Sunday, November 2, 2008

Dear Sanna - performing

The other night was my first time performing a piece where I start on stage standing in a less-than-comfortable position as the curtain comes up. I always get some butterflies before shows, and usually feel like I have to go to the bathroom, but this is normal so I was trying to relax and calm my usual nerves when the stage manager called places. So the curtain goes up and I immediately fight the feeling that I'm going to tip over backwards, and regain my focus and balance. Then the music starts. But not at the beginning, right in the middle of the piece. So we all just stand there and try not to react until the music stops and starts again in the same (wrong) place. Then the lights go out. And back on. And off and the curtain goes down. Great start. So we all kind of laugh it off while they work out the glitch and then everything is fine and we start for real. But I was so drained from trying to hold the position and my nerves were fried! It was definitely a less-than-perfect show after that. Nothing went terribly wrong, but the whole thing was very shaky and did not feel as clean as it could've been.

The next piece was not perfect either, but was so much fun! There were actually parts that did not go well at all, but for some reason I had such fun on stage! The ironic part is that this is in no way my favorite choreography or music or anything else, for that matter. I HATE rehearsing it, and I really just generally dislike the piece. Go figure.

So it wasn't a terrible show, but there is definitely room for improvement. I think I am learning and growing a lot, though, from these experiences. I feel that past experiences like this have taught me how to deal with such things. As I stood and listened to the music malfunction, I recalled past experiences of having to improvise on stage. In the past, I regretted reacting to such things and I remember thinking a more professional response would have been to pretend not to notice. So that's what I did this time, and it was definitely appropriate. I am learning more and more about how to deal with the bad things that inevitably happen in the performing arts, and I am learning more and more about myself and how to control my own reactions.


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