Her I am sipping my coffee at a cafe in Bermuda and to get started on my goals I’ve downloaded a bunch of songs to start working through. I can’t wait, I love having a few concrete things to work on at a time.
I was working in the library yesterday (a side duty) and a little girl on the ship (she was 11, so maybe that’s not considered little. it did strike me though that I could be her mother. I could have had a child at 20…and down the rabbit hole I went with that thinking. but that might be a post for another day) asked me why I decided to take a job as a dancer. I told her I had studied for many years to be a dancer and it is my profession now. Her jaw actually dropped and she said “why would you have to study to be a dancer?? can’t just anyone dance?” Its never occurred to me that it’s not obvious that dancing or entertaining in general as a career seems to the vast public as just a hobby that you can pick up and do and be good at at any time – anyone with any back ground. I groped for a way to explain the years of blood sweat and tears in a dance studio and then in university and every day since I graduated, concentrating, training, planning, scraping together money for classes, auditioning and self doubt that is the meat of my career choice. Anything you want to do requires work if you want to be good at it, even thought the definition of “good” is different for every person (in my line of work–as a doctor the definition is a little less loose. I think). and then it hit me – what if it is not as much work as I believed it is? what if I could just pick it up and I have made dancing and performing this big hard working endeavour. Perhaps all I needed to do was show up and believe I had something to offer. I don’t know because I didn’t try that. I appeared at classes and at life in general believing I brought not much to the table but the willingness to roll up my sleeves and do the hard yards.
So how did I respond to the little girl? I said “well, I personally started taking classes when I was 3 years old. hey, take off your shoes and point your toe for me…” she did with a bit of effort. So I asked her to do as I was going to do and I proceeded to roll up onto the balls of my feet, articulating each level. I asked her to take her hand from the desk that was propping her up and try to balance. She did all these things and then I said “that’s what I practiced” standing on one foot then the other then turning on the foot, lifting my leg and pointing my toe at the same time. it’s a practice so I didn’t fall over on stage. I think she got the idea but who knows?
What would you have said?