Help 2 Sleepless nights and I don't know what to do...

Discussion in 'Chit Chat' started by Callum, Mar 7, 2007.

  1. Callum

    Callum New Member

    I am not sure if this belongs on the medical board or chit chat, so I’m posting on both.

    I was cast in two plays this summer. The rehearsal schedule will be seven hours a day, six days a week. I could probably handle that, except after reading the scripts, I discovered that in one play, I’m on stage for almost the entire time, and I NEVER SIT DOWN! The other play is not as physically demanding, but my character does have a lot of stage time.

    I don’t know how other’s handle standing for long periods of time, but for me, it’s almost like doing cardio. I’m worried that I will go into a flare almost immediately, and won’t be able to recover.

    I am struggling with so many thoughts right now. Will this mean that, yes, I will be cranky and foggy and in pain, but if I keep in mind this is what I love to do, I can get through it? Will it be the thing that sends me over the edge into a “can’t get out of bed for weeks” spiral? In which case, they would have to recast the role, maybe with very little notice? Should I quit now, and never give myself the opportunity to see if I could do it? And possibly ruin my chances of working with this company with which I have a 8 year history?

    And this is what is expected of actors. Why am I acting when every time I get cast I have to ask myself, “Will this be too much?”

    And if I don’t act, what am I supposed to do with my life? I’m 42 next week, and have nothing to show for it, except a loving, supportive partner. God, the thought of an office job is enough to make me want to stop eating! Okay, nothing could make me want to stop eating, but you know what I mean…

    A couple of nights ago, I had a dream – I was supposed to be at this large auditorium starring in a remounting of a show I’d done last year. I had sort of the “God’s eye view”, as I saw the rest of the cast waiting for me, wondering where I was. And then the dream cut to me, standing in a river, weighing down my pockets with rocks a la Nicole Kidman as Virginia Woolf in “The Hours”, and I thought “I hate water. I’m so afraid of drowning. But if will feel so good to let go.” LET ME STRESS!!! This was not a suicide dream, I’ve had no thoughts of harming myself, and in the dream, I had no thoughts of harming myself.

    But I don’t know if it symbolized me wanting to let go of expectations of me, of letting go of my past life, of letting go of my dreams…

    If I had MS, or Parkinson’s, I would have no guilt or fear of calling up the director and saying, “I’m not physically up to the challenge of both roles.” But since it’s this DD, I seem to be afraid of “caving in.” Of proving my parents right that I’m “lazy.” I don’t want it bad enough to put up with pain and discomfort.

    Is this true? Would someone else, with different wiring, say “So what if I’m physically miserable for nine weeks. It’s what I love to do.”
  2. alaska3355

    alaska3355 New Member

    that you could speak to the director and "rewrite" some sitting time for your character? It might make the whole thing more doable....

    Just a thought....relax, the whole thing will work out.
  3. Rosiebud

    Rosiebud New Member

    what a horrible predicament for you. If you 'had MS or Parkinsons' you would talk to the director would be believed and supported and because people are still so ignorant about cfs / fibro, you can't tell him.

    Could you meet with the director and take him some literature on this DD, explain why its so hard for you because its such a fluctuating illness?? Maybe like Alaska suggested get a re-write, maybe you could sit down for most of the time.

    Nine weeks is a long time when you're body is in pain.

    Have you tried B12 injections, CoQ10 - B12 injections give me a better day, CoQ10 a little more energy.

    Goodness I hope you can keep your position with the company Callum, it's not just a job, it's your whole raison d'etre isnt it, it would be like my 25 year old son having to give up music.

    Please let us know how you get on, I'm sending good thoughts from Scotland.


    [This Message was Edited on 03/07/2007]
  4. rockgor

    rockgor Well-Known Member

    There's an oxymoron for you.

    I don't know what your relationship is w/ the director. Or what sort of play company we're talking about.

    Does he/she know you have an illness? You could always say it's that new term "myalgic encephalopathy". "Well, it saps one's energy. I get tired easily. The CDC and other places are doing a lot of research on it."

    Would the company be willing to cast two actors and let them alternate?

    As for having something to show for your life, who has? There are a lot of "great men" in history, but if you look closely, you'll see that most of them started wars and got a lot of people killed.

    Thorton Wilder said there are three great events in a person's life: birth, marriage (or love), and death. Well, we have nothing to say about the first and usually not much to say about the last.

    During one of my hospitalizations in the loony bin, we did an exercies. Draw something illustrating what's important in life. So I drew a circle dividing it into three parts (like Gaul): work, family & friends, interests.

    Of what use is the life of a tiger? A redwood tree? Shouldn't the purpose of life be to live? In "Can't Wait to Get to Heaven" the purpose was to enjoy oneself.

    You mentioned Nicole Kidman. I looked her up thinking maybe she had played Lois in Superman. Nope. Turns out she has been in 50 movies, but I've never seen any of them. You have more influence on my life than she does.

    The greatest Pharoes, Kings and Emperors are known only to a few historians. Most of them weren't very nice people anyway.

    Is the rehersal schedule more strenuous than the actual performances. Will rehersing tell you if you can do the plays?

    I feel sure you will get things worked out. You are a smart kid and sensbile too. Haha

  5. Callum

    Callum New Member

    Some really wise words... Thank you for taking the time to write them. You've been a "rock" for many of us on this board.

  6. Callum

    Callum New Member

    Well, I called the producer, explained the situation, and he readily agreed to allow me to sit on a stool (Thank you to the brilliant Carla who suggested that!!!!!)instead of stand until we start running the show! AND, he will speak to the other director, but doesn't see why that character can't sit at his desk a good portion of the time. AND, they will look at the rehearsal schedule, and make sure that they are doing everything they can not to stretch me too thin.

    This man is one of the most brilliant I have ever worked with; I don't know what I've done to make him respect me (I mean, he has cast me every year I've put my hat in the ring for NINE YEARS!), but I am truly blessed.

    And blessed to have found this board.

    This doesn't mean it will be easy - there will be days, I'm sure, where I'll be dragging and cranky and hurtin' - but now it seems DOABLE!

    Thanks Linda, Alaska3355, Rosie & Rock

    [This Message was Edited on 03/07/2007]
  7. rockgor

    rockgor Well-Known Member

    sound much more hopeful now. How bout putting the show on the road? Come out here to la-la land. I'd love to see you trod the boards.

    Have any of your shows been videotaped? You oughta get some recorded. One of my friends is in local opera productions. Her son sets up a video camera on a tripod and tapes the shows.

    Not professional quality, but still, it's a record. She'll be able to show her grandkids.

    I knew you'd work out something, Old Boy.
  8. hugs4evry1

    hugs4evry1 New Member

    I'm really glad you've talked to the director, and I loved the idea of sitting too.

    Hopefully with less worry now you won't be so likely to have a flare. I know worry does me in sometimes.

    You're an inspiration for us here on the boards, you continue to do what you love despite your illness, yet you're learning to work around it and accept that we all do have some limitations.


    Many hugs,

    Nancy B
    [This Message was Edited on 03/07/2007]
  9. Rosiebud

    Rosiebud New Member

    I'm so pleased for you.

  10. alaska3355

    alaska3355 New Member

    is Carla??
  11. morningsonshine

    morningsonshine New Member

    I really can't see you giving up the acting, and i don't care what your parents say, your NOT lazy.

    You have drive and passion.

    So glad you talked to the director, i was going to suggest the chair thing also!! What great minds we have on here!!


    It wouldn't hurt to work on some of the issues from the past, and replace some of those voices from childhood, that tell us we are no good, lazy, etc....

    I'm reading a book right now that is soo excellant, It's called, Love is a Choice, Recovery for Codependent relationships.
    It's about when we don't get the affirmation, and love we need as children, we continue to look for these things in other people.

    And yet we choose people that seem unable to give it to us.

    I can so see it in my marriage. And it just reaffirms those old voices from childhood.

    For me then the answer is going to my bible, (i now that's not for everyone) and reading about what God says about me!

    I'm accepted in Christ and a Daughter of God. That's just some of what is there.

    What i'm trying to say, is i think "letting go of the past" is a good idea. And sometimes our dreams and expectations have to be replaced with new or revised ones.

    Like my horses that i love, I'm starting to realize that i may never ride and train my young spanish mustang filly.
    I just love her, and she is soo beautiful. But i may have to sell her.
    But i can still enjoy my older well broke gelding. His isn't my "dream" horse. But he is steady, and safe, and i can ride him when i'm up to it. Wether it's been 3 weeks, or 3 months.
    I'm just grateful i can still have a horse in my life. I grew up on them, they are apart of my family heritage (history).

    Sorry to go on so long, "break a leg"
    (where in the world did that saying ever come from??) Just about the worst thing you could tell a horse person!LOL


    P.S. switched my picture from my kitties, back to my filly and 30 yr. old pony.
    [This Message was Edited on 03/09/2007]
  12. Callum

    Callum New Member

    Alaska - Carla is Carla_NL on the board; if you haven't seen her posts, she's a witty, intelligent, insightful, caring woman from Holland. And she suggested the stool (which, when I read it, I first dismissed as not feasible -just shows to go you...)

    morningsonshine - Thanks for the input. I'm sorry you might have to sell your beautiful horse; I would feel so torn in your place. I truly do hope that you are able to train and ride in a few years the way you used to.

    "break a leg" actually does not come from the superstition that you need to wish someone bad luck before you go onstage.

    It comes from the Age of Restoration, where theatre regained its luster after being shut down during the Cromwell era.

    When an actor took his bow, he didn't just bend from his waist, but he would place one foot forward, bend that back knee to bring him lower to the ground, and then bend forward from the waist (a bit like a masculine curtsy). The more thunderous the applause the actor received, the deeper bow he would take, meaning the more the knee would bend, or "break."

    This is what is meant by break a leg: May you be so successful that you take the deepest bow possible.

    Other stage superstitions: Saying "Macbeth" in the theater is bad luck (two possible reasons - Macbeth was known as the bad-luck play in earlier times because companies that had fallen on bad luck would often perform it. Also, there was a believe that the witches incantations in the play may have been lifted from actual spell books (not true, although Shakespeare was certainly not adverse to lifting material.)

    If you say "Macbeth" in the theatre, you are supposed to run out side, turn around and spit three times to break the curse.

    It is also bad luck to whistle in the theatre. This, again, comes from practicality from the past, as stage hands would often cue each other through whistling. A false whistle good bring down a scrim on some poor actor's head!


  13. morningsonshine

    morningsonshine New Member

    I just got up from a nap. I was just going to come back and edit that post, because i wasn't sure how it came across?

    I just know how it is to be locked into a certain box or identity by family. Most of the time i don't believe all those old things put on me anymore. I know they love me, but they really have no clue who i really am, and never will until they let me out of that box they think they have me in! LOL

    Thank you for the info. on the theatre/stage stuff. I find it facinating.

    And, "May you be so successful that you take the deepest bow possible." Is a very lovely explanation to "break a leg" I like that.

    When i was in college i went to England and Europe for one quarter. We read alot of shakespeare, and went to the play house in London and watched, Midnight Summer Dream!

    It was great!! And they did almost bring down a poor actor with a chandalier!! It Just missed the leading girl's head!! She turned completely white, and kept on acting without missing a line!!

    At the end she got a standing ovation, or a very deep bow!!!

    I fell in love with shakespeare, and thought Richard the III was a riot!!!

    Thanks for your kind words, about my horse, I would have to find the right home first. In the mean time i'll keep giving her hugs, and TLC.

    May you be so successful, you take the deepest bow possible!

    P.S. My husband's forty two, and he has been struggling the last two years about life going by so fast. And not being able to do all the things he wanted yet.
    Take one day at a time, and enjoy it the best you can! Take a deep breath, and let the worry go. Yes, easier said than done! :0)
    [This Message was Edited on 03/09/2007]
  14. Marta608

    Marta608 Member

    Oh, Callum, I do relate to all the questions you're asking yourself. Congratuations to you for asking them!

    So you got that parent baggage too, huh? Mine was that I'm careless. Me?? Careless???? I've about killed myself being anything other than careless. Now I know better but it took longer than 42 years.

    I don't know what role you're playing where you have to stand the entire time, but I say you should give yourself a break! Is there no way to even lean??

    And remember, if you decide not to do both, you don't have to say that you're "not physically up to the challenge of both roles", you can say that it simply won't work for you to do both at this time. What IS it with us that we think we have to grovel? You're good at what you do. Be that in your head, too.

    As for your dream, of course, you're the only one who can really interpret it, but could it be that you're feeling weighed down by all this?

    Here's to you!