Yesterday was our Orchestra rehearsal and first performance.
It takes some getting used to, having the live orchestra. Some parts end up super slower than you’re used to, and some end up super fast.
There’s something magical about having the orchestra; these two expressive art forms coming together to make a production. It gives you goose bumps.
Rehearsal was sort of rough for me, personally.
The night before was wonderful, but then ended the complete opposite. I was very conflicted–coming off this wonderful high of good friends and memories, then snow balling into this complex mess. I tried to just let it roll off, but it struck a cord and more emotions than I realized I had suppressed all surfaced, leaving me to figure out how to come out of it all and try and sort it.
I tried my best to keep going, but was only semi-successful.
Thankfully, I have wonderful friends that will just let me be and treat me normally until I am normal again, as I saw at the beginning of rehearsal. When I felt the panic rise up in the middle of rehearsal and I couldn’t find the presence of mind to get through the combination, no one asked questions or looked at me too funny. When I couldn’t keep it down anymore and found myself actually feeling all the things I was trying to avoid, I had people there who love me and would just support me, even if I was being super vague. They were so kind and caring and genuine. These are top notch people.
We rehearsed the Sunday show with the orchestra, which meant I did Rat Queen. As soon as I put on the head and was “alone”–safe behind this mask where no one knew what my face was doing–I broke and sobs were unavoidable. I managed to pull it together to dance, but almost missed my cue with my brain all spacey. I felt terrible, because I made it complicated to partner, but Sean pulled through, supported me, and actually made it look to where no one noticed I almost fell. He’s the greatest partner I could have ever asked for.
My shoe fell off again in the jete’s, but that’s okay.
There was a moment when we were on stage for Flowers that I could see out into the audience. There was a little girl I couldn’t recognize watching the Dew Drop Fairy and trying to imitate her movements. Twirling and pointing her foot and swaying, my heart melted. This is why we dance. To make the people feel something that begs them to dance, too.
I wasn’t able to eat enough to avoid getting sick, but thankfully I’m not snow so I was able to run off in enough time while they were rehearsing to get my costume off before I got sick. Victory.
I hung out with Melanie and her sister in the time in between. It was really fun. Low key, calm–my favorite kind. We got back fairly early for show warm up, which was good.
Mrs. Jane stopped me as I walked through the green room.
She gave me a little red box, which I knew upon seeing it what was in it and it took everything in me not to ugly cry.
She made me an ornament to look like the Rat Queen, complete with Rat head.
I had posted a request, half jockingly, for a Rat Queen ornament, expecting to pay for it but not really because I didn’t know if she would have time to even think about making one. When everyone who ordered their ornaments got one and I hadn’t, I figured she wasn’t able to do it. It’s impossible to find Rat Queen nutcracker things, because most shows don’t have a Queen, just the King. Plus I got a Chinese one last year, so I wanted to keep the tradition. It meant so much to me that she took the time out to think of me and make me this.
Now, I know I’m not the only one she did this for, but she didn’t have to do it for me. It was so very timely and meant the world. I managed to keep the tears from falling while in front of her–with much jumping and distracted humming and laughing–but wasn’t so lucky when I opened it in the dressing room and actually saw it. I love and respect Mrs. Jane so very much, I don’t even have words for it. To have her think of me means more than words can say.
That really helped me shake the funk.
The show went really well. Annika is an insanely talented dancer and person and completely shined out there. To say I’m proud is an understatement.
(there are more pictures, but my phone is currently being really complex. I want to throw it out the window.
I also technically met Margot Fonteyn’s niece last night. She actually asked me to be in a picture with her, though it was more of a right-place-right-time sort of thing. Someone from her family married into someone from Margot Fonteyn’s family, and she told us a few stories about how surreal that was. She also danced in San Francisco, which is pretty cool, and now she’s a News Anchor. Life is a funny thing.
My heart was so warm after the show, being with my friends all doing something we love so much. I don’t know what was different about last night to make me feel this way, but it was really strong this time.
Ironically, I found myself feeling later that I’m just subpar. That I just seem to barely miss the mark to be where I want to be, and always a year behind. I try not to think about it, or let it get to me, but it’s there. And I know I’ll keep growing as long as I’m able to dance, but it just kinda stings a bit.
This is how it’s been most of my life. I was great at theatre as a kid, but didn’t have the connections to be put into anything when I got into public school like the other kids. Instead, I was the “responsible one” so I wouldn’t get cast in the plays so I could assist the director. Which is cool, but sucks. Sometimes it happens in dance since I’m the one that’s good with kids. Like. Okay, cool. And I love them. But still. But honestly, I don’t know if my dancing is enough to move past that anyway. I’m not really anyone that stands out. I hardly blend in. And I’m grateful to be dancing, and sometimes it is a huge fight with all the opposition I have and my new job makes me terrified that I won’t be able to dance as much, but I still try. I do what I can. I just wish I could do more. I wish I didn’t have to sit out so much because of things I can’t control. I wish I could properly learn these moves expected of me so I could do them, even though it seems the other girls can bs their way through and figure it out on their own. I don’t know that I’ll get to be a swan. And that makes me really sad. But I have to accept the reality; that more than likely I’ll just miss the mark.
In the midst of feeling this, my friend told me of a really nice thing her boyfriend commented on while watching the show. It made me feel like I’m not foolish to keep pursuing this thing that I love, even though it “doesn’t do anything for me” and “won’t get me anywhere.” I can’t make a career out of it, It’ll never be the thing that pays the bills.
The reality of life is kind of upsetting right now, even though I have a good life. I feel selfish and stupid saying that, but my heart feels like its wings are clipped, and that leaves me feeling empty. I don’t want to just be suffocated by life demands. I want to feel alive. I want to really live.
I’m insanely grateful for the wonderful people I have in my laugh. The ones that make me laugh until I sound like a dying goose; the ones that listen to me when I’m really upset about things I can’t control; the ones that comfort me without even realizing how healing it is to me; the ones who love and support me–subpar and all.
This is my family.
These are the ones that have my heart.
This is what it means to be loved.