It’s Wednesday night , so the story continues. Picking up from last week -
I literally squealed with delight when I opened up this draft and realized I’m starting with high school stuff.
I’m sure you all are saying, “We get it! You were amazing in high school. Put up or shut up. Get over it, or be amazing, again.” Well, I’m gonna do my best to be amazing again.
I’ve been spending a lot (read: too much) time reflecting lately (between my recent birthday, and my 1 year anniversary of moving to LA (shivers) coming up pretty soon). So, the blog might be seeming a little more high school heavy, even for me. Sorry. Too many thoughts. We’ll get through it, though.
Anyway, last week I was talking about my most amazing teacher in the universe, and how I adore her. She really instilled a crazy (wonderful) work ethic in me. I worked in the theater on Valentine’s Day, Memorial Day, Easter… I didn’t even have a desire to be anywhere else. It was never a sacrifice, because what was I sacrificing if there was nowhere else I’d rather be?
In my years there, I learned that no matter happens, you get your butt to that theater. I remember when I had mono, and I was in the chorus of My Fair Lady. School rule: You had to go to four classes if you wanted to perform in the show. So, I’d go sleep through 4 classes, then during the show I’d lay in the corner until it was time for a number, and I would dance my feet off while making humongous facial expressions. (Go ahead and watch the tapes!) As soon as a number was over, I’d go shut down until the next one.
I don’t remember every little story of tiny obstacles. I just remember that no matter what, you do your show. Unless you are literally dying right now, there’s an audience that needs to be entertained.
In all honesty, one of my very first thoughts when I was in the hospital missing my first show was, was what is my high school theater teacher going to think of me? I was truly stressed about it – labored breathing, darting eyes and thoughts. She taught me so well. Is this an extenuating circumstance enough? I’m not literally dying right now.
Thankfully, we talked on the phone a lot throughout my whole ordeal, and the first time that I caught her up to speed – commencing a complete and total freak out/meltdown – she let me know that it was okay. And that even if it were her, she would be in the hospital instead of at the show.
She’s as close to perfect as you’re gonna get. So, if she would be in the hospital too, I felt that I could be okay with it. She then shared with me a few stories of extenuating circumstances through the years where people would learn their lines from hospital beds. Okay, I’m not alone.
A thought about those people I was talking about in the last post – the ones who get seriously injured and finish a marathon or things of the sort – I can’t allow myself to compare myself with them too much. They have the one goal they’re in the middle of. I had an overarching goal, but had to take a break from my career.
It’s not as though I passed out backstage at my Broadway debut. I was just missing another day of work. Not to diminish that theater in Boston at all. I know that every person and every project is equally important. It was/is an awesome, important theater, and I was extremely proud to work there. But, you know what I’m saying.
This wasn’t my Everest – it wasn’t my huge, life-changing day. I cannot blame myself for taking off work to fix a heart problem. I can’t. (Yes, these paragraphs are way more for me than for you, and is something I try to convince myself of all the time. But it’s hard. The first time I missed a show was the first time I realized – maybe I’m not as strong as I used to be.)
There’s more to come as far as realizations of how weak or strong or different I am (/was), but I’m going to save some for later. Now, I need to jump back in to where we were chronologically in the story. Next week, the story continues.