Monday, June 27, 2011

{Driving Me} Crazy For You

I was told over the weekend that I am 'not a very nice person'.  I've spent a considerable amount of time pondering this, and I've come to the conclusion that it is bullshit.  If I was truly not a nice person then why would Chyken live with me?  Why would I have such great friends?  But then a little voice inside my head says 'If someone said it to you, then it must be true, and if it is true, why are you paying a shrink an awful lot of money for him to teach you to how convince yourself that you are indeed a nice person?"

Confused?  Let me set the scene for you:

There is a woman who is also in the cast of the show I am currently in, 'Crazy For You', who has been in several other shows with me.  Neither of us have every had big parts, we both have chorus parts, and are not really crucial to the plot or anything like that, we usually just hover about in the background.  She is an older lady, maybe 60ish (I am really bad at picking people's ages, so she could be anything from 40-80).  She spends the whole time we are on stage over-acting, and the whole time off stage questioning everyone else about what scene we are up to and what song this is and what the dance moves are and is it time to go on yet? 

All.  The.  Freaking.  Time. 

Never mind the fact that she has been to just as many, if not more, rehearsals than I have, she still rarely knows what she is doing.  And I will just state for the record that this has happened in all the shows, not just this year. 

During the performance on Friday night, this lady was late to arrive to the stage for a song.  Instead of just not going on at all (which is what i would have done, and I have seen other cast members do) she went on to the stage, but in the wrong place.  Which meant the other five of us were also in the wrong order.  Needless to say, that song and dance number was a debacle.  She made us all look like idiots who didn't know what we were doing.  When we came off stage she tried to make light of the situation by saying "Did you like the new version of that song?".  I replied, fairly bitchily, but rather quite restrained for how I actually felt 'No, actually I didn't."

The next night we were all waiting in the wings about to go on-stage and she asked me (for the THIRD time that night alone) if she went on first in this scene, or third, or last, or where.  All my restraint went out the window.  I replied with "I don't know.  It's not MY job to know where you come on."  The scene started and she (somehow) found her way on stage and we sang and danced our little hearts out.

In the dressing rooms after the show, while I was taking my make-up off, she came up to me.  The conversation went like this.

Her:  "I need to say something to you."
Me: "Yes?"
Her:  "Well, I was really upset by what you said to me backstage"
{I just looked at her}
Her: "In CASE you didn't know, I JUST lost my mother, so if I have been a bit confused, then that will be why" (She started crying) *
Me: "[her name], everyone has things going on in their lives, we all have problems and issues, but if I have upset you then I am very sorry, that was not my intention." 
{I then walked away from her and started to get changed.  It was a genuine apology, I didn't mean to upset her, I just wanted her to get her shit together.}
Her: (by this stage, almost yelling so the entire cast was now watching what was going on) "Well, I.. I... I don't think you're a very nice person at all"
Me:  "Then it is lucky for me that I really don't care what you think, isn't it?"
{She then started some very over-exaggerated sobbing and left into the other room, with several people going after her to fawn over her and tell her what a horrible person I am.  No one asked me if I was OK, probably because I wasn't crying crocodile tears to gain attention.}

The next day she kept giving me dirty looks, but although I overheard her asking others where she was supposed to be and what scene we were up to, she left me the hell alone.  Thank God!  Perhaps some good did come out of this and she will never ask me again?

Now, before you think I am a complete arsehole, please know that I do realise, with the benefit of hindsight, that I didn't handle the situation very well, but unfortunately, this is a symptom of the bullshit PTSD that I live with every day.  I have a very short temper.  However, I don't think a short temper makes me a horrible person, does it?  The difference with me and some others with a temper is that I don't seem to have to use my fists to get my point across.  That's gotta count for something, yes?

*Just so you know, I already knew this, as she had been at rehearsal the night it happened.  Why she thought it necessary to rehearse that night I'm not entirely sure, because when my Dad died, rehearsals would have been the last place I went, but, each to their own.  If there is ONE thing I have learnt in the last 18 months it is that everyone deals with grief in different ways.


  1. One person, or even a few persons of an ill informed and biased opinion does not a definitive image of a person make. So no, you are not a bad person.

    So this person had their mother die during a show. So what, Mine did the same thing too. Damned inconvenient timing as I had to get the shots for promo done the next day. I still went to work. But you know what. I didn't make it anyone else's issue. The cast and directors knew and even offered to let me off the hook. And I refused. I was a lead, with a singing role. If anything, my mum's death made me go on even harder and more determined than ever because I know she'd have been saddened that her demise might've robbed me of an otherwise good performance.

    What happens offstage in life cannot and should not ever affect that small window of opportunity we have onstage as thespians to capture the attention and the imagination of our audience, who have given of their time and money, which are two very precious commodities in Middle Australia right now. The least we can do on their investment is give them the dividend of a great night out.

    Now it could be said "well Steve, you've been trained and a former professional so it's different" No. It is Not. No relative of mine would want my grief or suffering to have become a public spectacle or the cause of some backstage tanty. Some ploy at sympathy.

    You handled yourself well Jo and knew when to retract the claws and be empathetic. That she reacted they way she did was probably due to you not giving her the reaction she initially wanted and lashing out to get it from people around her. Such emotional Vampires are best avoided

  2. oh those drama queens shit me something chronic... you handled the whole thing far more eloquently than I ever could, well done!
    I learned a new nickname today: "Glovebox". i.e. they're full of shit and doesn't shut up.
    I think you have a Glovebox on your hands! :)

  3. Great comeback, loved it! Sounds like you handled it just fine.

  4. I don't think you are a bad person as all! Nor a "not nice" one. I have been in shows, and although her constant questioning is obviously a symptom of her nervousness about going on, it is incredibly frustrating when you have your own position, dancing and singing to worry about. And like you said, everyone has their own lives to worry about - the point is the show must go on and you can't burden others with your own shiz.
    Good on you for getting it off your chest, and I'm sure it'll all calm down behind the scenes soon :)


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