When I was in my early twenties, I felt like I had no time at all. I recall saying to the artistic director of the theatre I was quitting my job at, that I was going to die someday so I did not have time to waste in his exploitative “acting” program. He told me I should meditate and I told him he should go fuck himself. Sorry – that’s not at all true. I only wish I had told him to go fuck himself.
Anyway – I felt as though I was on fire – so hungry and so restless and my death seemed right around the corner. Twenty plus years later, my death is closer than it’s ever been before but it no longer breathes down my neck somehow.
Time feels long now in a way where it used to feel short. Then, I’d have said I had no time when I had all the time in the world. Now, I feel like I have all the time in the world and I definitely do not. It’s an odd turn of events.
Though, back then, I suspect that, in addition to death, I also felt the spectre of age. That is, I fundamentally understood that my most viable years as an actress (usually I say actor – but this time I mean actress specifically) were right in the moment I was in. I knew that I would not be marketable for long – if I could even be considered marketable then. I knew I only had a handful of years to get the romantic leads, girlfriend parts, the ingénues. I did not feel I had time to waste in the chorus of a play about a shipwreck when I had been promised a lead in a hit play. I did not feel hours in the box office for insufficient wages were a good use of what I knew was limited time.
And now that that limited time is over – my ingénue days are definitely over. I will not play Juliet again. Or Imogen. Or Viola. Or Celia. Even Hamlet is probably out of my reach now. I have all the time in the world to play Titania or Goneril or Margaret.
But had I but time –