I don't have anything nice to say about the college I went to. That's not to say I never will. But right now? This close to graduation and leaving? I don't. Not one nice thing, so please don't ask me to.
Alot of this falls on me. The thing about having an eating disorder is you lose yourself in it. So slowly that you don't even realize it's happening. And then you start to get better and you come back to yourself. And it's only in the return that you realize you disappeared in the first place.
I went through school as someone other than myself. However, I was left with enough sense (enough of myself) to ask for help. And that's where they failed me. Helpless were they in helping me.
There are those out there that will say it was not the school's job. And perhaps they're right. But for a school who sends young artists out into a profession where distorted body images are placed on a pedestal--they should have information or professionals who can guide students and arm them with the ammunition of knowledge. That at least.
The school referred me to a nutritionist who photocopied an article from Self magazine and sent me on my way.
The four years of the drama division culminate in an epic work under the direction of a particular director. For our year we performed the second part of John Barton's translations of the Greeks known as: The Greeks, Part II: The Murders. The work consisted of the play Hecuba, Agamemnon, and Electra. I played Hecuba in the first play and then folded in as chorus in the following pieces. Despite my differences with the director I'm extremely proud of the work I did in Hecuba. Despite loathing every day of rehearsal, despite loathing the process, despite a director who seemed to have no confidence in me, I remained true to myself and allowed myself to be pushed in new and different directions.
Ned has never really been present with me on stage. It's the one place he can't touch. He's never been able to penetrate a character's surface and so I've been safe.
However, each night as we entered Agamemnon and then Electra, Ned came along for the ride. Having no real character and no clue as to what story we we're telling (and that was not from lack of trying to figure it out on my end), Ned superceded all else.
Dressed in skin-tight, striped pants and a fish skirt worn as a top, I wanted nothing more than to disappear. Perhaps to die.
And that feeling that I had every night, for the short run of the play, was enough to make me never set foot on another stage so long as I live.
The costume designer told me the director asked her to make me look nothing like myself.
Doesn't sound that bad. We all want to transform. That's what the stage is for. But I knew--I knew the director thought he had me all figured out and he was going to topple my own image of myself.
But my image of myself at that time, wasn't really my own--it was Ned's. If I had any sense of my own image, it was so precariously placed that the director's careless push sent me spinning.
He thought he knew exactly who I was. Truth be told, he hadn't a clue, or care enough to find out.
In two weeks time the third installment (The Greeks Part III) will go up.
I've seen the first. Acted in the second. And yet I'm afraid to go back.
I haven't gone to school since I've graduated. I'm terrified.
And yet I feel I must go and face my demons head on. I know it's not healthy to harbor all this anger. I know I have friends who will read this and disagree with every word I've written.
But perhaps the only reason I am still angry is because I haven't embraced it fully.
So if I return for the one night and allow myself to feel exactly how I feel...what will happen?
Dr. Bob will tell me I should go. So maybe I will. Time will tell.