I really wanted to like Laura Munson's This is Not the Story You Think It Is. I got halfway through the book before I gave up.
It's not that she treats those of us that are divorced like we're quitters, although of course, I have issues with that. Mainly, I couldn't get past her need for us to treat her without judgment, all the while judging everyone else.
And no, it wasn't the line that her friends who questioned her marriage are mostly divorced now. It was the line that she couldn't exercise her artistic needs through playing Marian the Librarian in a community theatre production of The Music Man.
I happened to read that line while waiting for my daughter to complete her audition for a community theatre production.
I grew up doing community theatre. I spent most of my childhood in rehearsal, in performances for community theatre productions. I loved every moment of it.
Community - it gave me one. Theatre - it gave me a form of artistic expression. Every role, every dance, every song taught me something about myself, about humanity and the best part was doing so as an ensemble, a community.
A community that didn't care what your background was, that was only mildly interested in your profession if it could help the theatre (you work in retail? Can you get us discounts on costumes? On sets?), and only cared if you were a minority for the sake of the play (great! Now we can do Dreamgirls!).
And yes, it is a place where you can find joy, find happiness. There's nothing like an Opening Night, where everyone celebrates their hard work and accomplishments to give a high like no substance can. There's nothing like looking down from the bright lights during the curtain call to see your loved ones applauding you to buoy your self-esteem. There's nothing like a cast toast at the Opening Night party where everyone can appreciate how the community came together to make something magical.
Not to mention, she could have saved a lot of money on that trip to Italy. A trip to a community theatre can take you there, or to Paris, or to middle America, and find beauty, love, and triumph.
I'm happy for Munson that it all worked out. And I'm happy for my daughter that she will be a part of community theatre.
Read more posts on the book at the new book club site, From Left to Write.
While I was given the book to read for free, I have not been compensated for this post.The link to the book is connected to my Amazon Associates account, and any purchase made from it will generate a small referral fee for me.