"bria! there's a long line of people in the front waiting to take a picture with you!"
It's over. It's over........
Becoming a part of this company, I never saw this moment. Right now. Never in a million years did I ever picture myself being the one that all the younger girls would be crying about at the end of the show when the curtain went down. I thought that I would be strong enough to not cry. But I did. We all did. We started crying even when the curtain was still up. The seniors were all standing in a row for bows, and Pedro walked onstage with a bouquet of roses for my best friend (the Sugar Plum Fairy). And the way he looked at her, the way he looked at all of us, made us all tear up right there in front of the entire audience. We did the final bow with tears rolling down our faces but with smiles. It was such an amazing night.
The day started earlier than planned because we had to re-space Snow. A girl jumped into a completely new spot for her to take the place of the girl that got hurt yesterday (she's doing fine. She's in a brace and on crutches. She'll be seeing a doctor within the next week or so, and she half-heartedly happily watched from the audience this evening). Thankfully, the Snow scene is something that has been the same since the beginning of time, so she learned it in a matter of a few runs and approximately an hour of rehearsal. Doing the warm-up this morning, I looked around at everyone, and I could see it - we were tired. We've had a long week. We didn't want to be tired, but we just were. The stage floor is hard, and our shins hurt. Our faces were dry from all the stage make-up. Despite all of that, we had to keep the energy up. The audience wasn't going to pay money to see us all be tired onstage. So we perked it up and got ready for one last bangin' Nutcracker show.
I was praying that history wouldn't repeat itself today...in the past I've fallen and messed up miserably during the Sunday show. I've tripped and fallen practically on my face. I messed up some steps. I did 4 less fouettes than I was supposed to. For some reason, the Sunday show was never a good show for me, but this year I was determined to make sure that didn't happen. I said double the number of "I'm fearless"-es than I normally do and caressed the floor the best that I could (me and my strange rituals) just so that I wouldn't mess up the last show of my senior Nutcracker. And just like I prayed, nothing went wrong. Like I said earlier this week, for some reason, this year's Nutcracker is super magical!
After we all wiped our tears from our senior moment onstage, we all continued on to the parade. The Executive Director on the board of the company came running to me and said, "Bria! There's a long line of people waiting in the front waiting to take a picture with you!" And I couldn't believe it. Tai happily followed me to the front to see the little girls and boys waiting for me. It's a strange feeling knowing that these people don't know me at all, yet they liked me as if they knew me. People told me things that made me nearly tear up. Every single year I'm reminded why I do this. As dancers, we have to make our audience feel something. The number of autographs and pictures from year to year don't matter at all. It's the little things that people say when they shake my hand and whisper in my ear. They mean the world to me.
I really hate to say goodbye to this year's Nutcracker. It's been one hell of a ride and probably one of the best.
Thanks for being good to me, Nutcracker 2010. Hugs and kisses. Farewell...