When the show came back Tuesday night, I was both anxious and ready to submit my body to that kind of punishment… again. Sure I was excited to be back at work, but I would have just as gladly taken another day off when I didn’t have to throw my body around. But coming into the ring at the top of the show, I was greeted with a whole row of people cheering for me. Turns out a lot of the cast from my Philly Fringe show D&S had come to EECD in a group. They had taken a row to themselves, and they proceeded to spend the bulk of the play cheering for me in all of my various roles and appearances.
When I came out to do the complicated, intense match at the top of the second act, they were cheering up a storm. But I forced my mind to tune them out, knowing that it would take all of my concentration on the physical moves I was about to do. Knowing that if I let my attention wander, there was a very real chance that I could seriously injure myself. So I went through the first few moves, but a small part of my brain was aware of them cheering on every one. So when I had a little lull in my part, I let my ears focus on them, and I let their cheers and their support give me a little smile inside. Then I got powerbombed.
I shared this story with one of the actors in the dressing room after the scene was over. I explained to him how I tuned them out at first in order to focus on what I was doing. But when I tuned them back in, I understood exactly why I was out there. Sure, I’m probably not going to have a career in professional wrestling. (Replace “probably” with “definitely.”) Nor will I ever get the chance to be a major sports star standing at home plate with 50,000+ cheering my name. But for this little moment onstage, I was a rock star. And I let that seep into every part of my mind and me being, and I grinned under my mask because those cheers reminded me just a little bit why I was out on that stage in the first place.
And then I got powerbombed.