By Maggie Reimherr
All my life, I've been a performer. My parents said when I was little, I would call my aunts’ sorority house and leave messages on their answering machine of me singing. I’d put on productions in the living room for my parents, including musical numbers and dramatic readings from the Bible. I'm an introvert who loves an audience.
In high school, I was insanely shy, but I came alive on stage in musicals. Playing Rizzo in Grease my junior year of high school was my crowning achievement (Derek’s note: She still doesn’t stop talking about it). Looking back, it's hilarious how never-drank, never-been-kissed me was cast as Rizzo.
In college, I wasn't involved in theater. But I did have the occasional National Anthem performance (once at the Georgia Dome #humblebrag) or a Greek life philanthropy concert. Post-grad, I found an amazing theater group in Athens, GA. I performed in productions of Tarzan and Little Women and was fortunate enough to have an on-stage death (spoiler alert).
It's sad when adult responsibilities prevent you from pursuing hobbies you're passionate about. Musicals are no small time commitment, as some of you may know. You're often in rehearsals 5 days week. Between normal office hours and my commute, forget it. I just don’t have time. Theater companies are spread out all over the Boston area, none of which are actually near where we live, making it impossible for me to attend rehearsals. After one attempt at auditioning, I knew the trek wouldn’t work. I realized that night it was time for me to retire, at least for now.
Sacrificing hobbies is something I know most adults have become familiar with. Mine was performing in community theater. Imagine what former college athletes feels like when professional ambitions don’t pan out? That’s tough.
When there’s not enough time for that thing you love, then what? You persevere. Maybe you volunteer with a local kids sports league . Maybe you could join a rec soccer league or your church’s worship team. Less time doesn’t equal foregoing your hobby entirely. Right now, I'm trying to figure out how to carry on my theatrical and singing hobbies.
Instead of lamenting, I count how #blessed I am to be spending my time:
- Investing in my husband and a new marriage
- Working at one of the best universities in the world
- Living in near a cool city
- Exploring new places on the weekends
- Reading lots of books on my commute and my free nights at home.
For now, my theater involvement consists of date nights with my good sport of a husband to see whatever show is in town. We’re going to see Wicked this weekend in Providence, RI, and I am beyond excited. (I may have neglected to tell Derek this will be my 3rd time seeing the show. But it’s been 8 years, cut me some slack. I have also neglected to tell him I will cry as soon as the first note is played by the orchestra.)
In the meantime, my only chance to perform is when we go to one of our favorite bars and I sing with the woman who plays the piano every Saturday night. So please invite me to your karaoke night. I promise I won't hog the mic too much.