My old high school theater teacher is now on Facebook! Diana Hegel, or DH as we always called her, was one of those teachers that you just liked. It could have been that she always expected us to rise to the level of how things were done in the professional theater, it may have been that she actually respected us. Or possibly it was her knack of making us all see ourselves as a group, a team. No matter the reason she was a teacher all the kids, not just the drama jocks, adored.
DH has been a busy bee, posting all her cast photos going back to her first year teaching, including some pictures I’m sure Eric Szmanda would rather her burn.
Looking back on those old cast photos has been a lot of fun, seeing those old faces that now look so young I realize just what kids we were.
I wish I could say the trip down memory lane has been all fun for me, but some old insecurities loom after all these years. When I look at the cast photos I’m there with the girls, but I can see I’m not a part of them. I realize, I never really was. Sure, we all hung out but often times I was excluded from the parties. At the time I always acted like I didn’t much care, but of course I did.
What still sticks the worst though, is my senior year. I never got on stage, or really in the crew. I wasn’t cast or crewed in the One Act that went to Steven’s Point that year. I didn’t get into the fall play and for the spring I was the house manager. That mean I showed up on read through and opening night. I never asked DH why, still won’t for that matter. I knew then it was because I didn’t fit. I hate to say it, but after that year I stopped auditioning except one last shot in college when I tried out for the student one acts. Once again I wasn’t cast in one role. I’ve not been on the stage since then.
I realized, yeah I might not be a terrible actress/singer. I may have some modicum of talent but what I lacked was the heart to keep pushing through all the no’s. I’m not laying my feelings on my Senior year but I can say that was the beginning of the end for my theater days. I miss it sometimes with all my heart. Looking at those photos I can smell the make up, slightly musty odor and heavy cake feel. I feel the shot of adrenalin on opening night and the swell of pride for curtain call. Those things just don’t make up for the sense that I was still an outsider at something I loved. That feeling of looking in has been with me my whole life, even before high school. Of course as an adult I don’t get angsty or maudlin over it, just the same though, sometimes I just wish I could pick up a script one last time.