Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Mao's Last Dancer and My Own Attempted Trina Start

As much as we might poke fun at the Trinas of world, most of us mt ladies have wanted to be a Trina at one point in our lives. I was so lucky to grow up under an extraordinary ballet regime where something was really happening. I finally saw "Mao's Last Dancer" today. Based off Li Cunxin's biography of the same name, it reminded me of how amazingly lucky I have been. The movie making is ok, but the story it portrays is worth so much more. Li's story is as equally epic as "The King's Speech," and could have been an amazing film. Even without it being amazing, the story is still well worthwhile. It pulls at your heart strings even with some bad Texas dialects.
I watched Li dance as a little girl. He and Janie Parker were on (and still are) on the walls of the bedroom I grew up in. (As are Lauren Anderson and Carlos Acosta). As much as my little tapping tot feet remembered seeing "42nd Street" (and "Tommy" of all things), I have vivid memories of Lauren in her absurdly hot pink Aurora tutu. While the history books may put Li, Carlos, and Lauren up as breaking race boundaries in ballet, what the really were and still are is extraordinary performers. (Lauren is built like me, which makes her hefty in the world of ballet. Overcoming her build is way more extraordinary than overcoming the color of her skin. She is fierce!)All technique aside, they were all something beyond technique. The artistry that Ben Stevenson assembled for what was an unknown ballet company was amazing. So much adversity to overcome and so much passion for dance. Just like the city it was in, Houston Ballet was a diverse mix. Stevenson's choreo was never about technical wizardry, it was about passion and heart. He found the dancers that could kill it and didn't give a damn about their ethnicity, their homeland, or their build. It was about the art and the heart of the dance. The place where little girls made dreams about pink tutus. Myself included. This video isn't great, but he's killing it. If I had not been myopic from a young age, I could have looked at him and Lauren from across my room as I went to sleep. As it was, I looked at the fuzzy something that might have been them before going to bed!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Catch Up!

As do many good intentions, my good intentions to write about last Tues the next day came to nothing. So after another week of high kicks, here it is! I started off at a footloose call. They were trying to reinvent the wheel that is Footloose. "No 80's here! Just sexy teen rebels." And thrash choreo. I got cut and had whiplash soreness in my body really bad the next few days. Who needs a car crash when you get that feeling through a good thrash. Back to the Addams Family I went next. Once more, I was in the last bit only to be cut at the last minute. Oh well. They wanted a screecher. And I haven't done that in a long time. I killed my song and got the producers bopping along. Last time they looked at me like I was a crazy person with my Kander and Ebb. What else can you do? Do your best and let it go. I keep pushing my belt up, but I'm still not a true high belter. Mezzos don't work as much young! Which is stupid. Oh well. Fiona and I are just going keep jamming no matter what the world says. Hurrah for low voices and young ladies!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

NJT Train Tails

It was a wet and blustery day. You know, one of those fall days that makes you long for sunshine or just an excuse to stay home. For young Gus, the opposite was true. The wind was blowing the rain into his little but normally cozy home. And there was nothing that Gus hated more than wet feet (After all, he did have four of them!). So he set out in search of a warmer and dryer spot. Skipping along through the puddles (Gus was a very optimistic little fellow), he stumbled (literally) upon a train yard. Low and behold, the rear car of one of the trains had an open door. He could see the warm dry seat by the door, so he snuggled up in it for a nice nap. Soon the train began to chug slowly along as Gus snored his heart out in the warm heat of the "Quiet" car. Other soggy passengers began to board the train, heading to work in the big city. Suddenly the scent of one of their breakfasts reached Gus' drowsing nose. That croissant had some mean smelling chedder cheese on it. He made a jump for it. His seat mate squeaked as she saw him. "There's a mouse!" Never have I seen so many loafers and pumps lift off the ground so quickly. Thank you Gus for an amusing commute this morning. And for not going after my cranberry muffin. (Audition stories will come tom. This was too good to lump or leave!)

Monday, September 17, 2012

Another Week In Paris

It's been a good week! My parents came to visit. We had a nice relaxed visit and they saw Can Can five times. Either they really like me or they are just a little crazy. Probably a little of both! We had a cast member out on Sunday in the worst of unplanned ways. His father had died and he was leaving for the funeral. Not only was the cast great about filling in Peter's shoes, they were also great about supporting him and giving him hugs while he was still with us. It's so lovely to be a part of cast that is not only super talented but it is also full of so much heart and humanity. Plus they're all pretty damn funny. Which is awesome.
My good intentions for auditioning today were overtaken by a need for sleep, so it will be adventures in laundry today and multiple auditions tom. I'm refreshed and ready to go. Plus I will have lots of clean underwear!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

A Typical Tuesday

Headed out to a Music Man call today. Wrote the wrong Pearl Studios down and ran into the director and choreographer duo from Can Can. Some hellos and how are yous, and then across the street I went. This theatre wanted jr. high young on their teens. They cut cast sizes down at this theatre and get really exact on what they want. I was happy with how I danced and they cut me. Oh well. I will find other ways to work in Florida again! My past record was about one in fifty on booking auditions. Have to get through those next forty or so auditions before I find my next one. Hopefully I can keep working on bringing that number down! Doing some cleaning this evening after grocery shopping. Planning those lunches for those long two show days out in Westchester. Plus my rents are coming for a visit and to come see Can Can. Now to bleach to bathtub! (While I watch the Big Lebowski in the background. I'm a classy broad!)
Tom it's back to Westchester and fun times in Paris. May we have many buses awaiting our arrival!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

7 Buses Full of Blue Hair

At Broward we would count the buses full of seniors with great anticipation. A three bus matinee meant a good time. At Westchester, the senior buses are taken to a whole new level. Today there were 7 buses full of seniors. They were a decent audience, but I missed the crew of sassy black ladies from last Sunday. To them, "Every Man Is A Stupid Man" was a show stopper. Not so much with today"s crowd!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Fatty Muffins, Tokyo, and Sarcastic Captions

On my way into the city this morning, I stopped by neighborhood bakery for a muffin and coffee. I have a slight addiction to their cranberry muffins. When they Starbucks and Dunkin gift cards run out (as they have), I go back to bribing myself with muffins. Today, I got asked a bizzare question. Did I want a low fat muffin? Apparently the look of disgust and confusion was so evident on my face, that she laughed and grabbed me a full fat muffin. Which is how muffins should be! Went in for Tokyo Disney today. Sang well. Got a very polite thank you. No biggie. There are always other fish in the sea! Plus I got free entertainment walking home in the form of a skinny young man with big, silver headphones who decided to slide down the train station railings like Mary Poppins on a Bannister. He had no idea of how entertained I was! Here are some of the Can Can promo shots. I just can't refrain fom sarcastic captioning (even though I know I should). Staged productions photos are always bizzare!
"Gorgeous girls of Can Can" It totally looks like we were drinking on the clock and Pistache found out. Whoops! And the kicks and the feathers. Cause there are certain thingas you just have to do in Can Can!

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Into September We Go!

With a new month, comes a new phase. We ended up the month with our official opening night. It's been a little crazy, but we have a show! Putting up a show in nine days was difficult for me. I don't pick up on movement as quickly as I want to and my dyslexia gives me trouble. Jonathan Stahl the associate choreographer worked with us for most of the rehearsal period and was so sweet about my special ed moments. I just wish there had been more time to the process so I could have baked him cookies in thanks. The whole cast and crew are beyond great. The amount of heart and glitter thrown into this fluffy little show make all the difference. Here's to the next month of days and nights out in Westchester.