Saturday was my last night doing mainstage shows! (That's my whole cast up there. Including Tony, Evan - who took the picture, Jeremy - the director and Jim - the musical director.)
It's hard to sum the night up. It's even harder to sum up my time at the theater! I've worked there for nine years. I've been performing there for five years. And I've been on the mainstage for two and a half years. I grew up there. The major moments of my lifetime happened there. Most of my best friends were made there. ALL of my romantic relationships were formed there. It's been a huge part of my adult life! The BIGGEST part of my adult life! I quit a full-time job for it. I dedicated my life to it. I put it FIRST before everything - a social life, family events, relationships... it has just been my identity for so long. It's very hard to say goodbye.
But I'm not. It'll always be here and it'll always be home. In fact, coming back to visit Boston means going back to IA. I'll be visiting my family - and squeezing in a show or two at IA, I'm sure. It'll always be a family to me!
My last night was everything I could have dreamed it would be. I honestly had few expectations for the night. I knew that it'd be awesome and great and fun! I put together a fun line-up for the show and knew the actual show would be something I was proud to leave on. But, so many people showed up! Even close friends from outside the theater (friends from home and from my old job) showed up to show support. A bunch of my students showed up, and one group of them even wore fake glasses! It was a truly touching event.
At the end of the night, I lied in my bed and cried my eyes out. If you've ever seen the end of the movie Kill Bill 2, then you'll know the scene where Uma Thurman was crying on the bathroom floor because she was so happy. That's how I felt. I was crying so hard because I couldn't believe how lucky I was. I couldn't believe that I had accomplished everything I wanted to and managed to leave behind a legacy and that the people I cared about, and the job I cared about, cared just as much about me. It was overwhelmingly sad and happy at the same time!
And now... now I'm ready to move on! All last week I was sad about leaving and regretting my decision. But now I don't. Now I know that it's time to go and that it's the perfect time to go. I've got more goals to accomplish and cry over leaving behind! But I'm bringing my Muppet with me! That's for damn sure.