mixed tape

UnknownGreat press, nothing but excellent reviews and our house tonight is about…what…nine people? Those of you who aren’t from Vancouver will say “What?!” And those of you who are from Vancouver will nod and say, “oh yes, the first Wednesday.”

Wednesday is also laundry day for costumes so I throw in my blouse and – tuck my show lingerie into my own bag, newly realizing it is the artistic director, Richard, who is doing the wash.

Tomorrow I have a meeting with my composer and dramaturge for the opera, then I clean apartments, and then I make dinner for the Algerians and then I do the show. The artist’s life certainly has variety. The exciting and glamorous is snuggled right up against the most humbling of tasks: scrubbing toilets and hand washing panties garters and hose.

Tonight I stumbled on two cues. Nothing much the audience would notice but I know it’s because I’m tired. I am very hard on myself when this happens. I get a flood of “you’ll never work again-a younger woman wouldn’t have stumbled on her cues-you can’t keep this up or everything will suffer-you don’t deserve what you have- you will never work again. PS You’ll never work again and you’re still itchy and you’re still fat.” I have this tape playing in my head so loud I can’t even look anyone in the eye, I can’t even look in the mirror. Usually I don’t let this tape play. But again, I’m tired.

I drive home and I know I should post a story today and I loathe admitting this day of weakness. Do we really need to hear a woman in her forties talk about insecurities? Isn’t that just darn discouraging for youth and all that? You’d think I would have figured it out by now.

I sit down, pour tea, and replace the “shitting on myself” mixed tape with the “pep talk for myself” cassette. (and yes, it’s cassette, not CD or iTunes, I’ve played these since the seventies)

My pep talk says, “You got a great job in a lean town in a lean time with hundreds of other very talented actresses to choose from. You sang your opera beautifully tonight. Nobody knows you are doing your sexy robot live because it’s so clean, they think it’s pre-recorded and mixed. You’ve just lost ten pounds. You have great lips. Now f’ing go to bed and it will all be fixed.”

Love that cassette. Even more than KC and the Sunshine Band.

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  1. norma

    maybe it is okay to be weak. does it make me weak to just admit i am weak? give myself room when i am weaker than usual? not see the need to judge my weakness or hopefully yours because weakness isn’t all that bad in the end? it is just weakness. everything has it’s bending point. we do our best. and it is never enough. weakness saturates everything. i think welcoming weakness as if it were a sweet four year old trying to pronounce “yellow” keeps it from being so distasteful. unless your weakness causes you to cheat on me. then i have all sorts of judgment. it goes round and round.

  2. Lucia Frangione

    Very wise, (Norma being one of my consistently wise friends) you are so right, my dear. It is just weakness. I love the idea of the little child pronouncing yellow. I don’t mind weakness in others either, in fact, it’s a comfort, especially from “the greats”. To hear “oh, you’re not perfect…you’re human. You feel this, Emma Thompson, and you still overcome” xoxo

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