Sweet Home Chicago
I have been in LA for six months now and I have officially decided to stay. The first few months were just a test. An opportunity for me to see if one could really stike gold here; and if I could I grab some of it. Well kids, there truly may be gold in these hills and I am going to find it.
I went to Chicago a few days before Memorial Day. I wanted to see my friends and family. I also needed to gather more of my things. But most importantly, I had to say good-bye to Chicago.
I originally wanted to move to Los Angeles in the 90s. I had just finished school and I was ready to start my full time life as a struggling actor. I was preparing myself to load up my Chevy Spectrum and start a new life. That is until the day the Spectrum died. That poor car, I really should have taken better care of it. Anyway, it broke down while I traveled to Kentucky for a family function. I was traveling up an incline in Ohio when the poor thing just gave up the ghost.
My family towed me and the car to Carbondale, Illinois where I was starting rehearsals in A Chorus Line. The show was a success and I wore a very revealing leotard; but the car didn't leave with me after the final curtain.
I was in Mom's kitchen when I checked my voicemail at home. I got a call back in Chicago for the musical Ain't Misbehavin'. Without my car, I figured LA was out. With this opportunity in Chicago, I thought I could hone my craft so that I can be better when I move to LA in a couple of years.
I auditioned for Ain't Misbehavin' and was cast as an understudy. I auditioned for Schoolhouse Rock Live! the next week and was cast as an understudy in that show too. After being in town for two or three weeks, I had two acting gigs; three if you count the SRL! school tour that I performed with the full original cast. I decided Chicago wasn't so bad.
So, I stayed. I stayed for nearly 14 years. Chicago became home. It was familiar. In Chicago, I was a successful actor, and an unsuccessful one too. I was a gregarious twenty-something and a melancholic thirty-something. I was a fickle single and a desperate housewife. Chicago matured me. It gave me opportunity; too many of which I squandered. Lake Michigan cooled me many summers and it soothed me when Dad died. Clark street excited me and angered me. And silly as it seems, it made me giggle to look at the Hancock Building because it looks like a sex toy from a leather bar; and it has "cock" in it's name.
Well, I'm moving on but thank you Chicago for everything. And don't worry, I can't stay gone too long.