Wizard of Oz–Beeville

Occasionally, our company will take our show on the road for an extra performance in a town called Beeville; about an hour away. It doesn’t happen every year, but this year we were given the opportunity.

I found out quickly that this is met with many complaints; some logical, some unnecessary.
See, the stage is smaller. Like. Baby sized, but the seating is pretty decent. The backstage is tiny and complicated, but operable. The lights are limited. We had to adjust a bunch of things to make it work, but we definitely made it work.

And honestly, what a cool opportunity.
I had heard that the audiences here were always wonderful, and this one didn’t disappoint.
There were times when the wicked witch would come out, and you could hear gasps from the front row. It was amazing to be there and realize that you were becoming part of someone’s memory. That this isn’t just about you, but about portraying something to these people; making them feel something.
We are telling a story, inspiring dreams.
You just can’t feel that from a big auditorium.

One of the backstage helpers commented on how beautifully different this made the show. That you feel the connection with them.
They also don’t get the opportunity to have a real ballet to come all that often. There’s something about taking the show on the road that makes you feel alive and remember why you love doing what you do.

So. Beeville show. How do you even begin to explain Beeville show?
(and now I’m quoting Mean Girls in my head. anyway. :D)
I’m going to attempt my best.

It began with arriving and getting to spend time with dear friends as we watched other friends run their scenes on the stage. I really enjoyed getting to spend time with these people so dear to me.
I took a look around me and realized how amazing it is to have be here, now, with these people.

When I went back into the gym, Some of my favorite munchkins came up to me with this

It’s a drawing that Judy did of four of my munchkin babies. (Dude. Seriously. this girl has mad drawing skills.) And she had them all sign it for me 🙂 It meant so much more to me than I could ever express. I cherish these girls so much.
We did our first run through out of order, trying to work with the ones that needed the most time first. We did the Winkie Guards and the finale and got it all set. I took the typical inventory of Crows to make sure I wouldn’t have to dance it, when I realized one was missing. I asked Mrs. Alex, and she said she hadn’t seen her either. I asked the rest of the Crows and they said she had text one of the dancers saying she was either going to be late or not make the rehearsal.
We were about to do the show from beginning to end to get it all worked out before the performance at 7, so I went to ask Mrs. Julie what I should do. 
I didn’t even get to finish my sentence when she said, “You’re a crow. Any other questions?”
I can’t properly describe how elated I felt inside, but also how difficult it was to keep myself composed until I was back into the gym. 
I get to be a crow? Really? And no one is sick or hurt or anything? I get to do this, I really get to do this? 
I tried to not get my hopes up in case everything changed. It’s possible she could show up and then everything will change. But one thing is certain.
I at least get one more time.
On a stage.
With these girls.
In this dance I love so much. 
I walked back to the gym with the other girl that went with me to ask and when we got back to the locker rooms we were using as dressing rooms, all the older girls in there were asking what happened. When we told them what Mrs. Julie said, they burst out in applause and cheers. They were so happy for me! Some of these girls I only knew in passing, and they were so happy for me. I can’t even express what I felt. How was this happening to me? How was such a good thing happening to me? 
So I went back in the auditorium with my camera to watch before we went on. I didn’t want to be late since it had been a while since I danced Crows. I wanted to be ready. Adrienne helped me go over which direction this part was since I had done both and wanted to make sure I got it right. 
We ran it, and it was the first time I did the entire thing correctly! I think I got it right a couple times at the beginning when we were still running at the studio, but never this side of the role. I always switched something. I got off stage elated, then went back into the chairs where my friends were and where I had left my camera with them. 
Abby managed to get some great pictures of us, even with the rough lighting. Here’s a favorite
I think there was a better one. But it’s hard to see on the little clip. Anyway. It’s what I call “the fish.” hahaha.
I got to talking with Abaranne (sp?) and by this time, the knowledge of me dancing Crows had gotten out. I talked to her about how I’m so used to being overlooked and how everywhere else if you were a good understudy you always stayed as an understudy. I was never the cool kid or the popular kid or the kid everyone thought of first for things, unless they needed something. I was always just the nice kid. She told me how here, they see your dedication and remember it. That hard workers don’t go unnoticed. She and many, many others had told me how they loved watching me do Crows. That I brought so much to the part and did it really well. I told Alyssa how it was such an honor to just be considered among them, let alone have multiple people–and not all of them do I know well–telling me that I look good dancing this part and that I keep up with the rest of the girls who have been dancing years more than me. To hear from these very girls that they liked having me in the dance and seeing how proud they were of me. I would walk into the room to ask a question or something, and they would erupt into, “Hey Croooow! Woohoo! Look at that Crow! Get it girl!” and a million other things. I felt like a queen. Like I mattered. Like I had value. I can’t get over this!
When we were doing Winkie Guards, I caught wind that the girl I was filling in for showed up. I tried not to worry about it, but I really wanted to dance this role. I actually didn’t hear of anyone who didn’t want me to. So after we finished, there was 30 minutes until a meet and greet with some VIP’s and I wanted to know which costume to put on. I asked Mrs Munro first because Julie looked a bit worn and she said, “I think whoever blocked it on this stage is who should dance it. Tell Julie I said that!” So Andie and I went to ask since this person affected 3 different roles. The other two were shared, but it was impossible for the girl who shared them to do both since they were in the same scene. They taught the character role to Andie so if worse came to worse we would have it worked out.
(Oh my gosh I’m so sore. Okay, anyway.)
Mrs. Julie first said the girl would dance the original roles, then Ms. Munro piped up and mentioned how complicated that would be since she wasn’t there to rework it on such a small stage. Julie told us to tell the girl that she would do Miliner, and Melanie would do Emerald and I would do Crow, but Andie spoke up and said it would probably be better coming from her, so she told us to get her and Melanie and bring them back to the stage. So we all were on the stage and Mrs. Julie told us and I tried to just keep my mouth shut and be respectful because I’m sure this would be painful for the girl now not getting to dance. I didn’t feel bad to be taking the role that was hers, because it’s not my fault. I’m just doing what I was cast to do and that’s to fill in when needed. She wasn’t there. I felt bad for her, but I didn’t feel guilty. 
I waited a little as she walked out ahead of us, as I’m sure she was upset and everyone knew I would love to jump into Crows given the chance. so I walked back to the dressing room and was so grateful that I left my nude colored tights in my dance bag since I had considered leaving them since chances were slim I would need them. And I was so glad my character shoe purchase was warranted. 
AND I WAS SO EXCITED TO BE A CROW.
I ran into Mrs. Jane, the costumer, and told her, “Mrs. Jane! I get to be a Crow! The costume has a purpose!” and she hugged me so tight and was so excited for me. Genuinely excited. I felt so good.
I went to get my costume and shoes and tights and everything on for the meet and greet when my friend Lillian came in and told me the girl had left so it was going to be how we had rehearsed it. (This means Andie would need my shoes.) I got dressed and went to ask the girls if I was missing anything and they all began hoopin’ and hollerin’ and making a fuss over me and it made me feel so good. Even the non-Crows. I felt so good. They were all so proud of and excited for me. 
It’s really nice to do something and succeed for yourself, but to have such a support system like this is unlike anything I’ve ever known. It really means more when you have people who love you to share it with.
We went out to the meet and greet and I’m in my Crows costume and so excited. Cloud 9. So excited that my introvertedness didn’t even phase me. When time was up, we went back into the gym and dressing rooms. I got to tell my Winkie Guards that I was getting to dance Crows and they were so excited for me as well. Especially the Mom’s. They knew what this really meant to me. 
We took some fun pictures before the show started with a bunch of different ones I love. 

Okay, so some of these were after this next part. But whatever, I got excited okay?
Mrs. Julie, Mrs. Alex, and Ms. Munro gathered all the cast together in the gym. (Well, all the cast in the gym.) Mrs. Julie said that there were a few dancers that went above and beyond in different areas that they wanted to recognize. 
First up, Alexis and Whitney
These munchkins worked so hard and really stood out. They lead their lines and danced with such passion, it was inspiring. I was so proud of my babies.
Next up was Hannah Hooper

Hannah is a complete rockstar. Not only is it a joy to watch her dance, but she is completely dedicated. She was at every rehearsal and filled in when a Quadling was missing and even got to dance the Quadlings at Beeville. I was so proud of her and so happy that she was able to dance it on stage at least once. She’s the youngest of the Quadlings, being two entire levels below most of them, but she really held her own. You wouldn’t know that she wasn’t right up there with the others. And you never see her without a smile. What a joy 🙂 I was so proud.
Next, they said my name.
Since I had my camera, I took this. Everyone laughed 🙂

This was my view. 🙂 
The entire gym literally erupted in applause and cheers when she said my name. They weren’t even smiling because I was taking a picture, just because they were so happy for me. I got the “Impact Award” and it says, “Given to a dancer who is influential in creating a positive work environment and being an inspiration to others.” It took everything in me not to cry. I have never felt so loved in my entire life. I’ve always wanted to feel that way, and hoped that maybe one day I would, but I never expected this and honestly, I couldn’t have asked for a better group. These people support me and love me and value me. They see me and like what they see. They don’t just see what I can do for them or how they can use me, but rather they see potential in me. They help me cultivate it and maximize it. I have no words to express how truly grateful I am to this beautiful group of people. I love them with every fiber of my being and they each hold such a special place in my heart. I’m nothing without them.

Next they called out sweet Monkey, Olivia

We were the two that weren’t allowed to answer questions during corrections. She got the most improved award and I couldn’t be more proud of her. She really dedicated herself to this role and did her best every rehearsal.

 Next they called out two of the munchkin boys. this one for the smile award for being such a joy, and the other for being such a huge help in keeping the boys in line. He was sick and couldn’t be there, which was sad. But I was so glad to see all these kids get recognized for working so hard.

Some of the Mom’s and some of my friends got great pictures while I was up there, but my phone hasn’t backed up yet so I can’t access them. I’ll include them on a master picture post whenever they do.
What an honor. How blessed am I to be in such a wonderful place with such beautiful people who love and support me. And getting to do what I love so much, and getting to be myself as I pursue this crazy dream of mine. And meeting such marvelous people along the way to do life with. gaaaaaah, I’m so happy!!
Well while I was on cloud nine and taking the silly pictures with the girls, I turn to my left and see a sight that actually brought me to tears.

Mariela came! 
I couldn’t help it, I cried. I’ve missed her so much and it was so good to see her alive and well. And what a surprise! I was really wishing she was there, especially with all the wonderful things happening. It didn’t feel right without her. Then she was there and I was just so happy to see her and she brought roses for all the poppies and emeralds and me. My heart was so full. The munchkins were fanning my face to keep me from crying, it was cute. My heart was so happy. I can’t express how good it was to see her. 
I got to tell Elizabeth that Mari was there and about the award. She was so excited to know Mari was there and doing well and was so proud of me for everything I had accomplished. It really meant a lot. 

These two really have a special place in my heart. One I can’t find the words to describe. They have accepted me and been so very supportive of me in a way most can’t be. They didn’t see me as my level, but as an adult who was passionate about the same thing they are. They have celebrated every victory and been encouraging every step of the way. Having them in these memories is one of my favorite things, on and off the stage. I’m seriously brought to tears by their kindness simply in being who they are. 
It was so cool to have Elizabeth so genuinely excited when I told her that I got to dance Crows, and how excited she was after watching me. And to have her so thrilled for and proud of me when I told her about the awards. 
It was beyond okay hold on crying and I can’t find words  anything I could have ever hoped to have Abby so supportive every step of the way in this dance. From the first rehearsal, and even before, she made me love being a Winkie Guard and even more getting to dance along side her. She made me feel so valued in ways I could never thank her enough. She encouraged me and lifted me up and told me wonderful things she would hear being said about me which hands down has to be one of the greatest feelings in the world. Even just tonight she messaged me before going to bed and asking me about the awards and how she wished they could have been there for it and how I was so deserving and all these things that mean so much more to me than I could ever express. Who am I, ya know? I’m just this simple person who no one seems to notice and these people see me. She said that she and Elizabeth were beaming the whole way home that I got to be a Crow. Like, seriously, how nice is that! Even after the show, they were still so supportive. They care so much about me and I can’t express how much that means.
I started to feel pretty light headed toward the end of the show, but I just tried to breathe deeply and keep my head level. My monkey was overheating half way through so I tried to help her keep calm. She didn’t want to quit, though. Not even the bows which she could have sat out of if she wasn’t feeling up to it. I was so proud of her for sticking it out. Not to mention how well she did! That’s my girl right there.
The whole way home with Lillian we just talked and sometimes just made sounds when I couldn’t find words about how exciting this day was. How wonderful is it that we even have this opportunity? We get to be a part of a ballet company even as adult beginners and with such wonderful people we literally couldn’t ask for better. I was extremely happy that she was able to be a part of the show, especially since we didn’t think it would be possible after she broke her foot. We didn’t think it would heal in time. But she was there and it wouldn’t have been the same without her. It was the icing on the top to get to spend the drive back gushing with her over this wonderful thing called ballet. I couldn’t have asked for better. Lillian is a gem, and when my phone decides to download the pictures, there will be the fabulous one of us as well 🙂
Mrs. Julie is a rockstar and a true treasure. She is a genius in putting this show together and how she handled everyone and everything. A true inspiration. I’m honored to have been able to be a part of this show and under her direction, let alone to now call her my friend. She is a quality person; a diamond. 
I’m still on cloud nine and it’s almost 2am.
I should sleep.
The real world begins again when the sun rises.
Until then, I’ll revel in my one last dreamy night of perfection, squeezing out every ounce I can get of this perfect day.

Wizard of Oz

I’m just now realizing that I haven’t written about this weekends shows at all.

So much has happened and there is much to say, but I fear I won’t have the words to get out all I want to.

Saturday started in a bit of a tizzy. One of the hardest working dancers in the entire company ended up having to have emergency surgery to have her appendix out the morning of the first show. As soon as I found out I actually cried; she was one of the few to be there every single rehearsal and is so very competent and just so talented. Not to mention that she is such a joy to watch. It shattered my heart to know that she had to miss out on the very thing she has worked all these months for, just hours before showtime.

The Poppies and the Emeralds had to have an emergency rehearsal to show the Poppy the dance and the two Emeralds that would be trading it their part.

The show went well enough. One of the Winkies ended up pretty frazzled from the first act all the way until curtain. So much so that she was going to get to be one of five to get to give flowers to the principals, but she was freaking out too much. I ended up getting to do it, which was really special for me because I got to give them to Glinda, who is played by one of my friends. The Winkie they originally told to do it asked to switch because she knew it would be special for me. Such a big heart for such a small girl. I am beyond grateful.

The Winkie Guard mom was unavailable, so they asked me to fill in. Before that, I was running around getting everyone to sign the letters O and Z in both red and green to give to Mrs. Julie and Ms. Munro (which I forgot to get pictures of) as well as my incorrect-sized shirt. Apparently one of the mom’s in charge was panicking because she couldn’t find me to ask me to help out with this, but we found each other in good time and it was okay. The girls are great. They call me Mom which is hilarious, but also rather convenient. I did the make-up for one of the girls whose Mom couldn’t be there (she’s eleven) to help her out. Apparently she only trusted me to do it. She’s one of the quieter ones (well, in front of people. Not if you really know her) so this made me feel awesome. Hehe.

As a whole, the show went really well. The girls did great and went over the parts we had gotten the most corrections on.
All the Crows were there, so I didn’t dance it, but people thought I did. Including my Mom. She was convinced it was me. It made me laugh.

Today’s show was even better.
Before we went on, Mrs. Julie came up to watch the Poppies from this door in our dressing room that lead to the lights up above the audience. She wanted to watch from the balcony, but they had locked the doors so she came up here instead. She let me stand on the little ledge with her and get pictures, which was really amazing. Such a great opportunity. Such an interesting perspective of the stage

The pictures came out amazing. My heart was exploding to know I had these to give to the girls, especially since I don’t typically get to watch poppies and that I didn’t get to shoot as much this show since Winkie Guards was on stage so much. Plus, Annika was rocking it and the poor girl was in so much pain. You would have never guessed it. 
I was giving Ms. Munro her signed letters in the costume room and lacing up my boots when Mrs. Jane came over and hugged me. I seriously could never express how wonderful she is and what she has done for me simply by being the sweet lady she is. I cry thinking of it. So simple, yet so profound. By that point, Ms. Munro had gone backstage, and came rushing back in saying, “Emilee, they’re waiting for you on stage! Grab your bow!”
Oh shoot, yeah, dancing, I should do that!
I run in, grab my bow, and get my keester on stage when everyone lets out a collective, “there you are!” and I hear my friend Abby (the Wicked Witch) whisper from her caped throne, “Don’t you scare me like that again!!” I couldn’t help but giggle. 
I love this place. I love these people. How wonderful to be getting to spend my days doing the thing I love the most with people who like having me there. My heart was so full.
Music begins.
Curtain comes up.
“Look mad, Emilee. Stop looking so happy!” which made me laugh inside. 
The girls did everything the best we’ve ever done. To say I was proud is an understatement. There was even a point when they were a little early on a bit, but they realized it and got back in time to the music and it took everything in me to keep my face fierce. But we did the whole show and it seemed to be done in a blink. As the finale was finishing with the emeralds and characters, I whispered to the Winkie Guards on my side, “Just take it in. This moment will never happen again. We’ll never have this sight again.” They asked what I meant and I said, “We will never have these roles in this show with these people ever again. Just take it in. It’s a beautiful sight.”
Apparently they took what I said to heart, because one of them quoted it later. 
I love these girls.
A bunch of my friends came to the shows, including about half my old studio, (old teacher included!) my mom and sister, my best friend, co worker, and a couple old friends. It was wonderful. 
Lucy and I went to get pizza afterwards which was probably the best decision of the entire night. She’s gonna try and go by and see Mari tomorrow and see how she’s doing. 
One of my favorite things of the whole show was the second dress rehearsal when we were all watching from the audience when suddenly our music starts playing and you see all the Winkie Guards and Monkeys rushing to the stage. Our bows got tangled so I was a little late on stage but you couldn’t tell cause the lights weren’t up yet. It was hysterical. 
Overall, this show has been one of my favorite things I have done in my entire life. 
To be surrounded by people who actually love me for who I am, not just for what I can do for them or the convenience of me being there, but because they value me as a person–just as I am–I’m not used to that, and it’s something I would love to get used to. I found myself crying at the thought of it. Each person touches my heart in ways I can’t find words for. It sustains me when things get really difficult and life gets stressful and crushes my spirit. I can “find my happy place” which will be the memories of these days.
These are the best days of my life.
(And now, some pictures. I will never take enough.)
some of my “babies”

Annika, with a pinched nerve, still flawless

Poppies

Closing of the First Act

The Wicked Witch is wicked

Andie and I 🙂

The Wizard.

He worked at my high school. I want to be like him when I grow up

My monkey! I love her

Annika 🙂

And Lillian!

The characters!

Sweet Judy and Butter, who was our fabulous Toto

The principal ladies with Julie

Julie and I

Instep!

Kristin and Jess!

“Everybody huddle up!”

Elizabeth and I

Abby, Elizabeth and I.

“The only copy of the picture I took is forever in my memory.”

Instep por vida!

Sarah and Liz, my #1 fans

Sweet Muneca

COUSIN

My mom and sister

Last rehearsal before theatre week!

Yesterday was our last rehearsal in the downtown studio. The rest of them will officially be in the theatre and it doesn’t feel like this is even possible that by this time next week, Wizard of Oz will be a memory.

I don’t know if I’m ready for that.

(I am ready to be able to go to bed and not have the super buzzing-bee-cartoon-character-type music in my head all night, though, so there’s that.) (ps. that’s what the Winkie Guard Solo scene music sounds like.)

(anyway.)

We were supposed to run it twice, but were only able to run it full-through once.
I got to do the Crows one last time, as one of the girls who is usually there wasn’t. I’m not sure where she was, but the poor girl has been sick for a while and dancing through it so maybe that’s it. I just hope she’s feeling better, poor girl has been working her butt off for this show. Of all the girls I’d have to jump in for, she and one other would break my heart.

Before and after Crows I ran the first scene with the girls in hopes that we would be able to show Julie that we mean business and are working hard. They were really showing some great improvement and I was proud of them. I think the hardest part during these studio rehearsals is their struggle with distraction. There are so many people and movement and things going on that if you aren’t completely focused, you’re bound to mess up. It’s even happened to me. The front people can’t afford this.
Sadly, one of the front girls messed up so they both got switched in the scene. It was a tough lesson to learn, but it happened anyway. The girls that got moved forward will do the part well. They know it through and through and I think the bout of necessary confidence will be great for them.
Most everything else seemed to show great improvement.

During corrections, we got chewed because a lot of the girls weren’t paying attention. (not all, but enough.)
It’s no wonder those are the ones that don’t know what’s going on most of the time. It takes a toll on everyone.
It’s exhausting to have to be the one to hold up the group, and I wouldn’t be able to without the couple other girls that are very aware of what is going on. Knowing I can bounce things off them and we can come to a conclusion is what keeps this scene afloat. If they would just do confidently what they know, they would shine. But I understand it’s hard at that age, especially with so many people watching and it being such a risk.

I sent a few of the pictures to the company principals when I got home (even though I’m kinda not supposed to?) and got to talking with my friend Abby.
She said this:

I told her how there are times I just want to shake some of the girls and scream “SHE JUST SAID WHAT YOU’RE ASKING ME LITERALLY TEN SECONDS AGO PAY ATTENTION.” But that’s not allowed. I then mentioned how nice it was to hear it, too, because before when I was involved in dance or theatre, to do what I’m doing here was a guaranteed way to get yourself stuck as an understudy. Instead of seeing all your hard work and taking it into consideration that you’d be a good person to rely on and cast in the role in the first place, they saw you as a solid back up to have for if the leads flaked like they were prone to. (yet they always seemed to pull it together for the show. All glory, no work ethic.) It’s really nice to know that working hard to make sure things still run smoothly in case something happens isn’t going to get me permanently benched, but instead will help me in the long run.
She then said:

And this is when I melted into a puddle.
For the first time in a really, really long time I actually feel like I belong somewhere. That who I am is enough just as I am. That I’m not a failure or lacking or a disappointment, but instead a valuable asset. That hard work isn’t being ignored.
(Ps. I have really great friends that are there for me when I need it and quick to celebrate me when things go well. To have such people there for the highs as well as the lows is something I cherish. You people make the world go round.)

Understudy.

When I did theater in High School, I tended to get understudy roles.
Such is the curse of responsible students, and ones who won’t complain until you give them a part.
(and it probably didn’t help that I was insecure and didn’t speak up. How times have changed.)

Point is, I learned so many valuable lessons being the understudy, and here we are ten years later putting them to extreme use.

The understudy is one of the biggest responsibilities.
You have to learn the part you cover, plus be aware of all the other parts. You have to be capable of jumping in on a moments notice, possibly without ever actually doing the role any more than just on the sidelines or by yourself. And all this work could still lead to you not getting to do the role on stage. And you have to be okay with it.
That’s probably the hard part; working your tail off, showing up to every rehearsal, filling in and never getting the fulfillment of actually performing it on that stage.

But all is not lost.

Show up; early even. Be there.
Focus hard, learn every in and out of that part. Leave no stone unturned.
Remain aware. Ask questions if you need to. Keep yourself prepared. Keep the role familiar and fresh in your mind. Run it in your head. Mark it and think it through. Work hard.

Because even if you don’t get to dance the role on the stage during the performance, those couple minutes on that stage isn’t the tell all.

Today in rehearsal, three girls were out of the role I cover for auditions with their new High School. It worked out slick cause it was the girl I typically cover, and the other two that were missing were a pair, so the dance didn’t look awkward. I strapped on my character shoes and danced it like it were my last time to dance it because, chances are, it was.
I was hoping they would be gone and I would get to do it in costume the second run through, but they showed up.
I got complimented on the way I do the role, which makes me feel really good inside. Not because I think I’m better than anyone, because I know I’m really not. But because it means I’m doing my job.
Yeah, it sucks that I put in all this work–more than some of the cast roles in some cases–but that’s my part. I’m the cover; the understudy. I’m not entitled to the role. I’m just doing my job. Covering is my part.
For people to tell me that I do the role well, and that they enjoy watching me, really just puts my nerves at ease. I’m twice the age of some of these girls, ten years older than others, and I haven’t even been dancing half the amount of years they have. Yet I get to dance along side them. I get to be included.
To know that they like it means that I have succeeded, and at the beginning of this, I wasn’t so sure that I would. I was very nervous. But I rose. The impossible became possible.

My back started hurting after the second half, but it’s feeling better than is usual, especially for the amount of dancing we’re doing. What kicked me in the butt today was the IBS. Earlier this week I got really stressed out at work, and when that happens it effects my digestion. I’ll spare you the gory details, but lets just say it greatly effected how much I can use my core. Which is, ya know, important to ballet. There were times I felt like I was going to have to run to the bathroom, or throw up, or when costumes were on I was a bit concerned I might pass out. I couldn’t even finish my lunch, my stomach hurt so badly. The way I felt today is probably the most extreme side effects I’ve had since being diagnosed. Holding it all together proved difficult, but I just tried to breathe. Hyper focusing on something else helped take my mind off of it, which helped me plow through. The still moments were the most difficult.
When we got to the second run-through, Mrs. Julie told us the changes to how the school show was going to go since it mostly effected the Winkie Guards role. (any other it effected were just dropped, not changed.) We ran a bit of it just to mark and iron out before putting on our costumes and doing the whole thing. The moment is blurry now (my brain is mush) as to when Mrs. Julie actually came up to me, but she did, and she said, “Emerson had to leave. Do you know her solo?” to which I said, “yes” she said, “can you do it?” and I said, “yes” and then she said, “Okay, lets mark it.” and we did a couple times to make sure I had the arms and the positioning right. She threw in a “make it big” to get the expression how she wants it and I ran it a couple times then went to put on my costume.

I was nervous beyond all reason. The feet weren’t fluid to me, and I really didn’t want to mess it up. I had never actually ran it before, but this wasn’t the time to be nervous. This was the time to show that I can do this. That you can throw me into a role and I’ll be able to step up. This was the time to trust my training and just go for it.
When it came down to it, I had the timing off a little, which made me not have my feet right, but I had the direction right, and fixed it the first second I had a chance.
No one really noticed. They mostly commented on how well I did the character, which is what matters during shows like this that tell a story.
As soon as it was over and I went to grab my bow (our prop) and join in with the other girls, I knew my little flub would not be what was remembered. Since I was filling in for Emerson, the girls didn’t have anyone to watch for the timing of the part that we begin as soon as Emerson is finished and walking off into the wings before she joins us. It was a complete mess, and I just kind of laughed inside.
No one would remember my flub.
Sure enough, when it came time for corrections, that was what got the heat. They can’t rely on me so much, but have to know it for themselves. I don’t know what else they can say to get it through their heads, but they really need to take ownership and pay attention to know what’s going on instead of relying on me all the time. It’s really exhausting.
(now, this isn’t to say no one pays attention. There are those that do, and they are the ones that I know I can ask questions to if I’m a little unsure as to what’s next, or to come and get me from the other side of the stage if I’m not in the right place because I’m mixing up my scenes. Some of the girls have a great handle on things, but rely on the extra added security, because honestly, who wouldn’t? But they have to know how to function without it. I think it was a good eye opener. Those few girls are really good, and they got complimented today in ways that show their hard work. I was proud.)
Some of the more advanced girls complimented me on the solo. One even gave me a glance when the other guards got chewed. It made me feel good to know that my hard work is churning out results. Now I know that I’m not the best dancer out there. I know I have much to improve on. But all those compliments really mean so much to me. Not to fuel my ego, but to feel like I’ve finally come full circle.
Before, I would work so hard, and still be ignored. Like my best was never enough. This seems to be a reoccurring theme in my life and it is pretty draining. It can sap the life right out of you.
But to be here, and to know that I can work hard, and put forth all this effort, and do my best every day and that it isn’t unseen, it makes every bit of it so worth it.
Because really, every rehearsal is an audition. These directors and teachers glean things about you from it. They form up a running log of what you’re capable of, how you respond, if you’re responsible, how you handle pressure or malfunctions, how you communicate, you work ethic, and they put all these things into consideration in future shows.
I know some politics goes into roles occasionally, it’s inevitable, but I have a full heart knowing that I have done everything I can and that it’s enough. That if I don’t get a full role, it’s not because of anything I did. That they will utilize me where they see I fit and know that I am capable of good things. I know that they know they can put their trust in me, and breathe easy knowing I’ll do what I’m asked and what’s required of me.

Even though I don’t get to dance Crows for any of the shows, and even though Emerson will be back in her solo tomorrow (she rocks it, by the way.) this wasn’t all for nothing.
If anything, I really love being the cover. Being the one that can let the director breathe easier knowing I’m there in case anything happens. Especially on a show like this.

I have done my job.

Before rehearsal. 

After rehearsal.
We’re dead inside.

Annika hacking my phone 😀

Apparently it rained? That’s usually a field…

And this is when I realized I forgot my rainboots at the studio.

Winkie Guards Rehearsal

Saturday was our second rehearsal for the Winkie Guards role in Wizard of Oz.
I realized this weekend that being in this role, we will be on stage almost the entire second act of the show. There are five scenes in Act II and we are in four of them.
This is incredibly exciting.

One of the girls made the comment that she was offended that we weren’t dancing on pointe.
I kind of laughed at the notion of it being offensive, but I also think I am viewing this from a different mindset than someone who has grown up in this studio and thinks in the hierarchy of things. And also, whose friends are in roles that dance on pointe.
I see it from the mindset of the shape of the show as a whole.
Winkie Guards doesn’t need to be on pointe. If anything it’s more of a contemporary role than a strict ballet one. We’re wearing jazz shoes. It just makes sense. Maybe it’s the theater brain in me.
I tried to explain this to her, that it’s nothing to be offended at because they didn’t decide this based on our ability. They decided roles based on height, took into minor consideration our levels, and what shape the scenes would make.

We learned our entire first and second scenes. I think they are very fun. Our next rehearsal will include the Wicked Witch of the West, which means that my friend who plays the witch will be there, and also my friend from class who is the cover.

The Winged Monkies are adorable, and each of us are assigned one that we kind of buddy up to. Mine ended up being my friend from my old studio, who ironically was out that day. I don’t know if Julie did it on purpose or what, but I’m excited.

We also have a Crows rehearsal on Friday, with Coco the Crow as well. The girl whose spot I covered last time won’t be here this time either. So we’ll teach the other girl who was absent this week, and then will have to teach the other girl the next rehearsal, which I think is when we’re getting more into it and adding more of the characters together. It’s not hard, it’s just fast. I hope she can pick up on it.

We’ll see what happens.
I’m excited to have more people in with us, but sad that I won’t get to take as many pictures this time around. I’m going to try and see if I can get someone to come and shoot a rehearsal, but I don’t know. I wish I could clone myself.

It just kinda sucks to be the one taking all the pictures, although it’s awesome to be able to give them to the other dancers, it sucks that the parts your in get overlooked.

I need a clone.