Last night S. and I went to the Chicago Theatre to see Cirque Du Soleil's Banana Shpeel and I feel in love again with magic. Once the show started, I forgot all time, space, anything that would or could possibly happen outside those walls. I was a kid again, giggling at the corny jokes, gasping at the amazing acts, dazzled, beguiled, and then disappointed when the curtain fell. See, I never wanted the show to end. I could have stayed there, fixated for days on end. And then afterwards, I asked S. "Do you think they're eating and trying to come down after tonight?" See, having worked the line, I too have had to wear down an adrenaline filled shift.
I truly believe that if I hadn't followed pastry, I would have been a performing artist. I played piano; my first degree is in music. I've been in a couple of school plays. I've loved musicals since I was a child. There's just something about a performance that entrances me. But instead of working my art on a stage, I work my own magic behind the scenes, transforming egg whites, sugar, butter, flour, chocolate into amazing desserts to delight and astound my dining audience. And to fuel my musical and whimsical side, when I'm home, I sing and perform in the the shower, or around the house. Sometimes it takes all of my energy just to keep from breaking into song on the streets of Chicago! My life is a musical and I'm the star.
Still, I wonder how life is for those performers, behind the glitter and shine. I think of them while I toil in a windowless, hot kitchen, my feet hurting, back sore, disappointed in the world some days. I know what it's like for them, in a different way.
I'm not writing about the end of the year. I know what today is. I haven't had time to sit and reflect on what's happened and I won't do it here. My inventory will remain private, or shared with a few close friends. But I do wish everyone a magical new year with surprises that take your breath away.