I came upon this blog I wrote when I lived in LA. It's apropos still today, even in a different town.
Acquaintances. This city is full of acquaintances. I’m so tired of fighting for friendships. Relationships that mean something and actually stand for something. This whole city is full of wannabes – people who are trying to make it in this industry, and yet no one wants to help a brother out. No one, save a few exceptions, wants to support someone beside themselves.
Right now I’m in a show. It’s a big show – My Fair Lady – and I’m playing Eliza – a big role. It’s a damn good production. Our leads are stellar, and everyone I know who’s seen the show is beside themselves. The main mantra I hear is, “I’ve seen this show a thousand times, and this is the best production I have every seen of it – including the movie.” So, with that kind of feedback, I feel confident that if my friend shells out the money and time to come see me in it, they will not be disappointed. It’s also an 8 show a week, 3 month run, so basically, one has about 100 opportunities to see this sucker. It’s also a little out of town, so I’m not around at church or parties these days. In other words, everyone knows where I am and what I’m doing. Before I left I also told everyone, and everyone said they were so excited – that they wanted to come. Again, most of these people are or have been in the industry, so we’re all on the same page of what it is I’m doing and what it is they’re proclaiming to come out and support.
It’s during moments like this, you learn who is a real friend and who isn’t. I’m over, OVER, the lip service. I’m over this fake “I am coming – can’t wait”, then procrastinating til the last weekend and feigning astonishment that the show is sold out. Or even worse, making up some lame reason why you can’t come the last three weekends of the show. What about the other 8? Again, these are not the computer nerds my husband works with that are flaking that I have a problem with. It’s my friends, my close friends, who are in the entertainment industry, who invite me to their shows and their open-mike nights in their kitchen, and I come to see them. I kill myself getting to their shows sometimes. If it’s a one-nighter, I still somehow make it. And yet. And yet, with the close ties, the many opportunities, the industry understanding, and the promises spoken, a whopping 3 people show up to the show. 3. 3 out of I don’t know how many I invited and how many said they’d come without any prompting from me.
So, here’s the end of my rant, and the beginning of my plea. Can you tell I’m pissed? People, get over yourselves and go out and support your friends. The “busy” excuse has got to be eradicated from our lips. No one’s that busy. Okay, maybe a few, but most of us, when we use that lame-o excuse are really just saying, “At the end of the day, I found better things to do.” I would much rather hear that, than “Oh gosh, we wanted to come, but blah blah blah.” Stand by your word, people. Make plans. Write things on your calendar and go. Whenever I get an invitation, I immediately write the address and phone number of the theatre on my day planner, so I have no excuse. All the information’s there, and when I check my calendar, I already see I have plans and won’t find something to squeeze the event out. This is what friends do. Do I want to go see all my friends shows? No! Do some of my friends have serious lacks of talent, and I know that I’ll be squirming in my seat most the night? Yes! But that doesn’t matter. What matters is that I’m there telling them by my presence that THEY matter. That I love and care for them. And you know what? A lot of times I see GREAT theatre! I see some shows and some actors I never knew about, but they blow me away and it’s really exciting. I get ideas, I get tips, I get monologues, I get casting sneak-peeks, I get inspired, I get moved. And I never regret going.
I once heard someone say, “A friend isn’t someone who necessarily remembers your birthday, but they’re the person that shows up on your doorstep to help you move.”
I think that’s true. It’s the people that sacrifice their time and money that are your real friends. Don’t believe me – look at your credit card or bank statement. Whatever is on there is what’s important to you. If someone called you at the last minute and said they had tickets to go see your favorite band, but you have to go in two hours, would you go? I think so. You’d find the time. Even last minute. Even at a monetary price. If we can do this for strangers, why can’t we do this for our friends?