Navigating The Big Talks of Life Both On and Off Stage

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Tricia Brouk Portrait

Navigating The Big Talks of Life Both On and Off Stage

When I met Joe, I was happily single, successful and not interested in a husband. 

Exactly the right combination to attract people who want to be your husband. 

I had my own money, I didn’t want kids. I had amazing friends and a rent-stabilized apartment with my name on the lease. I didn’t need a partner. And I certainly didn’t want to be legally bound to someone for the rest of my life. Even business contracts have an out clause. None of them say “we are going to be producing partners until one of us dies”. The notion of that was crazy to me, so I chose to stay unmarried. And note, that’s different than being single.

While Joe and I were dating, we were in a committed and monogamous relationship. As it became more serious, we still stayed separate. We did not live together, as I need my own space. There are some days when you want to spend the entire day alone, not sharing food, not asking what the other person wants to watch and not caring if you work all day long with no break. Not much has changed really. 

Three years into our dating, I was struck by the concern that if something were to happen to Joe and I wasn’t in a legal contract with him, I couldn’t help him or be with him at the hospital. Then it became even deeper, I believed I found my teammate in life and at that moment, I thought, okay, I want to be legally bound to this person. I’m not changing my name and I’m not walking down an aisle toward anyone. 

We walk together. 

  • We proposed to each other
  • Talk about Buddish
  • I walked toward him because that was the deal we made.

The wedding was simple. We are both in showbiz and have been in fancy costumes on stages all over the world, a wedding was not a show to us. For me it was a place to take vows in front of our loved ones, so that when things go south, I can call up all the people who were there and ask why did I marry this person? I’m speaking for myself now. I don’t know how Joe feels about the wedding day.  

  • It was a business deal, it was a spiritual deal, it was a commitment I took and take very seriously. I’ve always been an independent creator and entrepreneur, so I thought it would be like any other moment in time when I directed a show successfully or increased sales and celebrated the win. I thought it would feel like an awesome accomplishment and a big win. 


  • Who the fuck was I now? 
  • How was I supposed to be in the world?
  • Did my sexuality cease to exist? 
  • Being someone’s wife felt like I was no longer Tricia, I was someone’s wife.
  • Did he own me? I didn’t want to work for anyone, so why would I want to be in a company of Mr. and Mrs.?
  • I didn’t call Joe my husband for a solid year. 

I cried involuntarily for the entire next day and even on our flight to Mexico.  On our honeymoon, I chose to read Elizabeth Gilbert’s follow up to Eat, Pray Love, called Committed. It’s a book about how what why and how she dealt with her relationship to Felipe, who she and he agreed to never get married under any circumstance.

I won’t give it away as to why they marry, but it’s really a candid look at marriage, divorce, commitment and the real work it takes to legally do forever with somebody.

And eight years later…

My most successful production to date is my marriage. 

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