Tonight’s the Night

“Gonna leave that 9 to 5 up on the shelf…”

Blarg.

I just got back from one of those famous walks where I clear my head, or rather, I fill it up with all the things on my mind and file them away in order within my mental Roladex. I woke up later than I had wanted (after 8am *gasp*) which is normally “sleeping in” but I had so much work to do, it seemed like wasted time. I needed the rest though.

I spent the first two hours post-REM working from home at my “real job”. There are just too many things I can never let fall to the wayside. Once I got that stuff out of the way, I was a whirling dervish costume making fool.

After I packed up my stuff and took notes from the rehearsal last night, I was off to tech rehearsal. I felt MUCH better after the rehearsal last night, it was fun and we seemed to all be on the same page. The costumes fit for the most part and I was generally feeling better about everything. Cut to tech rehearsal.

I knew one of the dancers might not be able to make it and it wasn’t really that big of a deal, I just wanted to have everyone there to mark it on stage and make sure we had spaced everything as close to correctly as possible. We only had 20 minutes for tech, where I tell the (sexy) lighting guy and the sound guy what the technical requirements are. That part went quick and easy and they were both very professional. So professional in fact that they kind of starred blankly at me when I made a joke about black people needing more lighting and that I wanted smoke…”more smoke, more smoke!”. I thought that the (sexy) lighting guy would get it since he was wearing a Chicago the Musical shirt (taken from Bob Fosse’s genius “All That Jazz” biopic). Anyway, the first thing the young woman running the show exclaimed to me when I finally met her (after a bevy of show-related emails) was “Bill from Dance Advance will be here to see your work, so that’s good.” The last thing I wanted to think about was that. My nerves started to tingle.

I didn’t do the combination full out, which is a big no-no, but thoughts kept running through my head like “am I good enough”, “will people like me”, “will anyone get it”, “is this entertaining”. I am in need of a daily affirmation.

I felt inferior and out of place, and of course there was a “mistake” on the program stating that I am not dancing in the number. For a moment I thought that maybe I shouldn’t. I left the theatre mentally exhausted, reminding myself that I should never dance in my own piece ever again, what about the girls? I wasn’t paying attention to them to get/give notes to fix things or change things. It didn’t help that I received a pseudo rejection letter from another performance opportunity stating that they would try to make room if anything falls through. Like tonight’s performance, I wasn’t a big enough name to be included in the first place, so I was basically a fill-in, not negating the fact that my work is interesting.

So I took a walk from Old City to Graduate Hospital only stopping for my sweet precious, cigarettes and coffee. I thought of a lot of other things, how there is such a lack of a support system, or at least, that support system resides in Colorado or New York or D.C. I hate tooting my own horn, but it is rather disheartening when the people who I’ve worked with before don’t come to my shows, especially when I have supported their endeavors in the past. I guess because this is my big coming out party since my long hiatus, I expected or wanted people to make a big deal out of it considering the expressed interest of yesteryear.

I thought of my faithful husband who was my partner in crime who helped carry the bags of costumes and would remind me not to forget this or that and would temper my mood swings with a light and hearty joke. The one that would tell me everything was going to be alright even though I’ll never think it will be. That today kind of blew my mind.

I reminded myself to keep my toes pointed, to jump high, to feel the movement. I couldn’t wait to get home to review the footage I recorded at tech rehearsal.

On the way home, I ran into these awesome boys who are bandmates from Mountain Man, a cool troupe I worked with at one of my fringe shows and I helped them with costumes and choreography for their video. It was a refreshing surprise not only for me but for them. They always had a great respect for me because I gave them one of their first major gigs and told them they were really something else and should never give up. They had just reunited and were catching up. It was great to see them. Must be something in the air.

When I got home, I grimaced at the absolute mess in my apartment. Show-week is always a filthy time for me. Barely eating, barely sleeping, fabric everywhere. I started soaking my feet and watched the footage. I feel much better about it. It looks like me. Like something I would do. Something innovative but not too weird. I incorporated voguing into the piece and it doesn’t look whacky. The music selections are divine. The girls are rocking it. What’s wrong with me? I am so cocky yet I have no confidence. I am a contradiction of myself.

When I was on stage for the first time in so long, the blinding lights were disorienting. I kept thinking of what I must look like. What the air will be like when the theatre is full. I kept losing my focus. Worrying, worrying. Let’s hope I can pull it all together for the main event.

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