By now the entire world probably knows that I broke my leg almost two years ago. And, if you didn’t, just look down a few posts and you’ll find all the wonderful and gross details.
I’m an upbeat person and tackled the return to my feet with optimism and a smile on my face. But internally? Well, even though I kept telling myself that I create my own reality and that I need to see the future in a positive light, there was a small speck in the recesses of my mind that didn’t believe that I would be on stage again.
And, that broke my heart.
I had let go of my dream to be on stage once early in my life. Now having returned to the stage after a long stretch of time (30 years) the thought of not continuing was devastating.
Having broken my leg right before COVID struck put a damper on my physical therapy. So, walking with a walker was a thing for a long time. In fact, my first physical therapist told the doctor that she didn’t think I was going to get much better than being on a walker.
Talk about a sucker punch.
But, dammit, that was not going to be my future! NOPE! If I create my own reality, I wasn’t going to let someone else dictate what I can and cannot do.
My dream was never really to make a big, new career in theatre – although that wouldn’t be a bad thing. But, responsibilities at home are still a necessity and St. Louis theatre is marvelous. Besides, I have a successful business with a great friend and business partner, so, I’m happy with how my theatrical life was going.
But my leg. Ugh
And, with theatre coming back, well… where did I fit in now? I didn’t even think of auditioning until I felt stronger to do so.
Watching audition notices come and go, theatre got placed on the back burner – again!
Then I got a phone call. Would I please read for a part in a musical?
Me? Ummm… I am still using a walker. I’m working toward a cane, but that’s probably where I’ll be when this show goes up. I can’t even do stairs yet. Are you sure you want me?
Here I was – a great opportunity in front of me and I was trying to talk them out of even seeing me read! What the hell was I thinking?
So I read and I sang and I spoke with the director and the music director and all the powers that be and they cast me. Don’t worry they said, they will work with me and my cane!
And, I cried.
So many happy tears. Not only because theatre was opening back up, but because I was going to be on stage again – even with a cane!
Billy Elliot, The Musical with COCA was the best gift that came to me at just the right time, with just the right people, at just the right place. And, I will always be grateful for their generosity of me and my cane.
So attentive. Making sure I was comfortable. Making sure I was safe. Making sure I was accepted. Me and my cane.
What a wonderful and unexpected blessing.
I hadn’t signed up for auditions because I thought no one would want me all wobbly with a cane. I had that thought that my acting days were over – at least for now. But I was wrong. And, really wrong.
In fact, I have had more opportunities present themselves and I am forever grateful. Short plays, one-acts, virtual, musicals. And, more requests to read/sing for other shows. Whether they come to pass or not, I was asked. Me! Even with a cane. Even with a wobble.
And, screw that first physical therapist! I’m getting stronger and walking better through training and water PT.
I may not be able to do stairs very well, but dammit, I’m on two feet.
I may wobble with a cane but I can get on stage and do what I love to do.
Just keep giving me the chance. You’ll see me adapt and keep moving forward! Because life – like a show – goes on!
Carmen is a single mom who acts, sings, drinks way too much coffee, and writes stuff as she authentically navigates life. Sometimes it’s interesting, sometimes not so much. You can decide. But if something moves you, drop a line, share it far and wide, and let me know what you think! Be sure to check out her business website, Heart-Centered Marketing and Business Solutions.