Sunday, October 11, 2009

a long post in which I say a lot, but there are pictures for those of you who might not like to read so much

This is me and JR. And let me tell you what I like about JR. When most of us would start sweating (or itching if you happen to be me and instead of having the normal reaction to heat by sweating, you just start itching and yes, it's as fun as it sounds)--but when most of us are sweating because we have to call our Production Stage Manager and tell him that we are not going to be in the show that night; and though we have spent all the night before awake, composing a long diatribe of why we simply cannot perform, be it the ankle that was sprained, the hamstring that was pulled, the hip flexor that was strained, the throat that is sore, the high note that is just not there, or some sort of perfect storm that is a dreaded combination of all of the above, we still manage to feel like we are going into a battle lacking proper ammunition and what if he doesn't believe me? or what if he makes me feel so guilty that I do the show anyway and then develop nodes and my whole career is shot--all because when I called my stage manager to call out I ended up calling in because of the guilt?!?!

But not JR.

He doesn't have the time for such rigmarole.

And though he doesn't call out very often, when he does, he simply calls our stage manager and says four simple words.

Guilt free.

Excuse free.

Must be nice.

The words, you wonder?

I ain't coming in.

And there you go, easy-peesy, get her done. And I am pretty sure he's not sweating or itching but simply drawing a bath and looking forward to whatever book he's reading that night.

Like I said, must be nice.


Now, I bet you think that the cast of A Chorus Line spends all our time at opening night parties and blah blah blah.

This is just not true.

Sometimes we go to birthday parties too.

And tonight there was a fun one with a MadMen theme and we were all encouraged to dress the part.

I like our color scheme, too. We make a nice palette.

And here I am with Ian.
Now let me be a little bit honest and tell you that I am going through a hard time right now. Being totally honest would be telling you that I crapped my pants in first grade, and not knowing what else to do, just walked around in my dirty, crappy pants. I then tried to pretend I didn't crap my pants by waving my hand back and forth in front of my nose as if to say P. U!!! and looking around for the offender along with all of my other classmates standing in line with me, coming back in from recess. My teacher, Mrs. Smith, eventually sniffed me out and no amount of avid and desperate hand waving in front of my nose could convince her sense of smell otherwise. She knew it was me and I knew it was me and that was that.

My punishment was a trip to the school's clothes closet which is a nice way of saying Ugly Old Clothes We Keep Around And Force the Kids Who Crap Their Pants To Wear.

It was Wilmington Christian School's own version of the Scarlet Letter.

And the fact that the particular pair of pants I was handed from the clothes closet were not only too short for my long skinny legs, but also the fly was busted and wouldn't zip(!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!), made it that much brighter and more noticeable of a scarlet letter, so thanks, WCS. Thanks a lot.

That would be total honesty, and I think that story is enough of that for tonight, don't you?

So I will simply be a little bit honest and say that I am going through a hard time.

A busted, stupid walk-around-with-crap-in-your-pants-and-not-even-that-could-compare hard time.

And my friends--well, they know it. Cause I've been a little bit honest with them, too, and told them.

And tonight, during the alternative scene in which we are all so worried for poor Paul who fell during the tap combination and oh no! is that the end of his career? and because we think that, we then start to think oh no! what would we do if we couldn't dance?

And the mood is generally introspective and sad and we all wonder how long our careers will be and how, exactly, one measures success anyway and since you might not be able to measure it so easily--at least not in the way you can measure one cup of milk when you are baking biscuits--then will we know success when we see it?

And sometimes people cry during this scene and sometimes Ian and I make faces at each other.

Yes, I just said that.
Oops, now you know.

But tonight, as I was expecting maybe a silly face as I looked across the stage in Ian's general direction, I saw something that surprised me.

A tear rolled down his cheek.

And all thoughts of silly faces were put to rest.
For the time being.

And then after the show we were talking and I asked him why he got so sad during the alternative scene, what he was thinking and all that. Cause no, it couldn't possibly be that the guy was acting!!! Okay, it could, because he is good and talented like that, but this time it wasn't.

He looked at me and said, I thought about you. I thought about how you are going through a really hard time and that makes me sad. That made me cry tonight.

And suddenly I was at once humbled and lifted up in a way that those who feel poignantly loved can understand.

And I like the part of the story when friends reach out to me with love and compassion. It does make things better.

Kind of.


jason said...

1) I like Ian more now, and I liked him a lot before.
2) You should watch Mad Men, and not just dress up like it. It's a fantastic show.
3) Hoping things get better soon.

beingawesome said...

Hey Jess.

Sorry to hear you're going through a tough time right now.. count me in as one person praying for you and sending love and well-wishes your way. That was a beautiful story of friendship between you and Ian. Those moments are so precious.

Nina said...

Jess, I'm so sorry to hear you're having a hard time right now, but so glad you have such wonderful and compassionate friends there with you. I have to say though.. you look great in your Mad Men photos... which reminds me of a line from an old SNL skit: "It is better to look good than to feel good." Which, by the way, I don't really believe...

sarah said... look beautiful..i love those pics..i am so sorry that you are having a hard time. you are in my heart and i am praying for you.thanks for being so, Sarah

Anonymous said...

Sorry you are going through a tough time. Prayers coming your way.

Jamie said...

I wish I had something totally inspirational to say or even something really funny to make you laugh to help you during your hard time, but I can say that I am praying for you and thinking about you. I hope you your tough time gets less tough soon.

Mandy and Jack said...

That is so very sweet!! I love this story! And I'll definitely be praying for you.

And the calling in sick thing? Totally makes me feel guilty too. Even though I'm always sick when I call in sick. I would love to be like JR!!!

James Ricardo The Actor said...




merry said...

Awe. That is sad that you are going through a hard time and it is also sad that I have no idea what your hard time is.

kathiek said...

I am sorry things are difficult for you right now, Jess. I hope that changes soon. In the meantime, I pray for God's grace, peace, and comforting presence to fill you. God bless you, Jess.

Jessica Latshaw said...

thank you for all the kind, caring words. they mean a lot, to put it simply.

Mom said...

Thank you, Ian.

Sachiyo said...

Dear Jess,

Sending you my thoughts and energies and strength to over come the hardship and clarity to see light in the place and in your heart.

I believe you will go through it very calmly and wisely.
God and your people are with you.


emilystella13 said...

What a beautiful post. Sometimes the tears in Ian's eyes push me over the edge in that scene....and not to steal Ian's thunder but I have also shed a tear or two in your honor. You are such a light in the company and in this life that to know that you are are struggling is very hard. But I am sure not as hard as the things you are facing. I know you don't like attention for this kind of stuff, but know that you are loved more that you probably even realize.

oh and Ian rulz

Jessica Latshaw said...

no thunder was stolen and I am very grateful for the friendship you've shown me since day one, dear emily...:)