mythoreau (mythoreau) wrote,


For the last four months, I've been involved with a production of the Nutcracker here in Maine. It is put on by a group that touts itself as a community dance company - fairly inclusive of all dance levels, body types, etc. What attracted me to the group, besides the opportunity to dance more than the annual ballet class recital, was their mission to provide opportunities to perform to people from the community. I auditioned for their spring show and was cast as a member of the corps, assisted with the summer show and danced in a modern improvisational piece, and then this year I was asked to produce the annual holiday Nutcracker. Fool that I am, I said yes.

What followed were four months of a thankless volunteer position, untold hours of extremely stressful situations, lost work, and no small sum of personal money spent all of which culminated in this evening, the seventh and final show. I left the theater tonight feeling utterly lonely and unappreciated and in excruciating pain from a hip flexor sprain that happened halfway through the run. I'm not entirely sure that I can briefly and accurately chronicle the misadventure, tempted though I am. I won't try but the maudlin, self-pitying feeling of my last post has characterized the entire experience. I spent a solid half hour sobbing in my car feeling like a complete outcast, feeling unliked and taken for granted.

I am so thankful that the experience is over but I'm fearful that the pain and rejection that I feel will eventually become bitterness and that bitterness will overshadow any positive memories I may have been able to take away from the show. I can't say that I've felt so low in many years and, though Remy insists that my treatment is no reflection on me but, rather, a reflection on the group both individually and as a whole, I can't find it in my heart at the moment to like myself very much. What a horrible, terrible way to feel.
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Sadly, the experience you describe is not uncommon with many volunteer groups-- this assumption that if you're really "one of them," you'll throw yourself in like that, regardless of cost, but yet not be accepted until you've been doing that for years (and sometimes not at all). Not uncommon with art orgs, either, and the fact that this was both? A extra-special fraternity of suxor.

Human beings need to be loved, needed, and appreciated. Sadly, this group has turned their focus for those needs outward to the public at large (and inward only to an elite oligarchy), at the cost of those around them.

You did nothing wrong, little tuna. You just got caught in the net. There IS the right school of fish out there for you!