On Stage-Managing Sadness

Last night and this afternoon, I ushered for our school’s production of “Little Shop of Horrors.” And while it was fun to hang out with Sadie and Jacob, I couldn’t help but feel like I was wearing a sign across my front that said failure.

I didn’t stage manage this show or last year’s musical, and I also had to drop out of the drama and Showcase half-way through Junior year. I’ve become some sort of washed up, pathetic former stage-manager, and it sucks.

There is no way that I could have stage-managed a show, kept up with school, and maintained some degree of sanity. No way at all. And I know it. I know it very well. Showcase this fall was disaster on many, many counts some of which were my fault and most of which were not, and going through it again would create bad repercussions.

Stage-managing was supposed to be something that I did with Cecelia. Something that I was good at. Something that was fun. Something that would make me special and define me. And like so many other things in my life, it hasn’t.

I am inadequate.

I cannot keep up with my peers.

I am not the person I want to be or planned to be.

I am a small, despicable person.

But I am still me, and I still have the future. Years and years of potential. As long as I don’t screw up.

So I try to wrap my hope around me and let that failure go. I have Jacob and Sadie to hang out with. I have people to direct to the bathroom. I have concessions to sell. I have people to stop from bringing food into the theatre. And I find that it’s enough. Enough to pull me through.

When I go back for the second weekend of shows on Friday, I refuse to wallow in self-pity. I have job to do, and I will do that job well. And maybe, just maybe, I’ll find time to laugh without any sadness left in me.

4 thoughts on “On Stage-Managing Sadness

  1. You ARE NOT inadequate. You ARE NOT a small, despicable person. You may not be able to keep up with you peers in theater, but what about your peers that can not keep up with you in model Congress? I’m sure there are some of those that wish they could be good enough to do that.

    You may not be the person you want to be right now, but you are still trying to be that person and to be the best you can be. You are a strong, smart, young woman!!! I believe in you Ella.

  2. I love having you to help me usher! There are so few people that I trust, so I really appreciate you being there. Plus, I love your company. And don’t feel down about not being able to stage manage. You had a great time doing it, so be happy that you had those opportunities. If it’s still something you’re interested in doing, then you can keep it up in college! You da best, stay smilin’. :]

  3. I didn’t make the stage crew for my school’s production of Miss Saigon despite putting in more work than almost anyone else… I can relate to your feelings of inadequacy. However I’m not as strong as you. I could not bring myself to usher for the performance… I was too full of spite to even think about helping the theatre troop. After all my work, I got nothing. I’m happy that you found solace with your friends.

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