Thursday, May 21, 2009

Another of Life's Lessons

Yesterday on Facebook I commented that I was " coming to terms with not always getting what I want, even when I wasn't sure I wanted it---till I didn't get it." For a very long time I have wanted to play the role of Mother Abbess in The Sound of Music. As a little girl I had a love affair with that movie. At first of course it was Maria's role I coveted, but let's face facts here....I have been a little past playing her for more than a few years. So for a long time now, it's been Mother that I just knew was mine. "Someday," I told myself....especially since moving here and getting back involved in community theatre. I even hassled the production folks over the past few years about when, oh when would they do SOM so I could play her. Never in my wildest did it occur that, yes they would do the production, I would audition, and....someone else would get the part! And even more strangely, by the time it all happened, so many things would have come between, that I was of two minds about wanting to do it at all. Until I wasn't chosen. Now of course I know how very much I did want to. Now how much complexity is that over something that's supposed to be fun!?!

When I moved here almost seven years ago and didn't know anybody, I made up my mind that I would "do things" to become part of the community. One of those things was to audition for a part in Fiddler on the Roof. I went in blind, willing to do anything, expecting a bit part. At that point in my life I had never sung a solo in public, hadn't acted since high school and had never had more than a small cameo role in anything. I auditioned with laryngitis and was cast as Golde! I was stunned! I had a great time and the whole experience was a wonderful confidence booster. I guess you could say I found my voice there and was finally able to shut down the voice of that nun in my head who told me I could not sing. (She and her sisters of the trinity "you cannot write" and "you can't do art"). Well SisterCritic is back this morning! She says it was fluke that that the more professional folks are running the show (and clearly they faculty are directing and doing the music for this year's production) I have been culled from the herd and put back where I belong....and not even in the chorus, or as a walk-on, but out in the audience with the rest of the folk! So there, Missy!

And the irony of it all is....I had gotten to the point of feeling lukewarm about even being in the production. Summer is shaping up to be full and busy with travel and projects, and I want to have time to just savor some lovely nights under the stars in that hot tub with my sweetie as well. So it's not so much the actual not doing it that's rattling around in my heart and my head today. It's plain old out and out rejection and all that it triggers. The woman who will play the Mother Abbess has a stunning voice. She is a vocal music teacher at one of the local high schools and sings semi-professionally. Most of the folks who were cast in the singing roles fit this description. It should be a great performance, better than most. My friend CCM who is going to sing at my wedding got one of the nun roles. If she's good enough for the wedding, after all! I'll be there cheering her on. So I will get over it. All is well. I'm just feeling a little bruised. And embarrassed. For putting myself up there with all the talented people--yeah, I know, that's SisterCritic's voice and I need to give her the boot. There were a whole lot of us folk with perfectly fine everyday voices who didn't get cast because we happen to live in an area that grows amazingly talented people whose voices are more than everyday quality. And they got the parts that are rightfully theirs, and we get to enjoy hearing them.

And while they are off sweating in a hot dark theatre, I'll be in the hot tub having a beer, laughing with R and looking at the lovely evening sky. That is, after all, I'd say a pretty good consolation prize.


zorra said...

Well, for goodness' sake. SisterCritic needs to TAKE A HIKE.
But yes, you do have a pretty terrific consolation prize.

Sarah S-D said...

oh, i so relate. it has been awhile since i've put myself out there for a part i wanted, but i remember the feeling. even the mixed feelings when life was too full for it anyhow. and sister critic? i thought she lived in my head!

i've been SO behind on blogs. did i know you were getting married?! when? congratulations!

yeas, hot tub, stars, newish love- way better than long rehearsals!

Ruth Hull Chatlien said...

Rejection does sting, no matter what. I received yet another rejection about my novel from an agent yesterday and went around saying I felt like a failure. My consolation prize was surprise flowers from my husband. It helped.

Rev SS said...

A great consolation prize.

Mary Beth said...

Hugs to you.