Fumbling Along

November 5, 2010

Just like it felt rude to eat cookies at Judy’s funeral reception, it feels rude to switch topics to a discussion of flitting about on stage, dancing and singing.  In fact, it feels rude to flit about on stage, period.  And yet I am able to enjoy myself – have fun, even – and then feel guilty about it later.  The fact that I am able to have fun at all says that I am doing fine, and therefore please redirect any prayers you may be saying for me toward Judy’s husband, and maybe to Rosalind, too, who was even closer to Jude than I.  But from the bottom of my heart, thank you so much for all your kind words.

So it feels rude to write about my daily adventures on stage, but then I remember that Jude faithfully read my blog, even though I think sometimes it was painful for her to read about all my family activities as things got more difficult and painful in her own life.  And I also remember that she sent me an email two months before she died, after I auditioned for “Bye Bye Birdie,” which simply said, “Congratulations!  I’m so very proud of you.  Love you.” 

So I’ll keep going.

The show opens in one week.  I felt so strange at the beginning of rehearsals – the regular paralyzing apprehension, of course, with worry about Jude, and worry that the director was unhappy with me piled on top.

Our director has turned out to be this remarkable combination  – nurturing, encouraging, challenging, and demanding at the same time.  She didn’t even blink when I told her what was happening with Jude, saying, “When you have to go, just go.”  She sent me out the door with a big hug the night she died, and didn’t mind when I was missing from rehearsal for a whole week.  She’s a pretty special lady, and a talented director.

In fact, I think we’ve got a pretty great show on our hands.  Great energy, great choreography, and even some Broadway-caliber performances.  Yes, I can be a mature adult and say it – the woman cast in the lead is AMAZING, and a seriously nice person on top it.  She’s perfect in the role.  And she has a very compelling story herself, which I just discovered.  But I shouldn’t share that without asking her first.

We’re heading into tech week, and I’ll definitely write more as the show tumbles toward opening night.

When I started this blog and announced my intention to get back on stage, I think Judy may have been the least-surprised person.  Even back in high school, Jude had unwavering faith in my talent.  It’s like she always knew I’d be back on stage and was just waiting for me to figure that out for myself.  She wasn’t well enough to ever see me back on stage.  The day after my audition for this show, I visited her in the hospital.  I told her about my audition, and she asked me to sing my audition songs for her.  She had other visitors besides me, and I demurred over and over, feeling embarrassed, and finally she gave up asking.  I just felt silly – I didn’t sing songs to Jude – we sang them together.  She had a beautiful voice.

I really should have just sung the damn songs. 

Much later, when I’d already said everything I needed to say to her, I sat next to her and held her hand and sang song after song.  I don’t really know if she heard me. 

I hope so.

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3 Responses to “Fumbling Along”

  1. Beth H Says:

    I think she heard you. ❤

  2. kristi Says:

    No one can or should stop living. I’m sure Judy would agree. Can’t wait to see you on stage again!

  3. from the wings Says:

    I think you are finding the thing that she knew you had in you all along.


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