My brain is battered, bruises shroud my knees, and a blister the size of my eye protrudes like a 6th toe from the back of my left foot (we shall call the him Jed). Inside and out, my body is painted with signs of imminent destruction, which of course means theater week must be right around the corner.
Lately it’s been tough to find a moment to sit down and write, between sublimely hypnotic Coma rehearsals, and scrambling to learn a principal part in Études after one of our most important dancers pulled a muscle just last week. As professionals we are trained for these unexpected changes and quick replacements, but the lack of predictability always thickens the blow.
In the world of ballet, it’s important to have coping mechanisms. In this case, the best way to achieve something that seems slightly impossible, I believe, is to visualize the task being completed extremely well. So for the next 8 days, I will be picturing myself dancing a very tricky solo with the confidence of that one girl in class who repeats the pirouette combination 4 times just to make sure everyone has seen her quadruple on the left, and floating through the double fouettés at the end of the ballet with so much ease the audience will be waiting for me to say, “it seems like there’s enough time for a triple, don’t you think it would be better if we all just did a triple?” (name that ’90s ballet cult classic).
As I leave my apartment for another day of dancing and dreaming, I only ask one favor; Visualize it for me, won’t you? Just picture me running off stage buzzing, “Did you see how on I was tonight?” And then two strapping men will fight over me, as I push them aside to do another set of perfect fouettés.