Saturday, January 8, 2011

Another farewell

At the high school where I teach, I'm also the set designer and the lighting designer for the Really Big Shows.

I've had a lot -- a lot -- of fun doing this.

And except for one show (the student who designed the lights ran them by himself), for the past ten years I've "called the show." I wore the headset, I told the spotlight operators what to do, I told the light-board operator when to hit the "go" button.

I've had a lot -- a lot -- of fun doing this.

This year, we added a new person in the theater department, and somehow... calling the show got assigned to her. I "get" to play in the pit.

Do I have anything against this? Well, she is in the theater department. I am a percussionist. I still get to design the show, but somehow, when I went to the kickoff meeting, I found that calling the show had fallen to her.

And the more I think about it... the more I have to say, that's how it has to be. For the good of the show.

I had a flash of "What am I, chopped liver? I've been doing this for ten years? Why am I suddenly not doing it? Why do I not deserve it, after doing it for ten years, and doing things that nobody else has ever been able to do?"

And then I thought... well, I do have this whole MS thing going, I am spending my days in a powered wheelchair... I am having a hard time "keeping all the balls in the air," I've always been a better single-tasker than a multi-tasker, and when you're on the headset, God only knows what you may have to deal with. And truthfully, I don't think I'm the person to handle that sort of thing right now (I'd like to say "any more," but let's stay with "right now").

This is hard. On the one hand, being barraged with chaos can actually be painful, nowadays, so it's probably safer for me to be in a less barrage-vulnerable position. On the other hand, it's something that I have really enjoyed doing, and the students who have worked with me on the headsets--we've become quite the team, and we love working together. I think it'd actually be better for her to do it, and for me to play in the pit because the number of "unexpecteds" I'll have to field will be very, very low. So for the good of the show, I have to say goodbye to that.

Usually, on the one hand, there's a good option, and the other hand, there's a bad one. This time, there's a bad option in each hand, and the only correct answer is to open my hands and let them go.

MS teaches you lessons you need to know. Whether you want to be taught those lessons right now... well, maybe you need to deal with that, too.

Oh well.

1 comment:

Muffie said...

"...the only correct answer is to open my hands and let them go." So simple, yet so profound.
I feel so badly for you, and I understand the way you are feeling. When it happened to me on 2 occasions, I felt so not-wanted, not-needed anymore. Then someone said that people were trying to help me, knowing I wouldn't abandon my position, and I was getting weaker.
I'm sure it's the same for you, but you have such a good attitude. Good luck in the pit, and I hope the show goes well.