Thursday, April 03, 2008

Small Set-back

Sometimes it is just so hard to act normal. By normal I mean, not a cancer patient(or survivor or whatever). I have little setbacks once in a while. Something will set me off and I have a mini breakdown.

Tonight it was my ears. My ears get bright red when I am busy, or hot or sometimes for no reason at all. Bright, neon red. In the olden days, the BC days, I would simply hide them in my hair.

This evening before rehearsal I was sewing the elastic on my new ballet shoes and was sitting under the dining room light. It was bright and hot and my ears turned red. When I went in to get ready for rehearsal I noticed and realized that with my hair like this I have nothing to hide my red ears behind. They are just right out there for everyone to see. And my heart beat a little faster and it hit me just how much of an armor my hair was to me. It covered me like a blanket and I could hide behind it. It protected me somehow deep in the recesses of my psyche. I feel so vulnerable and exposed with this short, short hair. I hate it. So there I was with red ears and I had no place to hide and I had a little panic attack. I found myself driving to rehearsal sobbing all of the sudden, like I had just lost my hair yesterday.

"What is wrong with me?" I thought. "Why am I freaking out?" I don't have an answer. I just lost it for a few minutes. When I got there, I sat in my car for a few minutes trying to gather myself and make sure I didn't look like an over-emotional idiot for walking into rehearsal looking like I had been crying. I mean, what was I supposed to say when someone asked me what was wrong? "Oh, I lost my hair 8 months ago and my ears are red and I am having an identity crisis." Somebody haul this girl off to the crazy farm, why don'tcha?

I managed to pull myself together and go in and participate in the rehearsal. But it was really hard. Not just because I am such a newby at all this and am terrified I may have bitten off too much with this show. But because there is this floor-to-ceiling mirror in the room and I had to watch my sucky dancing and red ears for two hours. And I felt like an outsider. A dancing outsider. I bought new ballet slippers yesterday because the ones I had been using were too big. I couldn't feel the floor with them on and they were hindering my balance, especially. So I bought some that fit and brought them to rehearsal only to find out we were mostly doing tap stuff and ballet slippers are a hindrance to that type of dancing. My character shoes would have been much better but I didn't have them with me. Several of the other girls are experienced dancers and pulled out their tap shoes and put them on and there I am the schmuck in the ballet slippers trying to learn tap combinations. Geez. I just felt like I couldn't win.

And we are still learning things that I don't expect to be performing in the show. The dance we are learning is for the guys Aggie football team number and the girls are just doing it for conditioning and to practice basics. The tap stuff is for the girls too, but mostly for the girls that will be doubling as the Angelettes (Aggie drillteam) and they will be doing a kickline. I say they, because there is no way I, who can not even kick waist high, will be a part of that number. And the tap is for the Doggettes who will be doing a tap number. And since I know I am most likely not going to be doing it in the show it is hard for me to get invested in learning something that is hard for me and makes me feel like a clumsy idiot in the wrong damned shoes. I lost my spirit to learn tonight. I did what I could but didn't have the heart to do more than half-assedly fake anything I found difficult, which was most of it.

Last night's vocal rehearsal, on the other hand, went well. We learned three songs and the harmonies are going to sound so awesome. My solo lines are well-placed in my voice and with a little practice I should be able to do them justice. The vocal director is so knowledgeable and easy to sing for. She made us feel relaxed which made it easier to learn. It was a good time and I look forward to more time with the music.

And the acting. I'd love to skip all the hard stuff I am bad at and get to the stuff I am good at. Let's sing and act. Sounds like fun to me!

I am making an effort to talk about some good things now because I know I am too hard on myself and I don't want to let myself wallow in the fact that I had a little emotional setback. I need to get over it and keep going.

When I took Jackson to school this morning one of his classmates was arriving at the same time. Her name is Emma and when she saw Jackson she came rushing over and they hugged and said hi. So cute. Course Jackson is a tiny guy and his head fit nicely on her chest for the hugs. Then Emma took him by the hand and lead him into the building. She kept saying 'I have my Jackson' and he kept turning to me and saying 'she holding my hand, mommy!' Such an awesome moment. I wish I'd had my camera.

I am really enjoying work lately because I am digging in and taking over duties to streamline the way we do things. This week I have been working on setting up an account with an office supply delivery company so that when we need things we order them and they are delivered instead of someone having to run to office depot or Sam's. So a new duty of mine will be a bi-weekly inventory to take stock of what we need in the office as well as toilet paper and coffee and hand soap, etc. This is blogworthy because when I started at the Palace almost 2 1/2 years ago it was a 3-man operation. Sonja did the box office, Mary Ellen produced the shows and Russ got the supplies. Now that we are growing and changing so much, there is no reason not to lighten some of the little administrative duties of these three and simply report to them as board members. So that is my goal. Figure out what needs done and the best way to do it. And not step on any toes in the process. If Russ, for example, wanted to continue going to Sam's to buy hand soap, by all means...but if he'd rather spend his time overseeing the renovation of the tin get the picture.

So work is good. I love working in the theatre and making things work better. Something so normal is just so precious to me. I love being back.


Ronni said...

Tiny setbacks notwithstanding, you are doing very well.

The show will be wonderful. Eventually, you will remember to keep all your dancing shoes in the trunk of the car, and you will pick up the dances, too. You have great poise and balance, and, beyond that, it's all in putting your feet where they tell you.

If (is it Linda?) the choreographer can get Reid and Aaron dancing, think what she can do for you! She took those boys at their clumsiest phase of life, and turned them into some very poised and elegant young men.

KT said...

Hi Marsha, belated congratulations on landing a part in the production! That is so cool!

I got teary-eyed reading about your ears and how they set you off! Isn't it awful, there are always little things to remind us of what we've been through....and even with happy outcomes like ours we can't avoid feeling something (overwhelmed? relief? I don't know what to call it!) after the fact.

I have a good cry every now and then, usually set off by something ridiculous that is related to my cancer by 4 or 5 degrees. It's cleansing so I don't fight it. I don't like it but I do feel a ton better afterwards.

Take care,