Today has been a very hard day. While everyone else is glamming up and switching on the Oscars, I’m stuck in memories of last year. Rhythm and Hues had just declared bankruptcy and a lot of our friends had lost their jobs or were in danger of losing their jobs. Tony was in danger of losing his job. A year ago, on the night of the Oscars, I stood in a sea of people, many of whom I considered my family, and felt my world breaking apart.
Rhythm and Hues won the Oscar, but lost the war. Since that night, my friends–Tony’s and my community–has scattered not just across the country, but across the world. Rhythm and Hues was a place where Tony, and I by default, had spent a decade of our life. We became adults there. Tony at times spent over 100 hours in a week in that place, with those people. And we both spent our free time with friends from there.
A documentary has just come out, talking about the time that Rhythm was disintegrating. At first, I tried to ignore it. Tried to pretend that I had moved on and had healed. But today, the day of the Oscars, Tony and I finally sat down to watch it. I had no idea how painful it would be to see those halls and offices where we’d spent so much time. To hear that stressful, scary time recounted by the other people who had experienced it. And worst of all, to literally SEE Tony getting fired in the above screenshot. (Or “end hired” as they put it.)
I’m only today truly realizing what I lost a year ago. And truly appreciating how wonderful, joyful, and awesome that decade at Rhythm was. It was not perfect. Rhythm and Hues was not perfect. But it was a home and a family, it was a place that TRIED to be all it dreamed of being. With artists that dreamed and strived alongside it. I’m grateful that we got to be part of such a great place. And to become part of a community that, though scattered, is still intact. Today I mourn and celebrate simultaneously…just as I did a year ago. And my heart is with all of my friends out there, whose hearts are both heavy and joyful in the same way. Wherever they are.