Something that will seem irrelevant but actually isn’t: I started taking brain medicine awhile back (it helps the growth of a brain, so my previous 1/2 lb. brain is more regular human size — totally awesome, you guys (yes, I’m joking — there’s no way I’d have survived in this cold, hard world with a 1/2 lb. brain)), and the doctor told me, “If you miss a dosage, you’ll probably get nauseous.”
What the doctor meant: “You will be extremely nauseated for several hours. You will have a splitting headache and whenever you move any part of your body, you’ll feel like you’re on a roller coaster. It will probably ruin your entire day.”
So. I decided, after fifteen years of not being in the theater world, that I wanted to be in the theater world. I looked things up online, I found a 16-bar cut of one of my most favorite songs, I practiced practiced practiced, and I showed up, Friday night, armed with a headshot and resume all ready to wow them.
And then — as a complete surprise to me — I did wow them. They told me they’d “have me back,” although they left it at that, which made me wonder when they’d have me back and what precisely that meant.
I found out, the following morning at 9:30 am, that they’d have me back at 10:00 am and that I’d be singing and dancing.
But as luck would have it, I’d missed my brain medicine the day before. It was an accident, I certainly hadn’t intentionally skipped it (you know, brain regrowth and all), and having never done that before was unprepared for the slew of bad things that were going to be flung at me. It was in the car, on my way to the theater, that I started to feel the effects.
By the time I arrived and was sitting, armed with music I was learning right then, I felt like I was going to collapse at any given minute and thusly embarrass the crap out of myself. I thought maybe I’d need to lay down and die for awhile. There was no out.
By the time we needed to head into an already warm, sticky, smelly dance room, I really wondered what might happen. After all, there was that whole feeling like I was on a roller coaster thing, and the effects had increased to the point that I couldn’t even move my eyes around without feeling a little woozy. Fact: You gotta move your eyes, even though you think maybe you don’t. And I couldn’t exactly fess up at this point and say, “Yeah, so I’m a grown adult who forgot to take her meds yesterday and instead of finish this callbacks audition, I think I’m going home to die now.” So I trudged forth. The dance routine had spins. It had a lot of spins. And we practiced that dance routine for about a solid hour — spinning and spinning and spinning.
Aside from my nausea/dizziness/headache/vertigo, I also came to a horrible realization. I wasn’t merely a lousy dancer. I was, quite literally, the worst dancer in the entire room. I could perhaps chalk that up to my aforementioned symptoms, but when it really boils down to it, a girl needs time to rehearse 24 dance steps that will be performed in cut time. By my actual audition/evaluation, I’d already hit a plateau and then started to regress. I couldn’t remember how to walk. I didn’t know my name or where I was from. I think I had a horrified smile plastered on my face.
I just spun. And sashayed. And, okay, to be perfectly honest, KILLED the arabesque. I could arabesque all day. Might arabesque right now.
I somehow made it home, although I was tempted to just sit in the driver’s seat of my car outside the theater and call Husband to get someone to tow me home, where I could sit in the driver’s seat of my car outside our home till he got home. I took my brain meds. I ate some food. I watched “The Following” for three solid hours till I was pretty certain that there are way worse things than ill side effects of medication. Like, there could be a serial killer after you.
And after several hours, I finally felt more like my normal self. That night I received an email from the theater saying they’d like to offer the part of “Ensemble – dancer” to me, which proves they’ve got one heck of a sense of humor. Because dancer I am not. But I can ensemble with the best of them.