Adventure is Out There
Traveling. Time. Leaving. Returning. These are a few of the things that impact my life as a performer over and over again. My name is Jesse, and I am constantly leaving. Chelsea and I met not long before I was heading out of the city to do my fourth cruise contract. The catch? We didn’t know that when we first met!
Being nerds of the theater, we were able to establish a new friendship right before I headed out. In conversation one evening, an idea emerged:
“Our industry involves someone always leaving."
This idea really got me thinking about the nature of our industry, and how I’ve personally overcome the idea of leaving. I realized how much this idea resonated with me!
Take a moment to think about any friends you have in the performing/entertainment industry. Are they ever truly in one place? Do you see posts on social media and think “weren’t they just in ______?” It can be very hard to keep up with those friends, especially if you’re playing along at home and tracking their whereabouts.
It's a really interesting idea when deconstructed. Not only is our industry unstable, but even our living situations/locations can have some instability to them. Or, if you’d prefer, some inconsistency to them. I've subleased more times than signing a lease and I’ve had more company housing than anything else!
Depending on your perspective, this whole idea can be very positive or very negative. I have chosen to look at it with a glass half-full perspective. My leaving began when I was 22 years old, having just graduated from University (shout-out Kent State MT!). I booked my first performing job with Disney Cruise Line! I was instantly going to be exposed to more culture than I knew existed. I was going to learn more about myself in eight to nine months than I could’ve ever expected. I was hooked, and since then have been living in the mindset “always leaving does not have to be negative”.
I leave to pursue my dreams. To grow. To gain incredible life experiences.
Can it be lonely at times? Absolutely. This is the moment you learn exactly who your closest friends are. People who take initiative to stay in touch with you, just as much as you prioritize them. They become a familiar voice on the phone. Something that brings you back home even for a moment. It’s a beautiful rejuvenating feeling. Consider this the next time you think of a friend who is constantly leaving. Whether it's a regional gig, a national/international tour or a cruise ship gig, your friend will be grateful to know someone is thinking of them.
After getting comfortable, making another new family, memories to last a lifetime...the end draws near. Time to leave again, but this time, you’re returning. Returning home, to friends and family and to a potential unknown. You wonder what will await you, will you fall back into place and into gear? For someone who has left so many times, I have thankfully been able to figure this part out for myself. It is not the same for everyone, but, it does get easier. For, with each return, there exists another leave. Each time we hit repeat in this never ending cycle, we discover a new tool to help ease that transition.
For me, these few focus points have been integral in finding myself while being away from home. I get the opportunity to learn more about myself every single time I leave, and I am excited about what I bring back with me when returning.
I’d like to finish by sharing 2 stanzas from a larger poem by one of my brilliant best friends, Lauren Westmoreland (also a consistent leaving performer):
“Some people think you’re crazy, for your world has no common base, But you believe in strength and drive – your dreams are there to be chased.
This life can be a wonderful one, but to succeed it’s important to learn, It’s not just about booking the gig, it’s being able to leave and knowing how to return.”
Want to keep up with me? Let's connect on instagram: @jesse_markowitz33 !