Thursday, 21 October 2010

Carousel and injuries

I have been pretty busy the last few days, hence the lack of writing. I had the dress rehearsal on Monday, which feels like a really long time ago now! As far as I can remember that all went ok, but it is all merging into one really. Then yesterday I had the first performance - that went fairly well. I felt a bit off balance when I was dancing, just a bit wobbly, but apparently it looked good and wasn't noticeable, so that's ok. The rest of the show went pretty well, although it was a bit slow, as was the dress rehearsal. Oh, although I just remembered I had a total nightmare. I am only in Act 2, so I spend Act 1 having my hair done, and then doing my make up, and then I get into costume sometime towards the end of Act 1, or in the interval. Last night I went to change, and realised I had left my white bra at home, and was wearing a bright green one. I spend the last scene in a white dress, so there was no way I could wear that, so there was a big panic! The problem had occurred because on Monday I had gone straight from a ballet class to the dress rehearsal, and so was in a leotard and tights, and had my white bra in my bag that goes to the theatre, but then after the dress rehearsal when I got dressed I naturally left that bra on, as I didn't even have another one with me, and so it went home and I completely forgot about it until I was changing. So I rung my mum and told her what had happened. I asked if she was wearing a white bra, as although she is smaller than me it would have done, but typically she was wearing a black one, so she dashed off to Tesco, bought 2 white bras, brought them to the theatre, and one of them fitted and I wore it. It was rather stressful, and it was lucky that yesterday I still had half an hour or so before I had to go on when I went to get changed, as if it had been much later there wouldn't have been time. So that was scary for a while. Plus the zip got stuck on my dress on my quick change, and I barely got changed in time - my dresser ended up having to yank it down over my hips, which could easily have broken it, but luckily it didn't, and we had no alternative. Tonight was better I think - no major disasters, and we took about 7 minutes off the time from last night, just from people picking up cues quicker, and some of the music that had been slightly slow being sped up a bit. There was a slight panic in the middle of Act 2, when I was hanging around in the green room warming up, and an automated message came over the tannoy saying that there was an incident on the site and to await further instructions, and then a panicked looking techie ran through asking what was going on. The performance was still carrying on, so everyone on stage and all the audience were totally oblivious, but it was causing quite a stir backstage! It turned out that it had just been some steam that had set off an alarm which generates this automated message, so there was no disaster, but people were a bit worried for a couple of minutes!

My mum came to see the show tonight. She was going to see it on Saturday night with my dad, but she has to take me up there every night and hang about, as it is too far for her to come back home, so she has to just go to see friends, or my brother who lives there or something, and she mentioned that she would quite like to see the show another night as she is up there, but the cost was putting her off, so I said I would buy her a ticket for tonight as she is taking me up there every night, and one of her friends went with her. So her and her friend went tonight, and then she will be going again on Saturday with my dad. When everyone else in the show was talking the other day about who they had going to see it I felt a bit left out, as I only had my parents going, and they all seemed to have loads of people. Obviously lots of them have work colleagues etc, which I don't have, but then lots of them had friends going, or lots of family etc, and I just had my parents. My siblings never come to see me perform - I think my sister has been to see two shows that I have done, out of over 20, and my brothers have never come to see anything. I do appreciate that not everyone is into theatre, particularly musicals, but it would be nice if they came to support me, even if it wasn't their favourite thing, although both of my sister in laws actually like musicals. And it isn't like they live a long way away - one of my brothers is a bit further away, but my sister is about a 30 minute drive from the theatre, and my other brother lives in the same town. I just feel a bit hurt that they never make any effort at all. I would go and see my sister doing something, whether I was interested in it or not. I don't know if I am being oversensitive or if it is a normal reaction and I am justified in feeling a bit hurt. It is the same with my friends really too. I do have quite a few friends who live a long way away, and I wouldn't expect them to come, but I have other friends who live close and could come. I do have 2 people who have come or are coming - one is my old History teacher from college, who I have always been in contact with, and who likes theatre and came last night, and the other is a lovely fellow blogger, who is coming from further away than any of my siblings would have to. It really means a lot that they have made the effort to come and see it. But it does hurt a bit that none of the rest of my family bother, or my friends. Although I know that T would, but he is in another show this week, and so it would be impossible. Plus the other women in my dressing room all have loads of cards around their mirrors too, and the only ones I got were from my stage parents. I know it is just a really small, unimportant thing, but it is just nice to feel like people care, and when other people have lots of flowers and cards and things and I don't it just makes me feel a bit crap about myself. Although it was really sweet tonight - when I was in the green room last night I was chatting to a couple of people and mentioned that when I was talking to T yesterday he said he was off buying flowers for the lead females in his show, and I told him that nobody had ever bought me flowers for a show, and when I arrived tonight one of the women I had been talking to gave me some flowers. I just thought it was so sweet of her - she isn't a cast member, and I don't even know her name. I think she might be one of the chaperones for the children, but I am not even sure what her involvement is. I have chatted to her a fair bit when I have been hanging around when I am not on stage the last few days, but that is all, and I just thought that it was such a lovely thing for her to do. It is so lovely when people do things that you aren't expecting at all. Some people are just so thoughtful. Buying flowers for someone you barely know is just such a sweet thing to do, and I had only mentioned it in passing when everyone was talking about gifts for shows etc. So yes, I really appreciated that.

My back is hurting a bit. It is ok when I am performing - I don't really notice it then, but it hurts when I get offstage, and particularly when I get back home. I am still taking anti inflammatory tablets and painkillers 3 times a day, but it does still hurt. It is better than it was - it is just still painful. I went to see the physio again yesterday and she said it was still all pretty tight and inflamed, hence the pain. She massaged it to try and get it to relax a bit (and commented on how knotted my shoulders are, which they really are - my whole back has just turned into giant knots, and my shoulders are tender just to touch), and then she taped up my lower back to try and provide some support for it, but obviously she couldn't tape it too tightly as it would have restricted my movement. So I have had that on since yesterday. She said if I thought it was helping I could leave it on for 4 or 5 days, but that is kind of difficult, as I asked what I was supposed to do about it when I showered, and she said try and keep it as dry as possible. Well I discovered today that as dry as possible is soaking wet. How are you meant to have a shower and wash your hair and not get a big section of your back wet?! Today's bright idea was to cover it all with clingfilm and to tape that on, but the taping underneath still got soaking wet, so that wasn't very successful. I then tried to dry it with a hairdryer, as it was a bit uncomfortable wet (hence her saying to try and keep it dry) but that just seemed to dry the top layer of tape really, and there were quite a few wet layers underneath. So it might not end up staying on for 5 days.... I have also been having problems with my hips. Well, not actually my hips, but I don't know how else to describe where it is. The bones just underneath your bottom where your hamstring attaches. I often get discomfort there, and have to pop my hip (or that bone) which is apparently when my hamstring has caught on the bone and I pop it off. That is apparently a not good thing to happen, but I do it most days, and I am used to it. But the last couple of weeks I have been getting more and more discomfort, and it either isn't popping, or popping it isn't releasing it. I don't know if it is referred pain from my back and holding myself awkwardly, or if it is because I didn't dance for a couple of weeks because of my back, or something completely unrelated to my back, but they are really uncomfortable. And when I stretch, whatever stretch I do, that is the place I feel it in, and it really hurts sometimes when I am stretching. I am trying to stretch it out, as that is what it feels like it needs, but it just seems to be getting tighter and tighter every day. I have had to change the ballet sequence so I go into the splits on my other leg, as the leg I was originally doing them on, which is usually more comfortable for me, has more pain in there, and it just hurts too much. I did ask the physio about it, and she just said to stretch my hamstrings, but that doesn't seem to be helping. I really don't need any more injuries thank you - my back is enough, I don't want something else to have to try and work around!

Next week can be a complete week off dance wise. I won't have any ballet classes because it is half term, Carousel will be finished, and luckily I didn't book a place on either of the courses I was thinking about doing. I very nearly did book for the one that was commutable, but in the event it is probably a good thing I didn't, as I think my body will probably appreciate a rest - it doesn't seem happy at the moment. The rest of this week looks to be pretty quiet apart from Carousel, so lots of sleeping and trying to relax is called for I think.


  1. I don't know how you do it! I can't even find the energy for a shower most days. So glad your able to do this show. I'm sure your GREAT in it!

  2. Thank you. Funnily enough I can relate - most of the time I just stay in bed all day, and a shower feels way beyond me. But when I commit to something I stick to it, however I may feel about it, and this show was a committment I made a long time ago. If I am honest I don't actually know how I can get up and go out to the theatre and perform. I suppose I just see it as a responsibility to go there, and then when I am there adrenaline takes over and sees me through. Plus I have had years of practice at putting on a happy mask in public, and I think I have it pretty well honed now. But I do sometimes wonder how sometimes I can go out and perform, and other days I can't get out of bed. x

  3. Congratulations on some good performances! Isn't it fun when things like that come together? I acted in Neil Simon's "Rumors" my freshman year of college and I just thought it was amazing how we all got it together for opening night. Now the tough part is keeping up the energy (but it sounds like you guys are gaining energy!).

    I'm sorry your back still hurts. But I think it's good that next week you will have the whole week to rest it and maybe it will finally heal. I'm crossing my fingers for you.

    Wishing you well,