing over and over again.

And that takes me to the doing something new. As much as it would be fantastic to do the same thing over and over again it does have its limitations. Even if the money is good it can become tedious. And worse than that even if you could do the same thing over and over again it is likely something in the world around you could change and you would have to do something new anyway.

In the Middle but Waiting Still…

So, here we are, everybody I hang out with is dragged kicking and screaming toward something new. The people I know who really have it tough can’t seem to get that new thing started. Paradoxically they’re stuck doing the same old thing over and over, at least for now. I call these life blinders. Even though the rules apply the same to all of us there are those who really think that nothing they do will ever alter anything.

I got a couple of friends who like me are trying to strike out in new directions. They’re trying to move the needle, account for all that time they’ve spent hidden away in rehearsals. One of my friends mentioned to me that it was hard. That it seemed like he couldn’t get a lousy break anywhere.

Send in the Clowns...They're Already Here....

I can’t help giving unwelcomed advice. Stating the obvious is so dull. They don’t need me telling them what they already know. But, you know, impulse control is hard and so you blurt it out. You say something like “you won’t ever make it with that attitude.” Or, “it won’t happen until you give up and realize it might never happen.” You have to completely doubt that you will ever make it again, that the success you had was just prelude to the failure you are going to experience. Then, when it feels like you can’t take it anymore, when you’ve give up all hope, that you will never reach that mythic destination, only then do you realize that the curtain has not fallen but it has just gone up and you are well on your way to the climax of that illusive yet utterly necessary third act. I’m making popcorn, I’d give up but I can’t stop, I can’t quit, I have to do it, and that’s just the way it is. God I love happy endings….

BANKRUPT HEART                                 THE SECOND NOVEL

              “Acting,” Sophia said, “my dad on stage in a play? Is he serious?”

            “Larry is always serious, he’s a writer…” Ry replied. “At least one of us still remembers how to be a fool,”

            Sophia like her father was famous for fidgeting. She grew up backstage.  She began rummaging through her fathers prop case he had set up on the counter.

            “I’m afraid you might get eaten’ alive,” Sophia said.

            “…because I haven’t been in a play in so long?”

            “Yeah,” Sophia said, “Acting takes practice. It’s hard to make it look so effortless.”

            Ry didn’t know what was next. Everything about his life seemed far fetched, implausible. It never entered his mind, not once, that he’d be living on a boat. That he wouldn’t have a steady job. That Victoria would walk out on him.

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