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Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Don't Dream it's Over

So here we are in late June, a wonderfully happy time.  One of the perks of season one of Smash was the fabulous northern California vacation I was able to share with my daughters.  We walked across the Golden Gate Bridge, took a day trip to a redwood forest, ate countless bowls of clam chowder, cruised the San Francisco Bay and toured the streets of Chinatown in a motorized duck.  This photo is our only view of the Pacific Ocean from high above Muir Beach.  My daughters were marvelous, truly, and we shared a time we won't ever forget.

In less than a week, I return to work.  And it feels like a death.  I know that's not what it is at all.  I am lucky.  I have a job.  This job provides health insurance, rent money, clothes and fine dinners for us all. This year it even took us across the country on a fabulous adventure.  I like the people I work with.  Sure, the hours are long and shooting outside all night long sucks but sometimes, those night shoots can feel like a party.  There are more pros then cons when it comes to my job.

But let me get back to those long hours.  When a typical day starts at 7am and ends around 9pm and I live too far from where I work?  I don't see my kids for five days in a row.  As one friend said, I leave for work and they're sleeping.  I get home and they're sleeping.

Today was the first read through of season 2 of Smash.  Read throughs are fun.  The cast, executive types and various peon types such as myself gather to hear the cast read the dialogue of the episode as scripted.  I took the girls to New York, enlisted my old babysitter to watch them, and then attended the read through.  I love our cast.  I hugged recent Tony winner Christian Borle.  I chatted with Debra Messing and Kat McPhee and sang happy birthday to Angelica Huston.  We were all happy to be together and Angelica dedicated her wish to us, saying she already had all she wished for and wanted us to fulfill our wishes.  This is the truth; this is the kind of person she is.

The script was good and it set a hopeful tone for the season of the show.  We have a new regime and there's a lot about the old regime I greatly admire and miss.  But I do love this cast and even with a new regime, there's just something about this show that I love so much.  I guess because it's about a group of people with show biz dreams and I was once young with show biz dreams and I see myself in them.

In this, there is a greater heartbreak that I can't go into as far as my own dreams.  Let's just say I am a writer and I know I can write for this show and I don't think I will ever have the chance.  And that breaks my heart, just breaks my heart in ways I can't describe.  I am happy to be a part of this show but I will always be on the outside.  And the truth is, I want to be on the inside not just to feel creatively fulfilled but as a writer, I could see my children more.

Today I left Elena with a new sitter and she was okay with it.  At first I thought this because she liked this sitter.  Now I think it's because I've been home for three months and she's gotten to trust that when I leave her with the sitter, I do return on the same day.  She's not going three, four or five days without seeing me.  So now that I've got her trust back, what do I do but rip it all right out from underneath her. Next week I go back to work on Tuesday and that's it, I probably won't see her until Saturday.

I only have a sitter through the end of summer.  I've had no luck finding a sitter for the fall.  So I may have to quit abruptly in the fall anyway if I can't find a sitter.  I tell myself I'm okay with this but I'm not.  I can write for this show and though it's highly unlikely, I might have a shot writing for this show. But it won't happen if I have to quit in seven weeks.  I made it through last season and I did make some headway but if I don't make it through this season, that's it.  All the time I've spent here will be lost.

So tonight, as I write this, my heart is breaking in a thousand different ways.  I called my mother to talk about what this all feels like and she listened in her current distracted state, too overwhelmed by how shitty she feels to care too much.  Without her, I have no one to call to talk about this stuff.  Without her, I am more alone than I can ever describe.  She has been the only person to share in my personal triumphs and tragedies.  C was there for a lot of really big moments in my life and a lot of the time he was really quite great.  But a lot of the time he was like he was the night I labored overnight with Elena.    It was too soon to give me an epidural and I was having heavy contractions every two minutes.  I begged him to just sit near me and hold my hand so I could get through the contractions.  He did this for about 30 minutes before collapsing on the chair to sleep.  He just couldn't stay up all night, not even with his daughter getting ready to emerge into the world.

All I want is to make a living as a writer.  It's all I've ever wanted but now I need it like a life raft.  Because being a writer also enables me to be a mom too.  I feel like Elena's grown up so much in just a few weeks.  I don't want to rip the world from out beneath her feet again.

Please, universe, please help me here.

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