Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Yelling at My Bed.

(Pictured above is myself, Kevin (my dance partner in the July show), and Colleen in "Mobile" March 2010)
Today I am appreciating the demanding discipline of dance. As much as I love to complain about the sore muscles, the general fatigue, and getting up early (earli-ER that is) for class, I pretty much always am glad I did it. I've been preparing for a dance audition and a show in July up in Boulder (see my facebook page for details). And that means ballet everyday and pointe shoes back on my poooor little feet (cue sympathetic "awwwwwww"s). Those things make taking class at LEAST a billion times harder than dancing in the nice soft canvassy goodness we call flat shoes. Otherwise known as ballet slippers.
I haven't danced everyday for awhile, due to my rib injury and before that, the ballet company season ending. It is just hard to make yourself get up everyday and do rigorous exercise if it's not totally necessary-- or if you are getting paid to do it (or in my case, would lose my non-paying job if I didn't show up). There's something about my bed that is just so comfy early in the morning. It talks to me, croons at me, says, "Isn't it so nice and cozy here? Look, you are soooo tired. You really DO need your sleep. Come on, you can skip class just for today. It's not a big deal." To which I reply, "GET BEHIND ME, WARM COZY BED!!!"
Ok, well, most days I do. Some days I just submit to the soft sleep cocoon. But the last few weeks I have actually done better in this respect. There's just something about an audition and show in the near future that strikes the fear of "Holy crap, I am going to look like a complete idiot in this audition and/or onstage if I don't get myself into performing shape immediately" deep into my heart. Something about a whole audience of people watching my every move makes me get my butt into high gear.
My point is: Discipline. It's hard. I hate getting up earlier than I need to and forcing my legs and body into positions it doesn't like (at least the first 20 minutes until my muscles warm up). But I am always glad I did. Now, just to convince my bed to stop talking so nicely to me early in the morning...

Wednesday, June 16, 2010


We had our third rehearsal today for a piece I choreographed, called "Loss." I set it on myself and a guy I danced with at the ballet company. It is loosely based on the seven stages of grief and how a couple deals with a mutual loss together. I choreographed it based on a personal experience of loss that happened a couple weeks after we moved here to Colorado, which makes it a rich and difficult piece for me to work on and rehearse. I choreographed it knowing this would be the case. Processing this loss has been a long slow haul for me and I am nowhere near done, and don't expect to be in the near future.
I knew I needed to do this piece when I woke up one morning to the clock radio tuned to the classical station, hearing the sounds of a string quartet singing a slow and beautiful song (from what I heard in my heart) of grief and towards the end, hope. It gave me chills from the sheer beauty of it, and also immediately brought the memories of our loss rushing back into my conscious. I knew at that moment I needed to look up that song and use it as a way to express my story.
Working on this piece with my partner has been a really great experience already, even though it's only been three rehearsals since we started. After completing the choreography in two rehearsals (and it's seven minutes long!) we have started really feeling the cadence of the music and telling the story of the couple and how they move through grief together. I am feeling the steps become not just steps but ways to show where I was at those particular moments just weeks after the move to Denver. I can tell it will become harder emotionally the more we rehearse, but I am ready for that. I know God brought me this piece of music, and this opportunity to perform it in Boulder mid-July for just a time as this. I am so glad he is giving me the opportunity to continue processing in my own heart and to perhaps touch others who have gone through, or are going through right now, their own losses.
Here is a video of a string quartet playing the piece if you are interested-- they play it beautifully!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Dark Deeds Done.

We did it... We finished the two weekend run up in Brighton for "Dark Deeds at Swan's Place (or Never Trust a Tattooed Sailor)." I am once again in post show blues. It's the same every time. Every time, a jarring realization it is over. It gives me all the more motivation and passion to give it all when I am given the gift of being onstage-- because, truly, no show lasts forever. You only get so many chances to play the role, say the lines, dance the choreography. It's like the basketball players say, "Leave it on the court." I think that's what they mean anyway :). Above is Mother McGoof telling the audience her sorrows. I think this is one of my favorite things about melodrama, the breaking of the fourth wall and getting to talk directly to the audience. It involves them in a wonderful way and makes them feel as if they know you.

Here is our hero, Matt ("Jack Swan") and me as Tai Pan. He is hilarious and does one of the best cheesy heroes I've ever seen, goofy and totally stereotypically gallant.

Larry ("Captain Bermuda") and his parrot Venus. Venus had lines by the way. Next to me as a pirate is Kelly (our damsel "Bertha Birthright" later in the show).

Keith ("Sourdough Birthright" and "Preacher"). He got to die in his opening scene which I was quite jealous of. I think it would be so fun to die onstage. Not literally of course.

Dan, the villain "Montague Leech" and "Tai Pan" (aka "Frying Pan," "Kung Fu," "Ginzu" and other ridiculous names) in character! I had to concentrate so hard to not laugh onstage during our interactions. He is one of the most hilarious villains I've ever seen.

Band of seedy pirates! ARRRRRRRR! I am going to miss singing and dancing around with my sword.... Thanks for the great time guys. I miss you already.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Look! I'm Asian!

It's time for a new post.
I'm in a new play! This time it is a melodrama (think Muppets type humor, stupid jokes, overacting on purpose, stereotypical characters that are super fun to play). There is so much ridiculousness that ensues in this production. We have a villain and a damsel in distress...

We have a hero! *cheers*:

Ok well, he's not in character at the moment but you get the idea...
And we have me, Tai Pan, a clueless yet business savvy Chinese girl:

I play a pirate before I play Tai Pan, thus the head wrap and black pirate coat... You can see, however, that I am wearing a wig-- the greatest invention ever for stage. All I have to do is pin up my own hair, put it on and voila! Instant look change! Now, the makeup takes a bit longer than that but I won't bore you with those details.
I have had a blast with the other actors these last couple months. It is one of those plays that is written so well that you laugh your way through the entire play, everytime. Even after lots of rehearsals and hearing the same lines over and over. It's been a while since I personally have had actual lines onstage-- I did a lot of theater in high school and college but since focusing on my dance career, I haven't had the chance to delve into acting much. I absolutely love being stretched as an actress this way, especially in a comedic role, even though it has been a big challenge.
We close the play this weekend-- come see me! Give me a call or check my facebook page for details on when and where!