Thursday, March 31, 2011
One year ago today, I lost myself.
At the time, I thought I was happy with everything in my life. I thought I had everything I could ever want and didn't dare ask for anything more. And I thought that my heart was truly healed and mended and didn't need anymore attention. I thought that my heart was never going to let love in ever again and find someone else.
But looking at how things changed over the year, I was so stupid. How many times can I say that? But I don't care. I am completely glad to continually declare how stupid I was one year ago. I gave every bit of myself to him to get nothing but shit from him. Of course that is ridiculously stupid. Who else wouldn't feel stupid?
One year ago today, I went home from that walk in the woods with dirty hands covered in dirt, bugs, and worst of all - lies.
But I don't look back anymore at the innocence I lost that day.
I only look at the wisdom I've gained to this day.
First dress rehearsal = Bria is starting to go Black Swan crazy (not really. I haven't even seen Black Swan yet...)
But the first dress rehearsal went really well tonight. I was more stressed out than I should be because we didn't rehearse the 15-minute intermissions of course. And I realized tonight that the most annoying thing about being Cinderella is all the changes that I have to do. I have 3 different costumes, 3 different pairs of shoes, 2 headpieces, 2 different pairs of tights...how stressful! Anyway, I love seeing all the costumes and the show coming together. It's a different kind of excitement than Nutcracker brings.
My feet are really starting to hate me. I was so rushed today about getting into my different costumes that I forgot to put my toepads on (what I would consider Black Swan crazy...). And that resulted in 3 new blisters and blood stains in my pointe shoes. I'm so confused as to how I could forget to put my toepads on, but I was wondering why my toes hurt so badly all of act I...
Can't say "thank you" enough for epsom salt foot baths + ibuprofen...
-Got 4 hours of sleep, nbd.
-My ugly stepsisters are women in drag.
-Our April Fool's prank is going to be priceless.
-My best friends are more black and ghetto than I am.
-My boyfriend is too.
-I sewed a pair of my sparkly pointe shoes during English today, nbd.
-I love talking to my school nurse about my gross dancer feet.
-I got called a chicklet today. I kinda liked it.
Wednesday, March 30, 2011
Tech day number two. And it has been a rough day...
It was literally just a few days ago that I realized that I'm going to need a lot of stamina for this show. Those 5 variations kick my ass, and a person that sweats as much as I do needs time to cool down. And of course I don't. Tonight I got really frustrated with myself. I wasn't feeling very strong, and my toes were KILLING me. And even though my toes were killing me, I had to keep going and pretending that there was nothing wrong. The show must go on - that's show biz.
After rehearsal, Pedro requested to take a look at my toe because with the show in just 3 days he didn't want anything bothering me. And it so happens that my toenail is infected. (Don't keep reading if you're easily grossed out by ingrown toenails/nasty dancer feet...) A few weeks ago, the toenail on my big toe on my right foot cracked, so I cut that part off. And it started growing back ingrown. I kept cutting it out, and it kept coming back. So tonight Pedro performed a mini-surgery in his dressing room on my toe. He got the clippers and hydrogen peroxide. Rebecca (our ballet mistress) held my hand, and Tai sat there and watched the surgery (You know how happy I am that he's not grossed out by my feet? SO. HAPPY. Let's me know that he really loves me, ha). It was quite painful, but the pressure is released. I'm so glad Pedro did the operation for free because a podiatrist would've charged me hundreds of dollars...
Tonight was a rough night for me. But thank God for jacuzzi foot baths with epsom salt...
-Skippy became a Spanish prostitute tonight.
-If you don't know what hump day is, you should. It's my favorite day of the week.
-Pesto sandwiches made by Tai are the best dinners ever.
-I'm not going to get to bed till probably about 4 in the morning. That's how theatre week should be treated.
-Why do the creepy shows about aliens + scary shows about the end of the world always play at night?
-I hate being the only one awake in my house at night...
-Stop reminding me that this is my last theatre week/show with the company...
Tuesday, March 29, 2011
I have to apologize for being SUPER-DUPER M.I.A. lately...I've been drained with final Cinderella rehearsals and the end of the 3rd quarter at school (yes, that means only one quarter/9 weeks left of high school!!!!). But the past two weekends I've been sweating buckets at the full run-throughs of Cinderella. These rehearsals really made me realize how demanding of a role this is for me...or anyone. From the beginning, I knew that it was going to be a challenge, and it would call for a lot of hardwork and stamina. But at the first run through rehearsal - a full day from 10am to 6pm - I was pooped and my feet were barking by 3 o' clock. Of course, I got angry at myself for not being able to hold up for the part. After that first run-through rehearsal, I got worried. I was afraid that now that everything is coming together, I was getting ready to fall apart. My feet were hurting, my breath was uneven, my calves were cramping, my hips were tight, and I continued to sweat buckets and buckets...but I kept my cool and tried not to let my frustration/pain/worry/anxiety show. This is my moment, and I wasn't going to let it slip out of my fingers at the last few minutes.
This past weekend, we had two more full run-through rehearsals on Saturday and Sunday - 9am to 6pm on Saturday and 1pm to 6pm on Sunday (I live at the studio, no big deal). Before getting to the studio, I got nervous again...I didn't want to be beat down just a few hours into rehearsal again. But to my surprise and delight, I lasted the entire rehearsal. Sure, I was shaking from low blood sugar 3 hours into rehearsal, but I was getting through. My feet didn't hurt as bad, and I went all 9 hours on Saturday and all 5 hours on Sunday en pointe. My feet definitely felt the pain yesterday, but it was nothing a nice hot bath full of Epsom salt couldn't fix.
Tonight was the first night at the theatre. I always talk about the magic that I feel whenever I go to the theatre, and when I arrived there today it was completely different. The space seemed bigger and more welcoming than ever before. And I realized that this will be my last theatre week with the company. I had a weird feeling in my stomach thinking about this, but I was still excited and ready to be at the theatre.
The first night at the theatre is always a long night. And even more so for this show because there are tons of scene changes and props that the stage crew needs to take care of need to figure out in the new space. And we just have to patient enough to keep moving along as best as possible.
Overall, it was an excellent rehearsal. The sets are soooo beautiful. If I didn't say this before, we bought all the sets and costumes for this show from Ballet Florida, which apparently went down a couple years ago. But we're so lucky to have so many amazing props and sets for this show because they really help the magic come to life!
I am more than happy to be at the theatre this week; regardless if it's my last one with the company or not. I'm happy. I'm surrounded by the people that I love for hours and hours at a time, I'm dancing on this enormous stage as the lead ballerina of a three act ballet, and I'm just living a dream life.
More tech work tomorrow, then dress rehearsal on Thursday and Friday!
I'm starting to fall asleep with my feet in this foot jacuzzi...
First last-theatre-week-with-this-company list...
-Mrs. Munson (backstage manager): "Bria, did you think the hardest part of this role would be the costume changes?"
Me: "No. But I know now!"
-I have the best quick change crew...a quick change in 45 seconds? Hell yeah, they can do it.
-There should be an award for Cutest Couple on Twitter...and Tai + I would win it.
-The Prince's palace is in Atlantis.
-Homemade meals from Tai = best dinner.
-We girls act like a bunch of boys planning April Fool's Day pranks.
-Sour gummy worms are quite the nutritious dinner.
-Just because it's theatre week doesn't mean that I should put things such as schoolwork/scholarship applications/college registration aside...but that's just the way it ends up.
-Snow monkeys are the cutest things ever.
Friday, March 18, 2011
Theatre week is in two weeks, and I can't help but freak out. And I'm finding out that I'm on a couple of billboards in the city, more posters are being picked up and posted, that there's a whole spread about Cinderella in the city magazine, people are walking around with my face on their shirts, and I'm being interviewed for the city's biggest newspaper. When we began Cinderella, it began with the posters, and I knew it would get worse as it got closer to the performance...or for the better, depending on how you look at it. Here's an article about the Bubblecake event. Enjoy!
click here for article!
Tomorrow is the first run through rehearsal, and I'm getting nervous and anxious. It'll be the first time that I'll be running the entire ballet, and I'm just scared that I'll run out of energy and end up looking sloppy...I guess we'll find out. I'm also going to rehearse my crazy 1 minute quick change, so I can't wait to have the best quick change crew on me once again!
Thursday, March 17, 2011
Tonight I volunteered again to be an usher for the end-of-the-year Minds in Motion performance. Minds in Motion is a program created by the Richmond Ballet to bring the joy and movement of dance to the children. Elementary schools and some middle schools have brought in the program for some of their classes, and it has been an amazing success. Over 100 children were dancing on that stage tonight, and it is one of the most moving and inspirational dance performances I've ever seen.
I've seen companies such as ABT and Richmond Ballet perform, and they were, of course, exquisite. But the kids of the Minds in Motion program just light up the stage in a completely different way. They're taught simple steps, and they work so hard. It shows when they're onstage. All the kids I saw performing on that stage tonight were werking it. And I mean werk. I watched them all get into charcter and have such amazing stage presence.
As we know, Pedro is the artistic director of the pre-professional company that I'm in. But he is also one of the people that help with the Minds in Motion program. Every week, he visits these schools and teaches them dances, then later comes back to the studio teach us. He's a man with extreme energy and a big heart. He's so great with kids, and they all love him too. I'm still perplexed by how Pedro finds the time to do all these amazing things, but my only conclusion is that he's superhuman.
I'm alway excited to help with this performance because it always reminds me that that's what it's always about - the smiles on their faces that bring smiles to our faces. It's all about dancing. It's not about the dance job that pays the most or the one that gets the most publicity. It's about getting out there and dancing because you love it. Simple as that.
Sunday, March 13, 2011
Word on the street is that Heartbreaker has been in town all week for Spring Break, and he hasn't even said a word to me. This is progress seeing that I haven't talked to him in months.
But at the moment that I heard his name, I felt uneasy. Something in my gut was upset at the thought of him being in town, and I didn't know why. I didn't know what to do. I've moved on. I'm doing well without him. I'm doing well without knowing what he's doing and without caring what he's doing. And still, something about him being home for the break was bothering me. And I realized that I was relapsing.
Thoughts were running through my mind of where he's been and how long he's been here and who he's been with since he came home...but the biggest question haunting me was: Why didn't he contact me? All the past times he's been home for break, he's been the one to initiate a catch-up session in which we would talk about our lives (or actually him talk about his "awesome" life and me just sitting there listening pretending to care). And at the same time I was asking myself these questions, I got mad at myself because it's almost like I cared.
And I realized that it's all because he still hasn't given me what I've wanted for the past 3 years: his love. I've tried so hard for the past forever for him to get him to just tell him he cares. For him to admit to the fact that I'm something special, and he can't help but have those feelings for me. And even though I don't care about him at all, deep down I'm still waiting for those words of affection. The words of affection that I will never hear leave his lips. Period.
I'm coming to realize that I should stop waiting around for him to come around because he won't. He's just going to move on and trying to break the next girl's heart. And I'm only hoping that she will save herself before it's too late....
My situation with Heartbreaker has been told too many times, been twisted up around and around in my head and my heart too many times, and it's made me cry and made me have this feeling of regret too many times. So I'm done talking about it. I'm done crying about it.
When I look at him I'm disgusted, and I hate him. And that's the way it should stay.
He hasn't contacted me in months, and that's the way it should stay.
And let's hope I don't relapse again...
Saturday, March 12, 2011
My last princess duty event was today! Today was the Bubblecake fundraiser to help send us to Prague for the International Dance Festival this summer. Bubblecake is the cupcake capital in this area, and it is a little piece of heaven on Earth. Their cupcakes are the most delicious I've ever tasted in my entire life, and their shop is the cutest thing in the world. The walls are pink with victorian prints everywhere. And I was very impressed when I saw a Buddha figure sitting on the shelf holding a jar of candies. Everyone in the area always stops at Bubblecake for a sweet treat, and many of those that didn't know about our event still participated! And we were blessed today with this beautiful weather that shows that spring is practically here. I have definitely missed the warm weather.
The event allowed children to take a picture with Cinderella (moi) and my Fairy Godmother (my girl, Molly) as well as indulge in a delicous cupcake made by the genius chefs of Bubblecake. And there even was the option of getting your hair put up into a perfect ballerina bun by some of our company members. Our usual boutique table was set-up with the little tutus, tiaras, wands, earrings, and even swords for the boys to bring in a couple extra dollars. And a lot of the girls were begging their parents to buy them a tutu and crown to wear in their picture with me. Our favorite photographer, Dan McDilda, was there taking the gorgeous pictures that were printed off as soon as it was taken, so everyone walked away with a picture, a happy tummy, maybe a wand or a tutu, and a memory. I feel like for a lot of girls, this was a really exciting moment. A lot of them were shy when they met me, and I thought it was the cutest thing in the world. One girl called me "Jasmine" and Molly "Cinderella", and I couldn't help but giggle. (If only there was an "Aladdin" ballet...)
All day I asked girls to show me their "princess smiles" and told them to believe in their dreams. And it even meant something to me. It's not everyday that you get to be every little girl's role model, especially at my age and stage in my dance career. I've never dreamt of being in such a position at such a young age and place in my baby career, but I'm so thankful. I surrounded by people with my face on their shirts all working for the same cause, and I couldn't help but feel so lucky. We're a family, and we're always working together. Tai was even there helping out, and it's always nice just having him around when I'm in my element. And he's always smiling at me.
It was a long day. You can only pretend to be a perfect princess for so long, and I could've done it all day long if I really had the energy to. Makes me wonder what it's like to be a princess at Disneyland...
Friday, March 11, 2011
Tuesday, March 08, 2011
The annual Footnotes audition is coming up, and I'm busy choreographing my contemporary piece that will follow my classical variation. This year I will be auditioning with my Act II Cinderella variation and this piece that I've been working on. I've had a difficult time picking a song to dance to this year, and I've switched between several options (some of them being "Hoppípola" by Sigur Rós and "The Freshmen" cover by Jay Brannan - just for your listening pleasure). But just recently, "Gravity" by John Mayer popped up on shuffle on my iPod. I haven't listened to this song in forever, so I fell in love with it all over again (don't you love it when that happens?)
I've titled by contemporary piece "Past". And I'm sure that you all can figure out what past I've referring to...
My past has affected me, but it doesn't define me. This dance means something different to me than any other dance has. My piece I choreographed last year ("Last Request") was based on my heart just begging for time to slow down and for him to tell me what I've always wanted to hear. It's me fighting those feelings but knowing deep down that I'm weak to my own defense.
This year, my piece is about walking away from everything for good. It's about throwing my heart at him again and again for him to just ignore it and stomp all over my heart. It's about this unknown force that keeps bringing me down, and I keep falling down to its clever will. But in the end, I win. I always win. Because there's also this silly thing called gravity. I say it's silly because I know that we all can fly, we just have to stop letting these silly things bring us down.
"Gravity, stay the hell away from me."
Friday, March 04, 2011
Today I got to get out of school to hang out with the cool people at the news station downtown. I went ahead and wore my hair in a ballet bun to school, and I actually didn't get too many weird looks. People actually commented and said I looked "elegant". And I walked around thinking that I looked silly and like a boy with the middle part.
The people at the news station are super duper nice. They made sure that I was well-hydrated + comfortable. I was warned that the hosts of the show were a tad vain, but I didn't get that feeling from either of them! ...okay, actually the guy wasn't as personable as I would like, but anyway...I did a quick rehearsal on the tinytinytiny and slippery stage before it started, and it was really cool to see how everything worked on a tv show! I saw the weather corner where the meteorologist has all his computers and the green screen is that he uses. The numerous teleprompters and bright lights were so legit.
When it came time for me to be on, I couldn't help but put on a cheesy smile. I was so excited to be there, and I didn't have to say anything haha. But I'm a little mad how they cut me off at the beginning and end of my variation! That stupid title screen was not necessary at all. But what does my opinion matter? I'm just there to dance and look like a princess. And they went a little over on the talking, so they had to cut me off at the end to go to commercials. Bleh...show biz.
Here it is!
Wednesday, March 02, 2011
"your dreams are beautiful. i'll gladly run with you."
I have a lover's philosophy. I believe in love. I always choose love. And I recognize it wherever it's true.
I'm not making a decision that is hindering my dreams. I am choosing a different path that will lead me to a different door and a different destiny. I am choosing love, but I can still see my dreams in sight in the distance.
Always choose love. You won't regret it.
Tuesday, March 01, 2011
The thing about making it big, and doing it fast, Bria, is that invariably the first steps will be small and slow.
Which oddly, for many, is the same reason they don't take them.
You know better, huh, Bria?
Huh, huh, huh?
I love these notes from the Universe. They remind of the little things that get to me every other day.
I would consider myself to be a very impatient person. When I want something, I want it now. I love surprises, until they're months and months away. I want to grow up so badly. I want to see where I end up in this crazy place known as Show Business and the Dance World. But I've come to terms with the fact that time will go slow when I want it to go fast, and it will go fast when I want it to slow down.
Lately, I've been having this same conversation with numerous people...
"What are your plans for next year, Bria?"
"I'm going to VCU."
"Oh! What do you plan on doing?"
"I'm going to dance."
"How exciting! Congratulations!"
And every single time that I have this conversation, I always make sure that I say "I'm going to dance" rather than "I'm going to be a dance major". I'm not taking this path to tell the world that I have a degree in dance+choreography. The thing that I'm looking forward to the most next year is dancing all the time. That's all I want to do.
Go out there and dance my little fucking heart out.
Learn more, sweat more, bleed more, cry more, inspire more, create more, and be more.
Eat (those words that you shouldn't even be saying).
Sleep (and dream the most wildest dreams ready to make them come true when you wake up).
Repeat (with a full heart + a clear mind; not discouraged one bit...).