All the world’s a stage and we are but players.

And somewhere among the players, there are stage managers making sure everything is in place to make the players look good.

Being a stage manager is a thankless job and those who do it are usually overly-stressed task masters with masochistic tendencies. When everything goes off without a hitch, they rarely get the credit deserved. When some prop is out of place or some light cue is too late, it’s the stage manager who hears about it first and last and until it is fixed. Oh, and stage managers get the pleasure of interacting with players, players who are often something less than a delight to deal with.

Such is the life of the people behind the people.

Desiree Rogers is one such person behind the Person and the coverage her recent difficulties probably have her very glad that Tiger Woods can’t keep his dick in his pants.

There is an unfortunate “uppity Black woman” subtext to the Desiree Rogers saga and I’d be remiss not to mention it. There are some people who are mad that a successful Black woman was stunting on these hoes at a State Dinner in the way that she did. Let’s keep in mind that, had nothing happened, few, if any, would have given Rogers a side eye. But since the Salahis successfully crashed, it is a matter of the whole being greater than the sum of its parts.

But possibly being uppity is a troubling explanation. The angle from which I look at it, as a snob and kid who grew up in theatre (notice the ‘re’ ending? I’m that dude) is this: Along with the Secret Service, she failed in her stage managing duties while giving off the impression she wanted to be on stage rather than running around with a headset looking harried.

Perception is 9/10ths of the law, 11/10ths when you’re affiliated with the first Black President of the United States. During the State Dinner, which is for all intents and purposes a show, two random individuals crashed the stage and ruined what was an otherwise flawlessly-done show.

While this stage disruption was taking place, the stage manager in question had seated herself, taking five minutes to soak up the show as though she were an audience member. Her first State Dinner, a event tantamount to the opening of a big-budget musical, was inauspicious timing for such a move. She broke the stage manager ninja code: Work in silence and vanish without a trace, especially on Opening Night.

Can all the blame be placed at Rogers’ feet? No. The Secret Service obviously screwed up a great deal and heads are already rolling in that regard. But, compared to Rogers, the Secret Service is able to deal with this more easily because no one know who agents are and their whole M.O. is being background scenery.

It’s much easier to assail the character of a person whose name you know and who seemed to want to be a player. I don’t know Rogers’ mind; I merely know how her actions can be perceived in light of this massive Secret Service/social secretary fail.

Fairly or unfairly, it looks untoward to wear a designer gown and be seen sitting among the players while, offstage, a disaster is preparing to spill onstage.

Had she been seen scurrying to and fro and looking harried, doing her best stage managing ninja routine, she’d likely be a non-story (or the questions being raised would be whether or not she’s qualified to do her job. This brings about its own headaches, but gains more sympathy than the ‘diva out for dolo’ meme.)

Perception, perception, perception!

Did Rogers fail because she wanted to be on stage? I don’t know.

But her failure has certainly made her a player.

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