Dear Natalie Mendoza…

Natalie Mendoza, the female lead in Broadway’s treacherous new show, “Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark”, was knocked down by a heavy rope the other day, giving her a concussion, and giving her understudy her role.  This is the third major injury to come out of rehearsals for the new Spider-Man musical, proving once and for all that musical theater is not for pussies.

All through high school I tried to be a musical theater nerd.  I auditioned for every single musical Mercyhurst Preparatory School put up (4 years x 3 musicals per year = 12 auditions).  I was cast in ONE:  The Sound of Music.  During the fall of my senior year I graced the stage in an oft overlooked role known as “Wife of the Nazi”.  I took my role on with vigor, trying to get inside the head of Eva (the name I gave her… a little on the nose, I’ll admit, but I needed something in which I could root my performance).  My Eva was wholly committed to her husband and, although she had her misgivings about Nazism, she knew better than to air her concerns with him.  She was strong, but weak in her undying love for him.  This was her inner struggle and I believe the audience could feel her torment when I took the stage and uttered my one and only line… “Shhhhhhh!”

Yeah, that’s right.  That was my line.  Does that even count as a line?  It’s not really a sentence… or even a word… it’s a sound.

So although I’ve never suffered for my art in the way of a giant rope to the noggin, I’ve suffered.  You try shushing like an a-hole on stage in front of the entire student body and their friends and families and let me know how it goes.

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