Sometimes I write a post just for me. Not because I want to tell you something or document our lives or anything, but because I have thoughts in my head that I need to get out, and it helps to write them here. So, this post is really just for me. But if you’d like to read, you may.
We’ve started Cinderella. Opening night was Friday and then on Saturday, Natalie did her first show (they double cast a lot of the kids so that twice as many kids can be in the show). It’s fun. The shows have gone GREAT, with very few messups and problems. Which is good, since we have been working on these for two months. I’ve been helping a lot with costumes, and last night I got to be the “parent helper” in the dressing room to help the little girls get their bows tied, help with costume changes, etc. I have also cut ballgowns.
I spent two hours one Saturday cutting out the pieces for these dresses. Can I tell you how much my knees hurt the next day from crawling around on the floor, cutting, getting up, getting down, crawling and cutting some more? I didn’t sew any gowns, but I have also spent a lot of time cutting them to the proper length. You can see me there on the floor with a girl on a chair, trimming her dress to the proper length. I did so many gown I could barely move my scissor hands. But I’m happy to help. The costume lady has put in SO. MANY. HOURS! I wouldn’t want her job. I’ve also hemmed a lot of the boys and mens pants. All the men need knickers or shorter pants, so we are trimming and hemming and elasticizing them. I did that job at home, thank goodness, on my own machine. The funniest was when they gave me a pair of pants that had been cut off, and they wanted me to sew the legs back on and then cut them off about 4 inches lower. I sewed the legs back on, but I didn’t line it up right and one leg looked pretty skewampus. Whatever. I looked at him on stage and you can’t tell. I did apologize to him for my less than professional sewing job.
Community theater is all volunteer. The directors, costume and set people have spent many more hours than I have in helping to make this a good production. And in general, it’s fun. It’s fun to get to know new people, and talk to them during the down times when we are not on stage. And being on stage is the really fun part. That is why we do all this work–to put on a great show.
But I have a severe lack of being on stage this year. In the four years that I have been a participant with this theater, this is the smallest part I’ve ever had. I don’t have any lines, no solo songs and no dancing. I’m on stage for the beginning village scene, which is probably about 5 or 6 minutes, and then I’m on for the wedding scene at the very end. Maybe 10 minute on stage for a two hour show. And it’s ok. I had resigned myself to just being in the chorus. When I felt myself lamenting the fact that I had such a small part, I would hear the immortal words of my High School Drama teacher, Mr John Whiting, saying, “There are no small parts, only small actors.” I realized that I might have sabotaged my chances of getting a part (really wanted to play the Fairy Godmother) when I listed the dates I would have to miss rehearsal for my bells rehearsals and concert. I was honest up-front and said I would have to miss most Wednesdays and a couple of other dates that I knew I had extra rehearsals for our bells concert in June. You are only ‘allowed’ to miss 4 rehearsals, and I put down more than 4 dates that I would have to miss. As it turned out, with me only being a village woman, I only missed two of my required rehearsals. Ha. I do admit that I have felt very left out and ignored though the rehearsal process. Several times I have been tempted to just drop out, since I don’t think anyone would notice if I weren’t there. (Well, that’s not true. A select few people would notice. My “fake kids” would wonder where their “fake mom” was, and who was going to give them candy and treats every time they did a scene well and stuck with the old mom instead of running around the village like they would rather do. The other village people would probably notice, too. I’m just saying that the audience would not notice.) But what kind of a message would that send to my daughter? She doesn’t have a big part, either, and I want her to have fun with the whole experience, regardless of the size of her part. So if I whine and carry on about how I should have had a bigger part, that sends the WRONG message.
So, anyway, I just accepted that this was not my year to have a big role. Or any role at all, really. But it seems that other well meaning people are not so happy that I have no part. I invited a friend to come see the show and she said she didn’t know if she could, since she was so mad that I wasn’t going to be playing the Fairy Godmother or the stepmother. Um…Thanks? Then I have friends in the play who have said, “I can’t believe you don’t have at least a small singing part! Your voice is beautiful!” I have one friend in particular who has mentioned over and over again the injustice of me not getting a part. Well, even though I appreciate the nice comments, I wish they would just stop. Even Saturday night, I saw another friend who had been in Annie Get your Gun. She said she loved the show, but she thought I should have been on stage more. Even my dear husband said that I was underused in this show. OK, I get it. Thank you to my fans, but let’s just let it go.
I thought I was ok with my tiny contribution. I want to be ok with what I’ve done, not upset over what I wanted to do. But if we all keep bringing up how I was ‘robbed’ or how I should have done more, I am just going to feel bad. Saturday night, as we were doing the curtain call, instead of feeling happy that we had done a great show, I was feeling embarrassed that I hadn’t really had a part in making it a great show. I felt insecure and bad about myself, when I should have been enjoying the experience.
There are only 6 shows left, and I want to ENJOY the experience. If it’s not fun, then why are we doing it?
So, there you have it. My ranting and raving and whining and complaining is done. I will do my best, smile my face off, and enjoy the friendships I have made. I will help others as much as I can, and HAVE FUN.
In the words of David O. McKay, “What Eâ€™er Thou Art, Act Well Thy Part.”