I knew the best remedy for my Post Marital Stress Disorder would be performing. So I was super-excited for my first day of rehearsal at my new gig. It was a full decade later (add infatuation, love, marriage and divorce) that I was walking back into the same exact dressing room that housed so many memories. It looked the same. It smelled the same. The only things missing were the photos of my EX that were taped to the mirror above my chair and the lipstick imprint I left of a big ol’ smooch beside his face. That was different. But it was mostly the same familiar faces of my “sister-friends” with whom I shared so many memories of post-show nakedness, ice packs and female bonding.
If our dressing room walls could talk, you’d know intimate details about our lives, our loves, our fears, our successes, our truths and our lies. The walls could tell you stuff like who preferred waxing over shaving, who hated or loved their boobs, who preferred which sexual position and who slept with the most boys in the dressing room next door. You’d hear shrieks of laughter as we turned rap songs into operatic masterpieces, told fart jokes, queefing jokes, yo mamma jokes and tales of our most embarrassing moments. But the walls could also tell you about each of our hopes and dreams about the future including marriage and raising a family. Or what life might be like once our performing days were over.
Most notably, however, the walls could tell you of the bond formed around our ineffable love of performing our show 8 times/week. You’d understand our religious-like fervor for this loosely structured, highly visceral, extreme energy show that was often described as part Cirque du Soleil, part Stomp, part rave. It was a show that dared us, its performers, to be authentic, original and “in the moment”. It celebrated our individuality and self-expression. It was physically, emotionally and artistically challenging and we all thrived on it and grew from it. It was both our job and our therapy. So if walls could talk, you’d also hear discussions about ways we discovered greater emotional vulnerability in performances, the importance of trusting ourselves, allowing ourselves to take risks, and going for it unabashedly and 100%. Plus, how beneficial these discoveries were when translated into real life.
So, here I was on my 1st day of rehearsal, returning to my tribe of “sister-friends”. I was returning to my therapy. I was returning to my life. And then, on that first day of rehearsal, I took one step onto a giant moving set piece and rolled off backwards hitting my head. I had an instant flashback of the concussion I suffered in the last show that rendered me useless and depressed for months. I refused to surrender because I was relentlessly trying to get my life back. I shook it off and continued; hopping back onto the moving set piece. But as much as I tried, I couldn’t ignore that damn pragmatic voice of reason. I stopped. I sat and I watched rehearsal until I realized it wasn’t my head that hurt after all. It was my foot. It screamed with pain and I couldn’t put pressure on it.
So, I spent my 1st day of rehearsal in the emergency room. Diagnosis? Sprained foot. Prognosis? 6-8 weeks healing time!