The butterflies in my stomach were unusual.
I wasn’t preparing for a performance, after all, I was preparing for a first rehearsal. The only audience would be my castmates and my director and each of them has enough going on to notice whether or not I was doing a decent job or not.
Then I remembered: I hadn’t had a first rehearsal in over a year. After my tiny role in Reckless - a similar case where the Director asked me to fill in after someone else vacated a role – I walked into rehearsal after everyone else was settled.
This year it is the only way I could imagine doing a show: auditions are something I don’t want to do again for a while. If you remember my recent turn in VDay, I will remind you I have been a part of that movement for eight years: it isn’t the same as other roles.
I was prepared to talk to my Director beforehand.
Just in case she didn’t know or realize about my cancer. I wanted to “come clean” that my melanoma left a facial scar which I have been told repeatedly doesn’t show under lights and make up.
I believed that until in the last week two complete strangers asked me what happened to my face. Was it trauma, they wondered? Was it cancer?
My friends all tell me it is unnoticeable, but I trust strangers more than friends. Perhaps it is just that strangers notice more in the “not knowing who I am”. They don’t have a story attached to my name or a history attached to our relationship simply because we don’t have one yet.
My biggest fear with theater and my scar is it will distract audience members. They will wonder, “Was it trauma? Is it part of her character? Does the actor know she has that thing on her face?”
I normally have a fear of not doing well when I step on the stage. I normally worry about disappointing my director, that the moment will come when my director wonders why she or he chose to ask me to participate in the production. I’ve never been one of those conventionally attractive people anyway, so the scar just adds to my concern.
I was reassured: all was well, I didn't need to worry about my scar, I was told. I could start to quiet those voices of insecurity. It took a lot out of me to even bring it up to her.
Last night, though, all of those fears and inner voices left while I was in the midst of negotiating my script and getting to know my character, taking tiny steps into my relationship with her and who she is outside of me.
I remember when theater was a new – or shall I say renewed? – experience for me. I wrote about it all the time then. It was an all consuming passion, raging through every line I spoke.
I’m not sure how it will be this time.
The days will come and the days will go. I will learn my lines and my blocking. I will laugh with the cast and crew and perhaps there will be more momentary fear. There will be dressing room stories. There will be that familiar “We’re in this together in this theater foxhole feeling” which I have been missing a lot lately.
Now that I mention it, wasn’t it a couple weeks ago I was missing theater so much my eyes filled with tears that stung my lids? The tears didn’t fall, they just sat there, frozen, wishing I would have the courage to get out there again.
Last night apparently my courage found me. She found me, actually, in more ways than one.
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This post is Number 14 of 30 and was inspired by the Ultimate Blog Challenge. I fell behind due to my travels and am hoping hoping hoping to catch up. Please give me some extra TLC via commenting, etc - as I will need it as I write write write for the next week or so!
In these last few days of the challenge I will be posting twice daily because of the traveling I did mid-month.
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