Seinfeld, The Road and Me: Lessons from a Pandemic

By Judith Moreland
Road Artistic Board Member

There’s an episode of the TV series Seinfeld where Jerry realizes that he’s the personification of “Even Steven.”  Every time he loses something he almost immediately gains something else to replace it.  His life stays in balance so he’s a pretty happy guy.

Over the last few weeks, I’ve realized that Jerry and I have that in common, and a lot of that is due to the Road.

Allow me to explain.

Like everyone else, I’ve had to make adjustments during this crisis. I’m an actor, director, and teacher—a triple threat of job descriptions that all contain the phrase “in close proximity to others.”

So that’s all gone for now.

I’ve had to revamp my undergraduate acting class to fit an online format. Fortunately, my students are adaptable and wonderful so it’s actually going much better than I thought it would.

Acting gigs have disappeared and a play I was prepping to direct—a dream project—has been put on hold, maybe indefinitely.

And on a personal note, out of an abundance of caution I haven’t been able to kiss or hug my dad since the beginning of March.

But these are all “champagne problems”: my dad’s fine and I’ve got my health, a job and can pay my bills (knock wood). I just have to turn on the TV for 10 minutes to be reminded of how truly blessed I am.

Another blessing this pandemic has shown me is the importance of community.

I was asked to direct At The Table by Michael Perlman at the Road last year. As a non-“Roadie,“ I wasn’t sure how their membership company functioned, but I soon saw what a caring and supportive community the Road is under the guidance of artistic directors Taylor Gilbert and Sam Anderson. I was immediately welcomed into the fold. I worked with some of the most talented and hard-working artists I’ve had the pleasure to collaborate with and couldn’t have been prouder of the production. When Sam and Taylor asked me to be a part of the company and artistic board, I was pleased and humbled. I’m not usually a joiner but the Road community is so generous and creative and I wanted to be a part of it and help nurture it.

My teaching, acting, and directing may have hit a few roadblocks and I still sit six feet away from my dad when I see him but my Roadie community surrounds me with care, support, and opportunities to create.  My artistic life has stayed reasonably in balance so I’m a pretty happy girl.  I’m Even Steven.

Thank you, Jerry. And thank you, Road.