I got cast! (And not the broken-bone kind 😁)
Next audition on my radar is ballet-related, but I’m not sure when it is. Dates haven’t been posted yet.
Or, erm, pre-reviewed?
Anyway, you can read it here!
This has been a rough week for the show in a few ways (a serious illness, injuries, automotive shenanigans), so it’s heartening to see such a thoughtful and positive first look from of our local theater critics!
I got cast! (And not the broken-bone kind 😁)
Next audition on my radar is ballet-related, but I’m not sure when it is. Dates haven’t been posted yet.
Today was a long day: class at 10:30 (with a smidgen of rehearsal afterwards); teaching at 1 PM; suspended meditation at 2; callback at 3:30 (ended a little past 6:30).
Class was … erm. Like, barre was great? And the rest of it was … yeaaah. Erm. I had issues. On the other hand, I did manage one not-very-good triple, and except for the points at which I actually screwed up, things looked okay.
All three members of my Ballet Girl Posse were in class, and two of them stayed after, so we ran through our choreography … and I actually learned all their names. YAY! So at least I’ve accomplished something today. BG was still around, so he ran us through our bit a couple of times, and we decided that we like fourth arabesque better for my bit of the first partnering piece (a series of supported fouettés).
I begged off the last ten minutes of the modern dance portion of the apprentice-teaching class because my legs were a bit angry at me and I was going to need them for the audition. I used the time to foam-roll the crap out of them.
During meditation, I fell asleep. Given that I am the world’s worst napper (seriously, I can normally only nap when I’ve been awake for at least 48 hours straight), that’s saying something. Evidently, I was pretty tired.
The callback turned out to be the highlight of the day. It was more like a dance-and-theater workshop than an audition—we did some partnering stuff, then learned a dance and performed it in groups, then played theater games and ran some sides. Honestly, it was a hell of a lot of fun with a great group of people (both judges and fellow auditionees), and if every audition was that much fun, I’d audition for everything.
It turns out that I know the guy who’s directing the production. I met him at a party (which happened to be at his house) and felt instantly very, very comfortable with him, which speaks very highly of him. Also: proof that my world is incredibly tiny, heh.
We’ll hear back in a week or so about roles and such. Fortunately, I have too much going on to have much time to chew my nails about it, though I don’t have class with BW on Thursday this week.
Regardless, BW gave me homework—jumping rope to improve my cardio as well as the usual Turns Homework and … erm. I’m supposed to be doing something else, too, I think? Fehhhhcccckkkk. I can’t remember. It’s in my notes somewhere.
Anyway. I will miss BW’s class this week, but I suspect my body will welcome the extra rest. The fitness is returning, but my body hates me so much right now.
Two things: first, I’ve had plentiful occasion this week to reflect upon how radically dancing has altered my life.
Three years ago, I had a tiny handful of local friends and didn’t really really feel connected to anything or have any overarching vision guiding me.
Now I’m increasingly knitted into this strange, tiny, amazing world of dance and aerials people as my life furiously churns (ohai, unintentional modern dance pun) towards some kind of future in which dance and aerials are central.
I am stunned and awed and grateful every time I think it.
Second … Well, crap, I’ve forgotten what the second thing was. Honestly, it was probably about class this morning and still feeling like a space cadet whilst struggling against allergies.
So that’s me: an allergic spaceman.
If I was Matthew Bourne, I’d almost certainly write a ballet about it.
The most interesting man in the world doesn’t always fall off the trapeze, but when he does, it’s during an audition … and lands him a callback!(1)
Before tonight, I had managed never to really fall off the trapeze before. I’ve dumped myself off handstand-style once, but that doesn’t really count.
Tonight, I managed to take a legit fall—during my audition.
In retrospect, I made the wrong call abotu my music: instead of just going for the piece I’d intended, “La Mer,” which was a little too long, and letting them cut it off, I opted for “Beyond the Sea” (Bobby Darin’s version).
It turns out that the tempo of Darin’s “Beyond the Sea” is actually quite a bit faster than the recording I have of “La Mer.” I was tired and attempting to adapt, and somewhere along the line my brain decided halfway into an egg-to-pike inversion that I was actually doing the arabesque roll to sit that comes at the end.
Since one wraps one’s arms for the inversion in question, it’s not possible to do the roll in question without breaking said arms. I’m more afraid of breaking bones than of falling, so I basically just let go.
Apparently it was a pretty spectacular fall—and a technically-correct one 🙂 I tucked and rolled, and as a result the only parts of me that hurt are my forearms, which is what happens when you wrap your arms and then do crazy shizzle.
I popped back up and was ready to hop back on the trap before they even had a chance to cut the music (though they did, in order to make sure I was okay). I sorted my way through the rest of the trap routine, though I didn’t do the arabesque roll at the end; my arms weren’t digging that.
Ironically, the rest of the audition went pretty well, and apparently my trapeze improv looked pretty great (the fall was evidently quite exciting as well :D).
So, that’s my life for you. When I do finally manage to fall off the trap, it’s in the middle of an audition.
At least I didn’t fall down during the dance portion? I did fall down during the acting part, but that was on purpose.
Oh, also, ballet was good today, petit allegro was far less bad than usual, and we discussed rehearsals for showcase, etc.
We also had a Physical Theater workshop, and afterwards I was chatting with the teacher, and she said something like, “So, you dance ballet?”
And I said something like, “Yeah, a little modern, but ballet is really my first language and my first love.”
Then she said, “I could tell—the legs!”
And now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to Eat All The Food.
As of today, my schedule officially begins its trek through the land of:
This means rehearsals that end at 10:30 on Monday nights, a whole lotta class(1), extra conditioning for an upcoming audition, Dance Team, preparation for our annual Meeting With The Accountant, and work on the next iteration of the website for D’s business*.
In the interest of retaining some shred of sanity, I’m keeping Modern Mondays off the calendar until March, at least. My primary studio just added modern on Tuesdays and Thursdays, though, so I’ll be doing at least one of those, depending.
I’m trying to keep Tuesday unscheduled, but since tomorrow is the first class, I’m going to go.
For the time being, on Mondays, it makes more sense to take an evening ballet class instead of a morning modern class. That keeps my mornings free for
goofing off on the Innertubes household stuff and groups all the dance things into a nice block from 2:45 — 10:30. (There’s a dinner break in there, don’t worry.)
This is one of the things I’m trying to do differently this year. Instead of saying, “Oh, cool, I only have three things on the schedule for Mondays!”, I’m accounting for things like transit time and the fact that I don’t change gears well, so it’s foolish to assume I’ll get even one task done if I have a couple of hours between engagements.
Thus, while I seem to have once again stacked a lot onto my plate, I’m trying to be sensible about how I approach it.
The thing I’ve learned about pursuing dance seriously is that you’re either up to your eyeballs in alligators—wait, let’s call them crocodiles because it will be funnier later—or you’re on break. The challenge is learning to Arrange Your Crocodiles In A Linear Array. Which is to say:
Arranging my waterfauna is really not my forté, but I’m learning. Sort of.
The frenzy of class and rehearsal is worth it to have the chance to make art and do the thing that it feels like I was made to do(3).
I fully expect to arrive home exhausted at 11 PM tonight. Needless to say, I’m glad Tuesday isn’t Killer Class day.
If it was, I’d make it work. It would be worth it.
Right now I feel weirdly like my dreams are rushing towards me at terminal velocity.
All things considered, that’s a pretty cool feeling.
Though, really—ask me again in March how I feel about my schedule 😉
Here’s a detailed explanation of how my current schedule happened:
But first, Cabrogal over at Neurodrooling turned me on to this really insightful post(1) about how maybe there’s a different lens through which we could possibly view bipolar, which hooked in rather directly to a lot of other stuff D and I have been talking about a lot lately.
Okay, moving right along.
I’ve been at this adulting thing for a while. I’m slowly getting, like, less bad at it—much more slowly, I am forced to admit, than I expected, and also more slowly in some ways than seems to be typical.
I’m pretty pretty sure that’s okay, though.
We all live in our own timelines and on our own time scales. I come from a family of people who mostly live a really long time and often seem to take a while to figure things out. I’m also pretty sure that dealing with some major trauma (or, more accurately, not dealing with it for a long time) set the clock on the process of reaching a kind of functional maturity back by ten years or so for me. For a long time, I was stuck being 14 and severely traumatized.
Yesterday I wrote a G+ post about how I’ve learned to deal with D’s dietary preferences. Backstory on this: historically, he has been pretty into Southern “comfort foods”and sweets and not at all into veggies, and since I can’t eat that way and stay healthy and I’m morally opposed to cooking two separate meals all the time, I’ve had to find a middle way.
The analogy that came to mind was that our life together isn’t a tandem bike ride; it’s just a regular bike ride. Sometimes I get up the hills faster than he does because I like climbing on the bike. That’s okay. He still gets up the hills at his own pace, and I am okay waiting for him at the top(2).
Sometimes we even take a different route, either because he doesn’t feel like climbing or just for fun. That’s okay, too. At the end of the day, he rides his bike and I ride mine. I can influence the route we ride, but can’t ride his bike for him, and the funny thing is that we both enjoy the ride more when I don’t try to ride his bike for him.
Anyway, I’m slowly realizing that same analogy applies to other things, like adulting.
Maybe I’m not getting up the climbs as fast as other people—hell, tons of people my age have responsible, well-established careers—but I’m still on the road, pedaling along.
I’m way behind the group I started with because an asshole threw a stick into my spokes early on, and I had to scrape myself off the tarmac, and then I got lost for a while when looking for a shop to help me fix my wheel.
That’s okay, too. I’m back on the road now; the one I want to ride. And, honestly, if it hadn’t been for for the asshole who broke my wheel, I don’t know that I would’ve ridden my own road. Having lived through something that really shattered my whole life early on has made me both unable and unwilling to struggle through a life that doesn’t fit(3).
Anyway, so yeah. I feel like I’m learning things now that, in retrospect, should have been obvious—things maybe other people learned way earlier.
One of them is that being a grown-ass married adult doesn’t stop you from developing intense and enduring crushes on people you admire.
Not that I subscribe to the philosophy which dictates that marriage should make you blind or you’re doing it wrong. Honestly, part of being human is admiring other people—ideally, people who are worthy of admiration, and not giant self-aggrandizing dicks. Sometimes those people will also be hot and kind and insufficiently whatever-it-is-that-prevents-crushes-for-you(4).
Sometimes, you will develop an uncomfortable and enduring crush on someone with whom pursuing a relationship would be a Bad Idea For Reasons even if you were single, or if you were poly and sure they were fine with poly relationships.
Sometimes, regardless of your best efforts, you will go on crushing on said Amazing Person no matter what. It will be weird, but you’ll stick it out, because regardless of the fact that the person in question “makes (your) heart kinda flutter; makes (your) eyes kinda blur,” it it is really good to have them in your life anyway.
Nobody ever told me that, so I’m passing it along.
It is also possible that living with such a crush might sometimes be as wildly uncomfortable as, say, crushing on your best friend or lab partner or Lofty McPerfecthair was in high school.
Part of you might still desperately want to lay your absurd crush at their feet in hope of (chaste) validation; in hope that they will say, “No, if things were different, we would totally happen, and it would would be awesome because you’re amazing and also really hot.”
Part of you might desperately hope they never find out, because it would wreck you at least a little bit if they were like, “LolWut?” and a lot if they were like, “Yeah, um, this feels too weird. I’m outies,” and even more if they told
all the cool kids your peers or colleagues about you and your ridiculous crush(5).
So you endure, trying to figure out how to make yourself stop having a crush, because it would totally be super weird for everyone involved if Awesome McDreamyface ever learned The Awful Truth(6).
Nobody told me that, either.
Like many socially-challenged people, I’ve learned a great deal about How to Human from fiction.
In fiction, though, conflicts kind of have to resolve. Nobody(7), to my knowledge, actually writes about the poor, happily-coupled schmuck who goes on having an awkward crush and never speaking of it and not even being a total creeper about it(8).
Come to think of it, “Making peace with yourself; learning to go on being friends happily in spite of The Most Awkward Crush,” probably is a valid resolution, so maybe I’ve just missed that book, but if it’s out there I haven’t heard of it. Maybe if I’d read more in the “Written Rom-Coms” or “Touching Stories of Friendship” genres, I’d have encountered this idea earlier.
Anyway, I’m filing this with Things That Don’t Automatigally Fix Themselves When You Turn 18 (0r 21, or when you graduate from university, or possibly ever). If I come up with a solution, I’ll let you know. If you have any suggestions,
please please please for the love of of all that is holy feel free to leave them in the comments. If you’ve had similar experiences and want to to leave those in the comments, that’s awesome too (even if you, too, are right this very moment in the throes of The Most Awkward Crush and haven’t the faintest idea how to deal).
The other one that’s grinding my gears right now is the thing about being afraid that
the other kids in your class project group your colleagues, with whom you’re working on a group project dance that you’ve choreographed, secretly would rather do something else and wish you would stop bothering them and are only working with you because your English teacher is forcing them to out of pity.
I kept feeling weird about inviting dancers to work on my piece, and then feeling weird again when trying to schedule rehearsals—like I was imposing upon them or something.
I finally figured out, as a by-product of realizing that I was afraid that no one would come if I threw a party, that I am still convinced in some level that people just kind of tolerate me because they have to, but aren’t willing to tell me.
Basically, it seems that I’m still convinced that, once people realize how much I suck, it will be just like middle and high school again. No one will want to hang out with me or participate in my projects, because I don’t really know How To Human.
I think, though, that maybe grown people—some grown people, anyway—figure out how to get along with the socially awkward weirdos of the world and how to be more comfortable with their own Inner Weirdos. And I hope that they learn to say no instead of agreeing to work on the project and then fervently hoping they really won’t have to.
So after the difficult and awkward Nobody Told Me That…,there’s this one. Nobody told me that I’d still feel just as certain of rejection now as I did in middle school. The upside of this one is that I think I know how to approach it, now.
For me, the best way to deal with something scary is to run right towards it. Sometimes I can’t yet, but I think I’m ready to run straight towards this piece of of this problem. The work I’m trying do as (I guess?) an artist isn’t going to get done any other way. It doesn’t matter how great my ideas are if they stay locked in my head as I sit here doing doing the equivalent of waiting for Prince Charming to trip over me and decide to marry me on the spot(9).
Given my past and the fact that I’m both shy and still a little fragile in the self-worth department, I’m not going to say Go Out There And Grab Your Dreams By The Balls!
… Because, let’s be honest, that’s not what I’m doing at all.
Nope, instead, here’s what I’m trying, and maybe what I recommend if you’ve got big dreams and you’re afraid they’re gonna kick you in the face, hard:
Get out there use binoculars to spy on your dreams. And then when you start to get a feel for their habits, maybe get a little closer. Then a little closer still.
And then kind of follow them around, so you maybe just seem like a particularly persistent tumbleweed or some other part of of their normal environment.
And then integrate yourself into the herd of dreams, and over time get a little closer and a little closer until you’re standing around next to your dream, pretending to graze (because you definitely don’t want it to suspect anything).
And then eventually lean on your dream and later maybe skritch that one spot right behind its ears, to make friends.
And then sort of wriggle yourself up on its back a little, like you’re just another dream and just cuddling.
And then when it doesn’t even worry about that, just kinda slide up and throw a leg over, and hope that it’ll just just be just be like, “Oh, no problem.”
And then stay up there and ride.
Then if you do fall off and get kicked hard in the face, it’s 100% cool to lie there and lick your wounds for a while.
I guess what I’m saying is that, even where dreams are concerned, you’ll get up the hill when you get up the hill.
And that’s okay.
First of all, um, Happy New Year, errbody. I sorta missed the boat on that one. D and I actually managed to stay up ’til midnight for maybe the second time in our life together(1).
I’m still kind of wrestling with depression, so I’m making the most of the last two days of my
reprieve break from the chaos. I’ve been organizing like a madperson, and also sort of crafting things, because … I dunno. Apparently my current response to OMG The World Might End is, like, nesting?
Although I have never before in my life had the urge to cover a coffee can with contact paper, yesterday (in a fit of covering recycled cardboard boxes to hold things like plastic utensils, because I am apparently That Gay Guy after all and realized I would be more satisfied with attractive utensil-holders than with unattractive ones) I did just that. I had no idea what I was going to do with it, but it turns out that it’s a perfect fit for all the junk(2) that lives on my side of our vanity(3). Also looks pretty nice, actually.
Getting back to class will be good for me (even though it will also kill me, because Jiminy Freaking Cricket, jumping right back into Killer Class is a terrible idea).
This month also begins the mad dash to March 11th. “Work Song” (or possibly another piece that I really want to do, but first I’ll have to discuss the idea with my dancers; it might not be kosher to change horses just now) goes up then.
Also this month, D is taking me to the inaugural Louisville Dance Series performance, and I’m taking him to Alonzo King’s LINES Ballet (speaking of LINES, I need to go pick up my tickets). The day after LINES, the team has a competition (I can’t call them “the girls” anymore; we have a boy now … yasssssss!).
This semester promises to be, in a word, cray. Or whatever the 2017 version of Cray is. You know: wack. Insane. Hell-bent for leather.
On the other hand, if I live, I’ll be going to Pilobolus’ summer workshop, which is immensely exciting (it’s also exciting that I can write that off as a business/education expense—professional development/continuing ed, I love you so much). Which reminds me, I need to check in with ABM about which week she wants to go, so I can potentially schedule other intensive things around it.
So January promises to be a bit intense, but worth it. In February, we’re going to see Lexington Ballet’s performance of Romeo and Juliet for my birthday. Huzzah!
Speaking of which: when my Mom was pregnant with me, she ran past her due date, and was given the options to induce with an eye towards delivery on the 10th or with an eye towards delivery on the 14th.
She chose the 10th, a kindness for which I remain, to this day, very grateful. It’s one thing to be born in a month that everyone hates (poor, unloved February: I actually love February in New England, but here it’s a cold, drizzly misery); quite another to be born on the specific day that, it sometimes seems, half the world regards as Obligatory Jewelry-Purchasing Day and the other half regards as Unwarranted Oppression of Single Persons Day.
Anyway, that’s it. This is basically a whole post about nothing, but there you have it.
Not sure how much I’ll be posting in January, because I have no idea how my schedule is going to shake out (especially WRT rehearsal scheduling, which is going to be interesting, since we’re all rehearsing six million different things).
I will try to post at least once a week, though.
So, I’m writing this at 3 AM, but scheduling it for Actual Morning.
We’ve had a late casting change for Work Song. My other boy wound up with a bounty of work projects, and he’s swamped. I’m fine with that; in the gig economy that feeds so many artists, you have to strike while the iron is hot. I love his work, so I’m excited about seeing more of it down the line, even though it means losing him for this piece.
Last night I asked GM, a fellow aerialist, if he’d like to try jumping in. His formal training in dance is pretty minimal, but he’s a very good mover. I think he’ll be able to roll with it. AM, AS, and I will be able to coach him on technique.
Interestingly, bringing in a less-experienced dancer has helped me to streamline my choreography a bit. I had about five different ideas for the third phrase, and only one of them is something I’d feel confident handing to someone with limited dance vocabulary.
It’s good to work with limitations. They make decision-making easier and help to shape the finished work. Just as the stone tells the sculptor what figure lies within, sometimes the dancers shape the vision of the choreographer.
We should be able to start rehearsing next week or the first week of January.
Ultimately, this piece is only about 3.5 minutes long. The rehearsal process will be less about learning the choreography, which shouldn’t be too hard, and more about making it really sing. There’s a lot of partnering in this piece, though it’s largely not of the classical-ballet bent. GM takes acro with me, so I suspect he can handle it. Timing and musicality are the open questions, one everyone learns the choreography.
I guess, really, this is my first professional project as a choreographer-director. I’m learning on the fly how to cast dancers, schedule rehearsals, teach choreography to four busy performers with very different backgrounds, make costuming decisions, and so on and so forth.
Having done it once, I feel like doing it again won’t be so difficult. The biggest ongoing challenge will be finding rehearsal spaces on a budget of $Zip.ZilchNada. The nice part in this case is that rehearsal space is built in. I teach with AS, and this performance is part of the Instructors’ Showcase, so we will be rehearsing at the studio.
Finding dancers isn’t incredibly difficult. I’ve managed to connect with a decent handful of adult ballet students who want to perform, including a fairly advanced core group. My aerials family is made up mostly of very game performers, a few of whom have reasonable dance training.
I might have to learn how to do fundraising stuff. The internets should make that easier.
I’m pretty excited about all of this. The only thing I’m not looking forward to is the cat-herding involved in scheduling rehearsals 😛
That might not be as bad as it could be, though, because we’re all attached to the aerials studio, and we all spend a lot of time there.
More to come. It’s weird how far 2016 (the Year of the Dumpster Fire) has taken me as a dancer. No matter what I’ve said, one year ago I wouldn’t have predicted that I’d be staging a piece (for four dancers!) with so much confidence.
Gives me something to look forward to in 2017 (which, hilariously, is the Year of the Cock).