My second professional theater job was as a production assistant on a workshop of a highly-anticipated new musical. I wound up not working on the full production (I was young and star-struck and thought (incorrectly) I knew everything, and I realize now, having had young, star-struck PAs who think (incorrectly) they know everything work under me, that these are not people who get rehired) and that production, in large part because of how highly-anticipated it was, failed spectacularly (no, I'm not suggesting it had anything to do with my not being there -- I will suggest it has a great deal to do with many theater critics being assholes).
Last night I attended a concert reading of this piece, and was astonished that I had forgotten how good it was. I mean, it's really fucking good. Hearing this score, I felt as excited as I had felt six years ago, sitting in a rehearsal room thinking of all the other shows that had rehearsed there, all the famous people who had sat in the same chairs, and knowing that I was present for history, hearing something electric and great for the very first time. It made me sad to think that I haven't really felt that kind of excitement about anything since.
Then I realized something very important: I haven't been 22 and stupid since, either, and never will be again. And while in almost every conceivable way that's a good thing, it saddens me a little that now when I sit at a table read, even at my most enthusiastic, instead of thinking about my place in theater history, I'm thinking I hope this runs a while so I can pay the rent and I hope [mildly famous person] doesn't turn out to be a bitch.
The flipside of this is that I'm grateful to have worked enough for these things to have become commonplace and a little bit dull. And also grateful that while I may be a little bit jaded, I do still love what I do. I've got a long way to go before I get jaded enough to really complain about it.