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Accidents Happen

August 15, 2012

This post is more personal to me than the usual observational scribblings I do. Quick history: for the past year, my younger sister has been dating a young man who headed out in June to start his training to join the Navy. It was his dream, what he wanted to do with life. Two weeks into basic training—he broke his wrist (which had previously been injured before). He’s come home to recover, possibly have surgery done and nobody is sure what else will be done. His career just ended; there’s no telling if the Navy will take him back after he heals. He didn’t want to do college (he’s a more hands-on than an academic sort of person) and had no other goals aside from a lifetime of service—a lifetime that was just cut short.

It’s the scene from A Chorus Line, when one of the dancers fall and hurts himself all over again.

It could happen to anyone. A singer can damage and lose their voice permanently. If a dancer injuries themselves, there goes their dancing. What happens if you were to go blind, or deaf, or handicapped for life right now? There are many out there who making themselves a career in theatre who ARE blind/deaf/handicapped but I’m sure they’ll tell you how much harder it was for them. I can name only a few roles that could be played by someone who shares that disability—I’m not talking about roles like Nessarose (Wicked) or Colin Craven (The Secret Garden) in which the character ends up miraculously walking by the end of the show.

On a not-so permanent note, we had our leading lady sick the night before a show but she decided she was well enough to go on with the performance. Her family was in town and she wanted them to see her in the show. Halfway through the second number, she collapsed and was carried offstage to be taken to a doctor. Food poisoning is suspected. The show went on—her understudy stepped in and the audience was understanding; this is live theatre, after all! But it could have been so much more serious.

I know a dead artist’s work is more valuable but it’s the living artist who has to make the work. Go home, drink some tea, go for a walk, just take care of yourselves. Prevention’s the so-called best cure. And for when prevention fails, look into doing art for local healthcare (google it and tell me, is this legitimate? Because if so, I think it’s an incredible idea).

I’m not sure what he will end up doing now. Maybe he’ll recover and go right back to training. Maybe he’ll have to find something new for himself to do. Only time will tell. Maybe when I cross the street on my way to work today, I’ll get hit by a bus and never walk again. But the fear of getting hit by a bus can’t keep me from not going to work today. I’ll just look both ways before I cross.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. August 15, 2012 6:39 pm

    So sorry to hear about your sister’s boyfriend. Scary and crazy life things can happen at any moment, and we just have to hope for the best and deal with them as they come.

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  1. Sunday Summary — August 19, 2012 « The Green Room

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