Sunday, November 21, 2010

Despair. Stop. Send Help. Stop.

Haven't been around much. I've been missing the blog but feeling too overwhelmed to write. That's rare for me. Hope you, my Dear Readers, have been well.

There have been some really nice things. I went to the So You Think You Can Dance live show last weekend, and had amazing seats, and if there has ever been a show worth the price of admission, man, this is it. I was mesmerized from start to finish. It was especially thrilling to see Mia Michaels's "Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic" with all the guys and only one girl--Lauren--in her pink tutu, on a chair on top of a chessboard table. (Here's the link with Alison playing the girl.) Much better without the camera dollying around them the whole time. The other one that had me leaping to my feet was Billy and Ade in "Mad World." (Who choreographed this?) It has me near tears every time.

Speaking of near tears, it was a rough week on the parenting front. I could have used a stiff drink, but I never got one. Now that Jarrah is getting older, I'm trying to be a bit more conscientious about her privacy, so I'm not going to tell the whole story here. Suffice to say, a situation has been developing that really came to a crisis point, and I ended up rushing Jarrah to the doctor without an appointment, without even calling first, and sort of getting down on my knees and begging them to see us immediately. We were there most of the day, with tests and x-rays and a really amazing doctor who spent nearly an hour with us asking lots of questions and actually listening to my answers as if I were a smart person who knows my own daughter. A big shout-out to El Camino Pediatrics in Encinitas--it's a long drive, and it's worth it.

I thank my lucky stars that the problem--while definitely significant--can be treated non-invasively, and we are well into that treatment now. We probably won't know for sure if it's working for about a month, but I'm feeling hopeful. And relieved.

In the middle of all this, Jarrah had her final performance for her junior theater group, and while there was a flurry of last-minute scrambling to prepare, it was a smash hit. See for yourself! The little girl who sings the solo about how parents are going to miss their children when they grow up had me snuffling like a baby. And Jarrah's dance moves are totally dope.

Also in the middle of all this, we had our first-ever parent-teacher conference at Dailard, and I'm happy to say that--medical troubles aside--Jarrah seems to be thriving in kindergarten. Her teacher described her as "a delight to have in class" and really, what more could we ask? The other day, she read us Green Eggs and Ham in its entirety, which was so exciting (though damn, that's a repetitive book.)

When I run out of material late at night fretting about my child, I have plenty more worries waiting about my show. Seriously, Readers, I'm surprised I haven't been fired. I have been so frustrated, nay, LIVID, with how things are being run these days that I am physically incapable of suppressing full-blown tantrums that spring up like twisters in my heart and wreak havoc all over the room. I've been yelling at the director, stage manager, other castmates, basically everyone except our genius musician, who is like an island of sense and logic in a roiling sea of crazy. Unfortunately, he's hardly ever there, but when he is, he really helps me work my range and find the notes I so desperately need to ingrain. Everyone else, though, just spends their time yelling at me and less-than-obliquely suggesting someone else could do better. It all started when our director advertised for an "understudy" about three weeks ago, and this girl is clearly poised to swoop in and take our parts whenever we show the slightest signs of sucking. Think I'm being paranoid? It's already happened three times. The ironic result is that I suck all the time, because each time I'm "on" (and this is just for rehearsal!) I start getting all sweaty and shaky and instantly forget all my lines, knowing that the vulture awaits. Not that I dislike this girl, but unfortunately, that's her role. The last two rehearsals I've been unable to keep my mouth shut: "When do I get to practice this WITHOUT BEING YELLED AT? NEVER? IS THAT WHEN?" "You wanna know why I'm forgetting my lines? Because you've changed the @#$%&* choreography every single time, and I can't remember both. And because every time I put a foot wrong you threaten to replace me." "Oh, I see. I'm doing it wrong because I'm on the LEFT. Which is how I was doing it for a MONTH before an hour ago, when you told me to change it to the RIGHT." My new champion is my castmate John, who is a sweet, quiet former Marine who's been comforting me between scenes. "Where did you get all these New Age-y affirmations?" I teased him. "I thought you were in the military for 10 years." "That's exactly where I got them," he told me. "When everyone is trying to make you fail, and you haven't slept, and people are making you puke your guts out, is when you need to find inner strength, because no one's going to find it for you."

Well, I need to take this advice. I lie awake nights not because my director and stage manager are mean to me, but because I can't freakin' take it, apparently. I can't suck it up and get on with my bad self. I lash out like a petulant child and then I hate myself for not being stronger. And worse that that, Readers? I hate myself for not being BETTER. Because if I were better, then they wouldn't be yelling at me in the first place.

Sigh. I'm learning and growing from all of this, right?



Myrnie said...

Ugh! Sorry things are so rough- demanding directors, and sick kids are no fun :(

Logical Libby said...

Just take this as a suggestion -- if you aren't enjoying the play -- quit. There will be other roles at less stressful times...

Mrs. Chapman's 2nd Grade Class said...

So sorry to hear about Jarrah. Hoping the treatment works. I'll sure be praying for her...and you and David also. I can't imagine how scary it is to have a sick child.

As a teacher, I can tell you it's great to have those sweet children in class. The ones that making teaching a joy. Yea Jarrah!

Jen said...

Oh, Miss S! I so feel for you and I am SO glad that you were able to get into the doctor, that they handled it so well, and that the issue is being addressed. Sounds like it was a very good call on your part to just go directly to the office and beg to be seen. (So much better than an ER, I'm thinking!)

Sorry, too, about the play. That sucks and I hope that you remain successful in elbowing the evil understudy away from your role. If *she* were in your shoes and was given all sorts of changes at the last minute, she would do no better, of that I am sure!

Sending lots of hugs your way--

Type (little) a aka Michele said...

I'm sorry, I should lead with sympathy about your abusive director, but! Jarrah! Is she OK? I'm sick over it.

But good for you for standing up for yourself at rehearsal.

I would have commented yesterday, but your blog hate my ipad

Sam said...

Thank you, everyone. I didn't mean to be so cryptic. Jarrah seems to be doing much better. Fingers crossed. She's cheerful and active and eating, and the problem (fingers crossed!) may be abating...

I really appreciate your concern. :) Truly. :)

ewr2san said...

Sounds like a really tough gig Sam. Sorry to hear it, hope that it gets better or you give em the hell that they deserve.

Anonymous said...

Standing up for yourself is not childish, it shows that you are a strong woman who won't allow herself to be pushed around! Good luck with all of it, xx Lix