Friday, October 24, 2003


Means "yes" in Arabic. At a bellydance performance, calling it out is a sign of encouragement.

Last night I went to see to see my teacher's apprentice troupe perform, and before they went on, she and I were talking at the bar, and she told me that she'd been meaning to ask me if joining them was something that would interest me.

My friend told me afterwards that if I was hyperventilating, it wasn't obvious. "You looked," he said as he walked me home (I think my feet must have touched the ground at some point, but I have no recollection of it) "very calm and thoughtful. Like you were giving the question serious thought. I almost thought you were going to say no."

As if!

"It's a time commitment," Jill told me. "Probably three nights a week. Can you do it?" and I wanted to say, would you like me to move heaven or earth first?

I finally understand what people mean when they say they were beside themself with emotion. I honestly thought I was having an out-of-body experience.

The trippy thing about this is that almost exactly a week ago--Wednesday the 15th, to be exact--a new actor/teacher acquaintance asked me if I'd ever acted, and I told her that I'd stopped after college. She pushed, and got me to admit that I have always thought about pursuing it but have been too afraid. Then she told me to go out and have a head shot taken. I did not trust my voice; she had somehow managed to hit something so deep, so quickly, that I was totally unprepared for it.

Some dreams, you know? You have them, but they seem unattainable enough that you don't have to live up to them. I felt this morning, as I thought about these two women asking me in all openness if I wanted to do these amazing things, as though some new creature was struggling to be born of me. Maybe later in my life than I might have liked--sometimes I feel a little old to be starting either of these pursuits--but maybe this new creature just has a long gestation period.

I'll write about this further, but right now I need to run errands. I'll say this: I am terrified of performing. I'll be so exposed and vulnerable! I think to myself. And then I remember, uh, I've been an artist's model for twelve years... how many complete strangers have seen me naked? Uh, hello? And I'm afraid of being in front of strangers WITH MY CLOTHES ON?