When I was in high school, I forgot my lines once, at the only one-act competition we theatre geeks at Chattahoochee High School ever attended. My "been to college, smoked some weed, drank a distillery's worth of booze, I'm almost 30" brain, thought it was while performing, For Whom the Southern Belle Tolls, Christopher's Durang's spoof on The Glass Menagerie, but alas, my Wikipedia refresher has caused me to question that fact. Honestly, I cannot recall which one-act I was performing when I went up on my lines, but I will never EVER forget the feeling. Bright lights shining into my terrified face that was getting progressively hotter as the blood rose into my cheeks. Ugh. It's like one of those nightmares where you're trying to scream but no sound escapes your mouth. I flubbed out SOMETHING and ran off stage where I dropped dramatically to my knees in the wings and lifted my hands to the theatre gods mouthing, "Whyyyyyy!" (I would have shouted but the show was still going.) Afterwards, I decided it was my partner's fault for jumping to the end of the scene and throwing me off. It was him!! Yeah, I felt better.
Last night, I attended a casting director workshop that brought back some similar sensations from that fateful day at the Georgia One-Act Festival. Partly, because I chose to do a monologue that I performed in high school, Parker Posey's, Libby Mae Brown monologue from the deleted scenes of Waiting for Guffman. I knew choosing it was risk. I thought through, in detail, everything that could possibly go wrong and concluded (in the shower, where all my best thinking happens) that I should just do it. I love it. It's fun. It makes me laugh. And hell, even if this person hates it, at least she'll remember me, right? Well, after I finished, one of the 10 scenarios, the scariest one I'd dreamt up in fact, began to play out right in front of MY eyes and the eyes of EVERYONE ELSE at this workshop. She smiled. And then politely asked, "Why did you choose THAT?" And I told her. "I love it. It's fun. It makes me laugh." She looked at me silently for another moment. I could feel the blood rising into my cheeks, began wondering whether I was turning purple and then she again politely said, "Well, that's a terrible audition piece." Yikes. Well, I mean...I kind of knewwwww that was coming, didn't I? I mean, I'd already lived out that exact exchange in my mind on the drive over to the workshop, why was I so upset? She didn't tell me I was bad, in reality she liked me, she simply told me I was wrong and is that really so terrible? Aarghh, my gut instinct must be all fucked up. My planets are in weird alignment. MERCURY IS IN RETROGRADE! There, I feel better.
What am I getting at? As usual, I don't really know. But. Well. Yesterday in Boston, people were blown up. Blown. Up. Insane people inflict unimaginable acts upon other people regularly. Where's my segue? Here. Use whatever excuses you have to, to keep yourself as sane as you possibly can. We ALL have shit going on. We ALL have pain. And this is unavoidable. The very best we, the sane people can do, is keep our heads on straight, keep our feet on the ground. Avoid petty homemade dramas so that when the real tragedies occur, we can handle them, as well as we possibly can. Hopefully, we, the sane people, can begin to balance out the amount of sick insanity that continues to be spewed across the Earth. Take care of yourselves and take care of each other. We live in a crazy fucking world, make as many excuses as you need if it'll help you be kind to and forgive yourself.