It is a universal tragedy that in this short life we have, there are hard decisions that we are bound to make only because we cannot have it all. I despise the universal conspiracy that it needs to make fun of me one way or another only to achieve some degree of contentment.
I had just closed perhaps one of the best theatre plays I have ever done in my life. My first non-musical stint turned out to be such a powerful opportunity to grow as an actor, an experience to pretty much be so involved in making a living organism of a play. I worked with very talented people and had the privilege of sharing the stage with them. I also did the set design. To have people writing so much positive feedback because we were able to resonate with them after watching the show, truly, is the heart of why we do theatre.
The post-pandemic theatre comeback is just the cherry on top.
And yet, I couldn’t fully celebrate because the Universe truly is a comic jester. With our final curtain call last week, I also closed a different chapter in my life: I broke up with my partner of almost two years. What an impeccable timing.
The voltage (V) across a conductor is directly proportional to the current (I) flowing through it, and the resistance (R), or the ratio of voltage to current must remain constant.
In my University, I thought I had to choose between engineering and theatre. I most certainly failed some classes because I was having rehearsals 5 hours a night, 6 days a week. And while I managed to finish my engineering degree, I thought that was the end of my theatre stint.
When I moved to Japan, English theatre was the last thing I looked for. It wasn’t until 2017 that I truly got back on stage. Pandemic aside, I haven’t stopped since. In retrospect, University Carlos would find it hard to believe that one day, he’d be able to juggle a professional engineering career and at least two theatre companies — that I’d be able to even do two shows at the same time.
But ultimately, someone had to pay a price for that. We are expected to have self-inflicting wounds if we indeed try to fly like Icarus. I was high with the adrenaline of all the things I was doing — trying to prove to my younger self that I had finally done it: I had solved the core problem that I had between theatre and engineering.
But I missed the part where I was hurting someone else in the process: my partner.
I keep telling myself I had to choose. That this was a hard decision to make. But no, choice is not the right word; it has misplaced intentions. I was forced to compromise with myself. It brings me back to 2011 when I was just starting with everything.
The most basic rule of Electronics Engineering is the Ohm’s Law. It states that the Voltage (V) across a conductor is directly proportional to the Current (I) flowing through it, and the Resistance (R), or the ratio of voltage to current must remain constant. I learned this even before I had my first musical in 2011.
In simpler terms, in order to increase the two of them, you have to lower the third one. That is how you achieve balance in electricity. I missed the part where if I were to keep on doing both my day job and my attempt to fix the rift it has with theatre, I would have to sacrifice the third component of the balance. And looks like I did.
The other option is I quit theatre and I grow to despise him. We have so much respect to each other that I didn’t consider that as a positive compromise at all. That’s not an option I was willing to take.
I have flown too close to the sun, haven’t I?
I have so much more to celebrate — two more shows I will be ultimately involved in, while celebrating my 8th year in the engineering industry. And yet, there is something missing. I have lost something so precious.
When I left your apartment that night, I had nothing but one single question to myself: if it was the right decision to make. I know I will be repeating this one for a long while, and I know people around me would, too.
So, this is an apology of sorts. An apology for choosing, an apology for not preparing you any better. An apology for forcing you to be involved in this mess of a balance (or lack thereof) that I have solely created.
And I guess, a thank you. I will always be grateful for how kind you were to me when I finally left your apartment, one last time.