Push through. Tough it out. The show must go on. What doesn't kill you makes you stronger. I feel like these phrases, and phrases like them are tossed around often, I know I've used them in the past, but recently they found a new meaning with me.
I was so lucky and excited to be cast as the female lead in my school's winter production. Ma Joad in the Grapes of Wrath, but about a week before we opened I started to get sick. It felt worse than any cold or virus I had ever had. My throat was in so much pain whenever I would swallow anything, even my own saliva that at times I would drop to the floor, and barley ate. My throat was the real issue, but my voice came and went, and I occasionally had a cough or runny nose. I missed school but couldn't miss rehearsal. The weekend before we opened I found myself crying on my bed, worried I wouldn't be able to perform.
Opening day came, and I was feeling better, but not healthy. I cheated as much as I could. I hid cough drops in my apron, bottles of hot water on both sides on the stage and a handkerchief to make any coughing on stage look in-character. Each day of the show I felt a little better, but didn't fully recover until after the show was over. I was worried being sick would ruin the experience for me, but I feel that it taught me something.
It didn't matter that I wasn't feeling up to snuff, I couldn't let my director, cast members or audience down. I had to rally whatever energy I had, and give the best possible show I could. And to be honest, we put on one heck of a show.
I'm almost glad that happened to me. I've always wondered what would happen if I got sick before a show, and questioned if I'd be tough enough to push through. This experience allowed me to realize I'm stronger than I realize, and that no matter what... The show must go on.