Saturday, December 12, 2009
Tonight was the first public show, and I woke up this morning shaking. I rarely get nervous, but this year I'm more nervous than ever. I always knew as the theatre to be a holy place where magical things happened, but for some reason, this year, it seemed to not be doing anything good for me. I got all my fouettes perfectly in the studio, but as soon as I got to the theatre, they were off like I've never practiced them for the past few months that we've been working on Nutcracker. This entire week I've been doing nothing but pushing myself to do my best because I know that my hard work will pay off. Backstage I'd stretch and warm up as the cadence of "I am fearless." run through my head. I was channeling all my passion and purpose for the stage every moment I stepped onto it. Whether it was warm up or dress rehearsal, yet I always felt like I fell short.
Through warm up I was still shaking from the fear of failing, but as the opening of the show drew closer, I began to worry less and began to enjoy it more. An old friend of mine, Aaron, came back for the weekend to watch the show, and he made me calm down a little bit. He's always good at that. Backstage, as I powdered my nose and got lipstick on my teeth, I breathed. Things didn't seem so bad anymore because I began to believe in myself and get more and more excited. I didn't need to be perfect. But I just needed to be perfect enough for me to be happy with what I have accomplished to be proud of myself. That's the greatest reward.
And tonight, I was Dewdrop. So the best thing I could do was be myself with a little dash of Dylan sprinkled in for flavor...
But I never should've doubted the power of the theatre. Every single step I danced was fullout and most imporantly FEARLESS. I didn't hold back a single inch of my body. Everything was extended to its fullest extent and everything was filled with fluid breath. But the strangest thing happened while I was dancing Dewdrop tonight...my mouth got extremely dry! And even though I came off stage a few times, I didn't have time to grab a drink of water. So I was pretty much dry mouthed the entire dance. It didn't feel pretty, but I still looked like it. My fouettes weren't as strong as I wanted them to be, but I got them better in the last counts of the dance which made me happy that the dance ended on a high note. My performance tonight was absolutely amazing. It was my first real solo for a big show, and I felt absolutely fabulous and FEARLESS. As soon as I got backstage, I caught my breath and I realized that I'm living my dream and that I was breathing out of my ear. It was the strangest thing I've ever dealt with! I could feel and hear my breath coming out of my ear. It was so strange...but I got my drink of water and finished the show in a big bang.
As happy as I was with my performance, I was even more happier to see the crowd we attracted tonight. In all my years of being in this company, I've never seen this big of a crowd. It really makes me realize how much we have grown as a company and made our footprint in this community. The company isn't just us dancers, it's everyone that supports us. And we are so lucky to be a part of something like this at such a young age and right in our backyards. People travel around looking for opportunities like this, and I just feel so blessed.
And through this all, I've gotten so much praise from my family and friends. Aaron and Bryan (the professional dancer that was Nutcracker Prince) both told me that I was absolutely solid tonight. Having those two amazing men tell me that I was great tonight still can't get out of my head. It's the most amazing feeling ever. But most recently I've been getting praise from people I've never met before. It's the most amazing thing that anyone could ever experience. And while most people will find themselves just getting caught up in the moment, I take each person as if they were the first person to tell me something amazing. I'm still not used to the autographs or random pictures, and I don't think I ever will. I don't want to because I want to appreciate each person as they see something in me that makes them feel like they should ask for a picture or scribble my name on their program. I talked with little toddler girls to girls that were about my age and even older. It really makes me happy that I can touch every age group there is. My dreams are coming true so fast. But it's only the beginning...
And still, at the end of the night, I take off the beautiful tutu and I clean up my station. And I walk out of the back of the theatre with my sweatpants and glasses on looking like a normal person. It still amazes me how for about 3 hours I can be the most glorious dancer I can ever be, but still walk out into the night as Briaballerina Dorkpants.
I love my life,