My friend Jessica.
This morning I found out a dear friend of mine passed away in the wee hours of the morning from a brain tumor. She'd been sick for awhile...I'd know she was sick, but not how sick. I'd inquired a little and she downplayed it, made it seem like she was fine and was on an upswing. So, I forgot about it. Life, you know, busy with this project and that project, blah, blah, blah.
I can't know how she felt, so I can't really be angry for not being in the know - I could've investigated further, I could've pressed. I've never been in that position, so I don't know how I'd react. But I do wish I'd known more, so I could've at least told her what her friendship and sometime mentorship meant to me.
I took an Audition Intensive class with her in the summer of 2001 for three weeks, with a bunch of my good girlfriends. The class was totally practical and made me think of auditions in a different way than I had before - broke them down in such a way that I had something to do for every moment of the audition. It is a skill I have since passed down to my own students while I was in graduate school.
In Fall of 2001, one of my friends in the audition class wrote a short play and decided to produce it - she enlisted me and 2 other friends from the class to perform it later in February of 2002 in the Freehold Studio Series - and our teacher mentored the project. And after that, the five of us started hanging out together having tea on Wednesday afternoons before we all went scurrying off to our various rehearsals and projects. Thus we started calling ourselves the "Wednesday Tea Ladies".
We talked about theatre and acting. We talked about projects we could do together, and read some scripts that might work for us. I will always lament that we never got to do the "poker chicks" play together. It would've been awesome. We kvetched about enlightenment growing pains, about our jobs, our breakups. Stuff you talk about with your girlfriends.
Gradually, we all got busy with one thing and another, and drifted apart. I went to the east coast for graduate school - another of us moved to LA - one had a baby, one adopted a baby and the other moved back to Ireland. The last time I talked to my teacher/friend in person was sometime in July 2005, the Friday before I left for the east coast. There were a few emails sent after that, but I was busy with grad school and she was busy teaching and with her new baby.
She and her family moved back to NYC very shortly after I moved back to Seattle, and we never touched base, though we communicated from time to time on Facebook. But I never knew how sick she really was until this morning, when I woke up to several text messages on my phone, the first telling me she had really taken a turn for the worst, and the last telling me she had already passed away.
This has been a long day - I spent much of the morning crying. I have much more to say, but The Cat is demanding attention, so Part Two will have to be tomorrow.
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Day to day thoughts, rants and mental detritus.