Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Dear Sanna - "Don't Be Janie"

Sometimes I get corrections, and when I apply them the director says "Good! Good girl! now that's not Janie. Don't be Janie." I sometimes also get it in a negative way "No, no don't be Janie - not like that."

I understand that I need to do something different - that is why I am getting the correction in the first place, but it drives me crazy to be told not to be myself! Shouldn't dancing come from inside? I know it's just the way the director says it and not actually what she wants that bothers me, but it is hard for me not to react in a really sarcastic, annoyed way.

I guess writing this I realize that dance is kind of like acting, and we need to take on characters when we perform, even if it is not specifically a story ballet. Maybe I can interpret this as not being Janie the person, but Janie the ballerina, or whoever I am being in this specific role. Maybe that will help me a little.


Sunday, July 18, 2010

Speaking at the Rotary Luncheon

Tuesday, July 20. 12:00 PM
Point Pleasant, PA
Blue Flame Restaurant

Topic: Mindful Eating for Better Health

Janie's Upset

Hi Janie,

You last post is an excellent example of the challenges we can all face with self-esteem, managing stress and confidence on the job. I am wondering if dancer's / performers establish territories for various roles and positions. I am going to guess yes. It would be the same as in the corporate world when someone gets bumped or "traded," even if th eposition is ill suited and stressful. We 'own ' the position/role and the stress that goes along with it.

A close friend was fired from a high powered job last week that he tried to love and hated. He was told they were going in another direction when he clearly knew that it was the result of long standing conflict with his boss. HOWEVER, now only one week later his physical pain has diminished, he is happier, and he realized that HE would have never quit, yet sees how sometimes the "universe" takes care of us in strange ways. he got fired!

In your work, you don't always, rarely have any say so with regard to your role in a piece. You are cast. You are to do your best no matter what the choreography, the personality of the dancer, the costuming ... and on.

In this case Janie, you let yourself personalize this switch rather than seeing it as a gift. You struggled with the choreography, the partner and other aspects. It caused you stress, big stress. You realize there is a cost to that.

In your world, lack of control over your body, illness, joint pain, injury, poor performance, low emotionality. In other words the body does not lie in its expressions and performance ability.

When you personalize, you add stress to the change. rather than allowing the not knowing what is going on to be just that until you find out. You always have a choice, Janie. What if you decided with a big sigh of relief, I am happy that they changed that. I was too too stress for many reasons.

Remember you don't have control over who is cast and when changes are made. And it is not always about you. There job it to set the stage with the best dancers for the choreography. Everytime your personalize you lose the VALUE of the change. there can be a feeling of loss for sure. Can you simply acknowledge. I feel sad at this change. OR I am relieved.

Got it?

Love ya -
Sanna Carapellotti, MS CHt
Performance Hypnotherapist

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Dear Sanna - Mixed Feelings

I didn't know how to feel the other day when I walked in and saw the schedule. There was a rehearsal for the part that has been the source of most of my stress this year - the one where I dance with the impossible girl. But another girl was written in my place. She is definitely of a higher level than me and will look better with the other girl, plus I don't really enjoy the part anymore anyway because it is just so hard to work with this girl (and is a really hard part anyway).

On the other hand, it never exactly feels good to be taken out of a part, so I was kind of upset at first. Then before the rehearsal one of the ballet mistresses called me over and told me they weren't taking me out because I am bad or can't do the part. I just have a lot on my plate right now so they gave it to the other dancer.

So I guess it's actually the perfect solution. I didn't really want to do the part, but I didn't want to be so bad I was taken out. I'm just a little disappointed that it couldn't have worked out so I would do the part well and enjoy doing it, but that wasn't going to happen anyway.

And the boy who partners the girl I had problems with (let's call her Lacy) and I had a very good laugh during the rehearsal when Lacy immediately started fighting with my replacement (who had done the part years before) and in the end the replacement made Lacy change all the parts she made me change back to the original choreography. :)


Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Dear Sanna - Yay!!

I must say these last few weeks before vacation are pretty hard. We are all very tired from a long year and very much looking forward to some real time off. Plus, we are sick of doing the same ballets all year, some even longer than that, and in this last stretch we are doing almost all the ballets we have done this year. It is very difficult to work on so many different ballets at once, plus a new one nobody is all that excited about. Right now it seems so mundane. I know next season it will be better because we will have more new pieces to work on, but right now I really need to try to motivate myself to work.

But I had a wonderful boost of confidence the other day. I was stretching before rehearsal when the director started asking me about a new girl who might come and her current company. In the middle of our conversation the director said I had lost enough weight and not to loose any more. She has never told me not to loose weight before, and I know it is not even always directly connected to my actual weight. It just means in general she is happy with me, so I felt really great after that. It's not that I need to be told I'm skinny or something to be happy. I know how I look and how much I weigh, but since I know this is the director's way of showing she is happy with me, it was really great to hear.

I am also relieved that the huge favor my mom and I asked of the director did not seem to have a long lasting negative impact. Maybe it even proved that I am in a good place here. Yay :)


Sunday, July 4, 2010

Dear Sanna - The call

The clock was ticking, and still the director had not given me the impression that we were on good terms, but also not that it was bad. I just didn't know, but my mom kept asking if she could call, so on a day the director was in a relatively good mood, I gave her the okay, reminding her that the director is completely crazy and must be dealt with very, very carefully, sucking up at every possible moment. Without actually lying, my mom had to present the truth in a way that made it clear it was completely the director's decision(if not idea). I get a message from my mom about an hour later, that says yay. I was so excited! I called her immediately and asked how she possibly did it. She told the director about the trip, explaining she earned it for free and could take one person and chose me, but didn't want to tell me about it until she cleared it with the director since I (Janie) would never ask for such a thing from the director. She explained it was during a holiday and after not so much cajoling, the director agreed and understood that once my mom made arrangements the trip could not be cancelled. The director said they would not normally agree to this, but they like me very much and I am a good girl! I figured she wasn't mad...

...but it's not over. The next day during rehearsal the director told me to talk to her after. So at the end of the day I sat next to her and she asked me if my mother called. "Do you really want to go?" she asked. I didn't know what to say, because not only would my mom (and I) be horribly disappointed if I couldn't go after all, but I was pretty sure my mom already started making arrangements (she was pretty excited). I told her that of course whatever she decided was her word and that was final, but the trip really means a lot to me and my mom. I guess I should've known it wouldn't be easy and the director wouldn't be exactly thrilled about me going, so I got an earful of guilt-tripping, being reminded that I will miss a lot of work and they will not stop performances or anything else for me and I won't be paid as much that month and blah blah blah, but in the end she said I could go, and I guess that's what matters. I am starting to learn that if the director wants to like me and be nice to me, she will, and if not she will find any reason to be angry, pretty much regardless of how I act. So I might as well do what is really important to me, and try to make her happy when I can.