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Episode 8: Jennifer MacMillan

Download the episode here.

There's been a lot of things this week that are there to remind me that, for all intents and purposes, I am an adult. I appear as an adult to others. I have reached an age where I would be described by law enforcement as "an adult male". I have lived an amount of years that would qualify me both socially, as well as physically, as an adult. This is a subject that continues to baffle me because, as you can imagine: I don't feel like an adult.

My father's 60th birthday was this last weekend, so I travelled home with my wife (of eight and half years, which equals more adult points) to throw him a weekend full of half-truths and straight-up lies that led to him walking into rooms of people he did not expect to see all yelling "Surprise!" It was pretty awesome. But it was odd to think of my dad as being 60. Sixty is an old person age. I don't think of my dad as an old person. I think of him as my dad. In my head, we're still kind of frozen around a point where he's in his early 40s and I'm about 18 or 19. Nothing particularly memorable or traumatic happened then, but often when I talk to or interact with my dad, I go back to that time really easily in my head. I wonder if he felt like an adult then. I imagine having kids can really speed that process on. Or maybe you still feel like a kid who has been thrust in way over their head and you're waiting for someone to take you aside and tell you exactly what to do.

My wife and I got really serious about a house a couple of weeks ago. Went out there, looked it all up and down, started thinking about how we'd do renovations, how awesome it would be for our whole families to be able to come stay with us, all that adult stuff. We got a call from our mortgage guy (yes, we now talk to a mortgage guy), who told us that with the property tax rate in that county, there was no way in hell we could afford to buy that house, despite it being priced so affordably on paper. I went from having super adult-like thoughts about home repair and mortgages and down payments to essentially being told "Sorry, kid. This one's for grown-ups". It's funny, actually. We weren't necessarily even sold on that particular house. It just seemed like a part of adulthood was maybe in our grasp. Or maybe it never was, and we were just playing dress-up.

It's funny, because the first thing you hear my guest, Jennifer MacMillan, and I talk about this week is home ownership. And about how she's the first guest I've had in a while who's close to my age. And how it's nice to sit down and talk about life and art and passion for creativity with someone at about the same place in life that you are. Don't get me wrong, I love talking to the younger artists. You guys make me feel younger, like I can still do whatever the heck I feel like, take creative risks and just go with the flow. But it's nice to put it into a perspective that more suits my current life. And that's what my conversation with Jennifer did for me. It's also full of her journey to acting school from growing up poor in a rich folks' town in the Berkshires, and her passion for teaching acting to non-acting students. We also chat a lot about her troupe, Bright Invention, who are taking improv to places it doesn't typically go. Just so you don't all think it's an hour plus of two thirty-somethings just bemoaning how they got to where they are.

Sorry to get so thinky and misty-eyed. Been having a pretty thinky start to 2015. Not in a bad way, or a maudlin way, just having a lot to digest and unpack. There will be more on the subject, I assure you. Enjoy the episode, I really liked my talk with Jennifer, and I like it more and more as I listen to it. Also, hang out for the end, there's a track from James Hearne. James is a guy I've known since I was 15, and we played in bands together for almost 20 years. It's a cool little country song, and I hear in it a lot of where we were trying to go towards the end of The Way Home (the last band we had together).

Be well, take care and I'll check in with you all in a couple of weeks.


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