You know how when you say a word over and over and over, it eventually loses all meaning? Such is the way I feel about Hairspray. Not the show itself or anything about my experience, just the word. Today at work, one of the kids randomly started talking about the movie musical version and it took me a couple minutes to comprehend what was coming out of his mouth.
I’ve been meaning to write a final Hairspray blog for the past week, but I don’t even know what to say. How does one describe the most positive, successful, meaningful experience of their career? Not to mention, I’ve been rather heart-broken by the absence of my time on the stage, the dear friends I made, and oddly enough, Tracy herself. I’ve got to get it out now because Rushy gave me until today to be an emotional mess. Of course he’s been an absolute saint to me during what he deemed Emily’s Breakdown Week. Worry not – it only took a couple days.
The end of the show was such an interesting roller coaster. Throughout our final performance, and even in the hours following, all I felt was relief. I can’t tell you how many times I came dangerously close to giving up. More often than not, I legitimately believed there was no way I could make it through the entire process. I had an absolute blast and everyone was so supportive but let me be honest here. That show was hard. I was exhausted and constantly in terror of losing my voice or butchering the words beyond recognition (as many of you know I am apt to do) or just not having enough energy to make it all the way through act one.
We made it, though, and it was so rewarding that by the time I left our final cast party that Sunday evening, I could barely hold it together as my husband walked me to the car. Ultimate meltdown. I instantly missed everything and everyone involved with Hairspray. That was when Rush transformed into Superman (as if he weren’t that already) and declared that I had a full 7 days to wallow. Fortunately for everyone involved, it didn't last nearly that long. Perspective.
At work, I danced and sang and played with the kids with every bit of my being for the first time in months. At karaoke, I sang with abandon and stayed up much too late. When my body was tired the next morning, I knew the most significant thing I had to do was clap my hands and sing about the bubbles in the air. And, best of all, I ate a nice, leisurely dinner with my husband every single night. So, as much as I long for Tracy every now and then, and miss the sweet friends that I made, I know that the next thing is just around the corner. Until then, I will enjoy my state of peaceful relaxation.
Oh, and I got a tattoo. On my foot. It’s awesome.