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"Fascinating" Stephen S. Hall. writer, N.Y.Times magazine. "Hard to put down." A.C.P.A., American Chronic Pain Association.

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Sunday, August 26, 2012


When I was younger (much) I hoped to be an actress/singer.  Starting out I worked in the chorus of 2 shows in a dinner theater.  The pay was less then the cost of the gas but it let me say I was a professional actor.

I was pretty much a namby pamby kind of gal: afraid of my own shadow, wanting to please, a go along to get along.  I was in the chorus, a part of the whole.  I did not need worry about being assertive or aggressive.

The first show was CAROUSEL.  The choreographer, Bobbi, did not like me.  Into astrology, she repeatedly said to me "You are not a Leo, I don't care if that is your sign.  You have nothing in you like the power of the lion." 

She was right.

Another dinner theater in the area and ours were at battle.  The other theater management called the liquor control board and told them we had dancers under 18.  Alcohol was served so all the younger dancers had to be fired, leaving a hole in the show..

I am not a dancer, and I was uncomfortable about and with my body.  Anyone could tell that by the high necked, long sleeved, long baggy shirts I wore.

Bobbi took me aside.  "Carol, since Gina, (the dancer who does the opening, a belly dance) was fired and you fit the costume you are now doing the belly dance."

"Oh no!, no!  I can't do that, the outfit is so sheer, it's totally revealing and, I'm even not a dancer."

"I don't care.  You're going to do it." she insisted.

I had no choice but to don the outfit, a very sheer top and separate bottom that showed my midriff.  I was the first thing the audience would see.

Oh my word.

We rehearsed and the feared first night came..  The music starts.  The lights comes up.  A spotlight glows down, on me, belly dancing (or more like bump and grind as a male castmate said.)

I always felt that Bobbi forced me to do it because she did not like me, which was true.  It annoyed her that I was a Leo but acted like a scared pussycat.

I changed because of the dance.  Being in the outfit and the center of attention for the first few minutes of the show had an effect.  I became somewhat more outspoken, less willing to be pushed around.  The change was obvious, Bobbi seconding it one night, "Now you're acting like a Leo."

I was thinking about this when the second show I was cast in at the theater, HELLO DOLLY, was on TV.

I always wondered why Bobbi would sabotage a show because of personal animus.  It felt like she was not thinking of the show: if I stunk that was okay, it would show me up. 

Watching DOLLY, some 30+ years later, for some reason, the thought changed.  Maybe she was trying to help me, forcing me to become who she thought I could be.

I have no way of knowing, after all it was decades ago.  It does make me wonder how many other times I have misjudged someone's intentions or their words, how many instances where I relied on the memory of what someone said or did, family member, friend, enemy or even doctor and allowed myself to feel the hurt, anger, and resentment again, like a burp after a bad meal, letting the bad taste engulf me.

It is often an issue of choice.  Do I choose to let this person hurt me again by looking at their behavior, rehashing their words, or do I take the opportunity to turn it around and see if there might have been a different intent?

It is said, you may hold onto the anger and other bad feelings but the person against whom it is held has probably forgotten about it years ago and could not care less.

It is worth putting whatever that held resentment and bad feeling is about into another light, twisting it to the right, and to the left, turning it upside down, spinning it around, and seeing if maybe, just maybe, another way of looking at it makes more sense.


  1. Maybe we all just need a wee push now and again.

    You are so right....we should try to look at things from a different view point, and possibly things will make more sense.

  2. Thanks Liz. You never know when or where that push may come from.