I had hoped to get a few posts under my belt before I started revealing secrets about myself. But after last week’s confirmation that I have a broken nose and fractured elbow from walking into a wall (more on that later), I can’t hide it anymore. I am a klutz. I am a lifelong klutz. This is my life as a klutz.
As a former dancer, people assume I am graceful. My mom would disagree. From the time I was really small, she said I was always tripping, bumping into things, falling and hurting myself. Why is this? I have many theories.
Theory #1: I have a giant head for a 5′ 2″ person and it throws me off-balance. Not only do I have a big head, I have a double crown which I think means double the trouble. I actually have the same size head as my 6′ 1″ husband. If you don’t believe me, just look at this baby picture. I look like a little old bald man.
Theory #2: I believe I am invincible. I’ve always loved to move, dance around and climb on things and believed that I couldn’t possibly fall. Witness this photo, when I somehow managed to climb to the top of this structure and then realized I didn’t know how to get down. My mom should have dressed me in a helmet and body armor.
Theory #3: I don’t know my own boundaries. Unlike most people, I am not aware of what is around me and assume things will clear out of my way (even inanimate objects). This is especially true while I am dancing. When I was with HT Chen and Dancers during a dress rehearsal, I was so into the choreography that I danced all the way into the wings and smacked head-first into a steel staircase. Why is there a steel staircase in the wings?! That staircase gave me a concussion. Here I am in costume with my friends Melissa, Nicole and Lynn, none of whom ran into a steel staircase.
I had so many “accidents” while dancing with Chen and Dancers that every time we toured a new city, the stage manager would take me around the backstage area and point out all the possible hazards. Despite his best intentions, this klutz still managed to trip, fall, bump into and bang my head, adding to my bruises.
Melissa and I comparing bruises (and that is a leotard we are wearing – we are not in our underwear).
Theory #4: My head is so big because I have lots of brains and am always thinking so I’m not paying attention to what’s going on (relates to Theory #1). While I was performing as Liat in South Pacific, I was reading in bed one night and somehow managed to fall out of bed and land on my neck on the sharp corner of a file cabinet. Never mind why there was a file cabinet next to the bed, and no, I was not drunk. I had the directors scrambling how to explain that Liat had what looked like a knife cut on her neck. This was what Liat was supposed to look like.
Theory #5: I believe walls move on their own and are out to get me. While also at South Pacific, I was rehearsing a scene with Bloody Mary where she pulls me away from Lt. Cable and into the wings. She somehow managed to whip me face first into a wall that the crew had left in the wings. Another concussion caused by another object that was not supposed to be in the wings.
And now we come to my recent broken nose and fractured elbow. I got up to use the bathroom in the middle of the night and the doorway moved. I smacked nose first right into the wall. This is the offending wall – you can see the smudge where my nose hit it.
So what have I learned from my 5 theories? Big heads cause you to fall over, I am not invincible, inanimate objects should not be placed where I can run into them (especially backstage), and walls and furniture really do jump out and attack you.
I thought life on the lake would be safer than life in the city. No tour buses to run you over, no subway tracks to fall onto, no muggers to knock you down. Yet I still somehow managed to break my nose and elbow.
What I’ve realized is, I will always be a klutz, no matter where I am. And I am okay with that. It makes me who I am. And to all those other klutzes out there in the world, I feel your pain.
For now, I live life with my arm in a sling, my nose sloping slightly to the left, but with Lokie gazing at my adoringly, no matter which direction my nose is going. Til next time (and hopefully with no more broken bones)…