Out of the Ruins and Rubble…

WARNING: IT’S GONNA BE A LONG ONE TODAY FOLKS.

I swore a while ago that I wouldn’t talk about politics on this site. However, due to my own personal feelings as well as the fact that my status as both an actor and an Aspie are under serious attack, I couldn’t live with myself if I didn’t talk about what just happened to my country. Some people reading this might be turned off or offended. Tough.

I wasn’t awake when the official announcement was made. I’d spent the whole night glued to my phone, checking the results that were coming in live whIle posting my thoughts on Facebook. I kept holding out hope that a miracle would happen, that someone would demand a recount and it would a be a big misunderstanding. At around 10PM, I knew exactly what was going to happen, and my world crumbled. I skipped the first three stages of grief and went right to despair, venting my emotions on Facebook to anyone who would listen. I even recorded a live video (that has since been deleted due to my looking like crap) wherein I lamented the fact that the country I have called my home for the last 26 years freely and willingly elected a man who not only has the endorsement of THE KKK, but who ALSO has bragged about his ability to treat women as though they are his property, has flat out admitted he plans to cut funding to the arts, and who famously mocked a reporter with a disability in front of millions of viewers. As a woman, as an actress, and as an Aspie, I wept and will continue to weep for this country until the well runs dry. More than what this decision means for me as an individual, I shudder about what this means for the other groups that the Orange One (I refuse to say his name or refer to him as my president) has attacked. The pride and love I remember feeling for my country last year when gay marriage was legalized in all fifty states has been replaced by fear and dread. Moreover, I feel sadness for the fact that this man has managed to spread his hateful rhetoric to people who I sincerely believe are capable of good things.

However, while this Battle Royale of an election has brought out the worst qualities of people, it has also opened my eyes to the goodness that can exist in people. As I kept checking my doomsday report (I mean election results) I looked on my newsfeed and saw many of my friends and acquaintances posting messages that basically said exactly what I was feeling at that moment (mainly, WTF is happening). When I checked this morning while I was on the bus on my way to an audition, I saw messages and posts encouraging people not to give up, not to crumble, but to be strong and to work harder towards a better future. These messages, though tinged with sadness and regret, gave me a feeling that I’m not alone, that, for better or worse, we’re all in the same boat, and even if that boat just hit an iceberg, we can build our own lifeboat.

The words of my friends and colleagues have helped me realize that crying and complaining will not get anything done at his point. As hard as it might be while the wounds are still raw, we need to rise up and find ways that we can make a difference. We can’t lose hope, we can’t jump ship (as much as we’d all love to) and we can’t give into the negativity by playing the blame game. Seriously, whatever you do, DON’T take your anger out on people who support the Orange One. Not only is it not getting anything done, but by attacking each other, we’re assuring that, although we may say otherwise, he truly has won. Instead, we need to get off our asses and work together.

I’ll end this rant with a theatre related story. This past summer at Stella Adler, we did a master class with a certain Broadway performer. My classmate and dear friend got up and sang “Beautiful City” from Godspell. As an exercise, the teacher told him to sing the song “As though you were at a _____ rally.” After a second of looking confused, he did the song, only I noticed that the words gave him a sort of dignity and strength as he imagined himself in the setting. Months later, that moment is at the front of my mind, and I can’t help but to adopt the lyrics as my mantra in what I know is a difficult time to come. No matter who you support, I truly believe the power of these lyrics will resonate. I’ll be sharing the lyrics below, for those who are interested (lyrics by Stephen Schwartz, copyright yadda yadda). And if anyone needs someone to talk to or a shoulder to cry on, please know that I am here for you. We won’t be broken by this. We are beautiful, we are powerful, we are stronger together.20161110_083038

Lizzy

Beautiful City-Stephen Schwartz

Out of the ruins and rubble
Out of the smoke
Out of our night of struggle
Can we see a ray of hope?
One pale thin ray reaching for the day

We can build a beautiful city
Yes, we can; Yes, we can
We can build a beautiful city
Not a city of angels
But we can build a city of man

We may not reach the ending
But we can start
Slowly but truly mending
Brick by brick, heart by heart
Now, maybe now
We start learning how

We can build a beautiful city
Yes, we can; Yes, we can
We can build a beautiful city
Not a city of angels
But we can build a city of man

When your trust is all but shattered
When your faith is all but killed
You can give up, bitter and battered
Or you can slowly start to build

A beautiful city
Yes, we can; Yes, we can
We can build a beautiful city
Not a city of angels
But finally a city of man.

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Lizzy Andretta is an actress based in New Jersey. She blogs about being an Aspie and other subjects stemming from said topic. You can follow her acting work at lizzyandrettaactor.com.

2 thoughts on “Out of the Ruins and Rubble…

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