Life advice from a 90 year old? I’ll take it.
Backstory blog can be found here.
1. Life isn’t fair, but it’s still good.
Since the start of December, I have been learning the words, songs, dances and blocking to play Aladdin in the Griffin Players‘ pop up panto, a one off day of shows for the families of a local company. The chap who played him in the main family panto wasn’t available on the planned show date and I was delighted to be asked to step in.
It was great. I’ve never played a lead in a panto. I’ve played the comedy lead over and over, which I adore. But the romantic lead? I’ve neither the look or the grace for it. But somehow, we made it work, and rehearsals were brilliant. Full of laughs and I finally got to sing a solo, something unheard of since the days of Anything Goes (2007?).
The night before the panto I was struck down with the norovirus. When it hit me at 5am that I wouldn’t be able to do the show despite all the hard work, I was absolutely gutted. Gutted for letting down the cast, gutted for giving the director a horrid task the morning of the show, and gutted to have had the opportunity taken away from me.
A knight in shining armour made it to the venue with 15 minutes to spare before the first show and played Aladdin with script in hand to an amazed audience and a grateful cast. The shows went down brilliantly – the Griffins have been asked back next year – and the day was saved. Meanwhile, I was – well, you know – for the next three days.
So that’s the “life isn’t fair” bit. But it’s still good.
It gave me an enforced rest break in these months of rehearsals/visits/work/being a mummy. As a friend pointed out, while it was cruel to have put in all that work and then fall ill, it gave me a chance to remember what it’s like to be on a stage. To sing. To learn a dance routine. It stopped me from going too rusty. It reminded me how much fun it is to be part of a cast family again.
And you know what? It’s still good.