Sunday, February 8, 2009

Dear Sanna - stepping away

This is a reflection of my last post before I left on tour. I was talking about that show that did not go very well, just before the director took a bunch of people out. So you know the story, but here's a little more about what it was like for me.

I was so frustrated during class, first off, with that annoying teacher. I hate not feeling I can warm up well, and it makes me anxious for the show if I am not prepared. It's also a bad feeling, fighting with my teacher. Then when we got to the theater, the whole time I was just praying we would have some time to warm up. We could all tell the director was nervous, the way we kept doing the same stupid piece over and over and we were getting yelled at like none other. Then with so little time between spacing and the show, everyone was rushing and nervous. Not a good atmosphere right before a show.

What I think was the final straw for me was just before curtain. Our teacher really emphasized how we need to be really warm right before this piece and suggested we do it before the curtain goes up, so I made getting to the stage at least 10 minutes early my priority (over very careful makeup for example). I did the whole thing and it was okay, and I felt a little better about the show, even if we hadn't done any spacing for this part. But then the rest of the people started coming in, along with the teacher who had told us to be warm. She didn't know I had just finished doing it, and we really can't communicate, so she motioned for me to do it (again), and what's worse she started correcting me on something completely new, and I don't think just before a show is really the time to try to approach a ballet a new way. It just made me a million times more nervous and I just wasn't even sure I could do it in a way that would make her happy, and that's not even considering the other people watching, i.e. the director.

When we started dancing I could only think about her watching and scrutinizing me and I could feel the thoughts sabotaging my performance. I know what thoughts are good for me while I'm dancing, but sometimes I just really can't help thinking about these negative things.

When the artistic director took people out, I wasn't too too upset, because like I said I could have been taken out of much more, but it was still frustrating to be taken out after just one chance. I was kind of hurt and just confused. I wasn't sure whether I should speak up and say I really feel I could do better if I was given another chance or if there was more space on stage. I am not usually one to do something like that, begging for a part, but in this situation I actually felt confident enough to do so, just unsure whether it was the right thing to do. On one hand, I know I had a horrible show and I could do so much better, plus the dancer who replaced me for the part I was taken out of has a lot on her plate, and I'm sure would be relieved to not have to do my corps part before her solo. But on the other, I felt myself and also understood from my friends' advice that the it is not wise to show the director that this change really upset me.

In the end I just let it go, and I think it was the right thing to do. I am not so deprived being taken out of this tiny chunk of the ballet, and the director does not seem too concerned with it. I am still getting either good feedback, or nothing, so I really can't complain. Maybe it's better now I can work on this extra nerve-racking beginning on my own, and perform the rest at my very best. Better not to give more reasons to be criticized. Of course it's good to challenge myself, but if the role just isn't good for me, then why make myself look bad?


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