Last weekend I spent three gorgeous days in The Berkshires.
For those of you who may not be familiar, The Berkshires is a rural mountain region of western Massachusetts, Connecticut, and eastern New York state. It's an outdoorsy vacation destination for many New Yorkers and Bay Staters. It is also a haven for the visual arts, music, and theatre. Tanglewood, Williamstown Theatre Festival, Mass MOCA, Shakespeare & Company, and a host of other reknowned cultural landmarks (as well as a pleothora of more grassroots organizations) are proud to call Berkshire County home.
The busiest time for artists and arts organizations in The Berkshires is, naturally, the summer, though there are more and more organizations every year expanding their operations to 3/4 year or year round (a HUGE win for arts in MA). And every summer I try to get to see at least one show there. This year I got to see three (and I didn't even have to pay for any tickets, WIN!).
But it wasn't just a theatre excursion this year. Lately I've been feeling very creatively adrift. Lots of things in my personal life are solidifying, which is fantastic, but I don't have anything artistically solid to plant myself in right now. I'm enjoying the creation process of play. but I don't think anyone would call that solid. And after my trip to NYC earlier in the month, this feeling of "coasting" is making me a little insecure. So the Berkshires was my antedote. I find that whenever I spend time there I leave feeling very zen. And zen is word I never use. Ever. But it's a place where I can see amazing professional artists doing work that they love as well as find places to just walk, or drive, and be quiet and think. To take some time for myself. To enjoy a feeling of sanctuary.
The weekend didn't solve all of my insecurities or completely cure my actor-restlessness, but it did make me feel that the work I am doing and the contributions I am making are valid and important. That there are all different kinds of ways to make this crazy kind of life work for you. And none is better or more important than the others.