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  • Writer's pictureJenna Kantor

You F@#ked My Career

[You F@#ked My Career]

This story is meant to educate and prevent others from gossiping about people who are injured.

Once upon a time, I returned to a theatre to reprise a role. I arrived unsure about my ability to perform a particular comedic dance move. My left knee, recovered and rehabilitated from injury, had a tightness that prevented me from doing some things with ease.

I opened up to one person in the cast about this issue. ONE.

This individual helped me brainstorm alternate options for this particular moment that would be equally comedic. Other cast members jumped in to help without knowing the reasons why. It ended up being a fun activity where everyone brainstormed crazy ideas.

Fast forward to a rehearsal day when this moment was going to be practiced. As I entered the room to work with a director I love, I was greeted with, “I know your left knee is bothering you ... “

What was said after that line and how the obstacle was resolved is not the point. I was outed to the director. That’s the point.

This is really bad in the performance industry - to be injured. It’s a career killer. As much as I regularly rant and rave about how it is normal to be injured, it is still something we have to hide most of the time in order to not damage our career. We have to be careful about who we talk to about a tired voice, swollen ankle, or recent back pain. This information, though a regular truth for most performers, makes casting directors not want to use us.

For me, this reveal ended my opportunities to be cast in any dancer role with this amazing director. That small piece of information that individual divulged destroyed those opportunities.

... time for some truth bombs ...

If you are an evil piece of shit, you will expose another performers injury in order to either get ahead or become closer to the director or choreographer. Honestly, I do not care about the reasoning. No matter what, it is none of your business. It is not your body, it is not your career, and it is not your life.

The fact that this happens to performers regularly truly pisses me off. We have to stop hating on each other through gossip and love each other. This love, this passion of ours is challenging enough. Let’s devote our time to gossiping about each other strengths, not weaknesses. Let’s raise each other up.

... and if you know someone in your cast is struggling with an injury (like many others), do the right thing and shut the f@#k up.

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