Last Thursday, exhausted and drowning final assignments, I lay in bed and rolled over unto my stomach, only to face a text message that read: “You know pictures are at 6:00 right?” It was our Trxbe secretary, and the pictures she was referring to were the pictures that the Suffolk Performing Arts Office (PAO) takes of its performing arts groups before each performing arts show at the end of each semester. It was 6:04, and I knew better to answer back with a snappy “no, I didn’t know..” because clearly the question was rhetorical. So I rolled out of bed, irritated, and quickly scrambled for my cropped team sweatshirt, and had to settle for a pair of crappy leggings, that I knew would leave my entire mid-section exposed for the entire duration of the dance, because they never stayed up. I ran to the school theater (boy, I sure do a lot of running to places in these blogs), where I had been told that I missed the team picture, but that we could take another. I hadn’t practiced since that Sunday at the dance studio with the team, and I had a gut feeling that told me that I was going mess up in some way, shape, or form, because of it. Well, very rarely does my gut lie to me honestly.
It all started when our music began while the crowd was still cheering, preventing us from hitting our introduction, and forcing us to have to start the track again after the song had been going for at least 45 seconds. Then, my nerves began to take control, drove me right out of our six person triangular formation about 15 seconds too early. After that, my mess ups kept coming, one after the other, after the other. After we danced off stage and headed up to the balcony, grabbed my stuff and left. We were the second act.
I remember my Literary Citizenship class having a conversation about how toxic it can be to be a perfectionist and an artist at the same time. I feel that this was one of those scenarios in which toxicity is evident. In my mind, I had humiliated my whole team, and might as well have been tossed off of the edge of the earth at that point. The performance ended up on facebook, and not too long after, Youtube. It took several phone calls from my mother before I actually began believing that dance didn’t end here for me. Point is, as a dancer, as an actor, a singer, a musician, anything…recognizing the importance of making mistakes will probably be what causes you to prosper in the long run.