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Wednesday, November 2, 2011

holoblomo day 2: here whatever comes

note: “holoblomo” stands for Horribly Local Blogging Month, my response to National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) that happens every November. The NaNoWriMo challenge asks writers to compose 50,000 words in a month; I chose 10,000 as my goal. Enjoy.

At the suggestion of my pal Julie, this challenge is now called HoLoBloMo.
So here we are. 
As I mentioned yesterday, I am coming down with something, and this is the scary time when it’s just starting to manifest. Is the congestion going to go nasal or bronchial? Is it going to go away in the standard two-week time frame or is it going to linger until Christmas? How to attack? With what to attack? When to start attacking? When to give up on attacking and let whatever it will become just run its course?
Yes. I am a sickness nerd. 

But you must understand that as a performer, sickness is my mortal enemy. Because every little thing I do is essentially an audition -- concerts, benefits, readings, short runs, demos, and yes, actual auditions -- it’s imperative for me to be in optimal health at all times, because phlegm is the cruelest wrench when thrown into the machine. Some lucky bastards manage to never get sick. I am not one of them. 
It was worse when I was gainfully employed in the theatre, doing eight shows a week. Theatres are like kindergarten classes, not just for the reasons you’d think, but mostly because they are petri dishes. One microscopic germ clings, festers, and spreads like wildfire. And singing whilst ill is horrible. I’ve croaked and cracked and yes, even lost my voice entirely onstage. Sure, my husband loves it when the lung goo makes me sound like Suzanne Pleshette, and it sure is fun to humor him with a couple of “oh, Bob”s... but the cons outweigh the pros, big time.
During this time, I became absolutely obsessed with staying healthy. Most people think that Broadway actresses spend their days and their salaries shopping for fabulous clothes to wear to fabulous parties. I spent my days and my salary at health food stores and pharmacies, stockpiling Purell, Mucinex, Emergen-C, Wellness Formula, Sambucol, Zicam, Ricola, saline sprays, neti pots, and whatever magic miracle potion the Internet recommended. I actually ordered things like Lo Han Kuo and Emu Oil capsules. I gargled horrific concoctions. I learned the hard way that too many garlic supplements is not a good thing at all. I sucked zinc until the roof of my mouth turned to tin. I steamed, but all it gave me was great pores. None of it, and I mean none of it, made any difference. Except the damn Zicam, which they took off the damn market. Damn it people, you don’t shoot the damn gel up your damn nose! You swab! You swab lightly on the outside edges of the nostril! Dammit!
If you were a snake oil salesman, you could have made a mint from me. If you had a warehouse full of dirt, and you told me that dissolving a tablespoon of that dirt in two cups of boiling water would prevent illness, I guarantee you that you would have gotten that warehouse full of dirt off your hands quicker than you ever imagined. Such was my desperation. 
And then, one day, I was no longer doing eight shows a week, on Broadway or Off, and suddenly, my colds came fewer and farther between. And even with this oncoming whatever-it-may-be, it has been many moons since my white blood cells have engaged in battle. 
It reminds me of War Games: the only way to win is not to play. 
So wait... getting sick will most likely prevent me from getting a performing job, but not getting a performing job may very well prevent me from getting sick. But I want to get a performing job, even if it makes me sick and unable to do the performing job. 
Do you understand life yet? Because I sure as hell don’t.

And that’s 1161 words.
Yes indeed. Welcome to me.

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