Snow scene from the New York City Ballet's Nutcracker

Snow scene from the New York City Ballet’s Nutcracker

10:15 AM

Today is the first and second performances of The Nutcracker, which means that I kind of live at the theater this weekend. I have three parts: Party Parent in the beginning of Act I, Snowflake in the end of Act I, and Flower in Act II. Yesterday didn’t go so well, but then again, the dress rehearsal never does. Now I know where the theater is, so it won’t take me as long to get there, and now I’ve used up all of my mistakes, so I won’t be messing up today. (That is the way it works, isn’t it?) For obvious reasons, it seemed like The Nutcracker was really the only thing I could blog about today. So I’m going to do a Saturday Nutcracker-themed version of my “Random Thoughts on a Sunday Afternoon”  genre of blog posts. It would be inconvenient to carry my laptop around with me all day, especially since my dance stuff is already an encumbrance, but I can instead carry around a notebook and pen, and then type up everything when I get back. Names, pictures, and many anecdotes shall be omitted, not because they’re necessarily secrets, but because I don’t think it’s right to use my blog to talk about other people without their express knowledge and permission.

11:15, via tumblr:

My dance bag is so full. When I get to the theater, I’m going to be like, “Does anybody need to borrow anything? Safety pins? Hairspray? Eyeliner? Band-aids? Black duct tape? Silver duct tape? Legwarmers? Luther’s Small Catechism? A chess set? I’ve got it all right here, people.”

About 11:30, via mental notes:

I was in such a hurry to leave on time that I left random stuff all over the floor of my dorm room. My semi-OCD brain is very disturbed by that, despite the fact that I’m not really a neat freak. The organization of stuff does not happen to be an area in which my OCDness manifests itself.

1:20, via notebook:

Nothing like being late to get the adrenaline running. For the record, it totally wasn’t my fault.

We were supposed to be here between 12 and 12:30. I don’t know what time we actually got here, but it probably wasn’t very late, because I’ve done my hair and makeup since then, and they took me ages. My skin is so dry that the makeup just isn’t taking. From close-up, my face looks ridiculous. From far away, it probably looks okay. Still, I’m hoping that the sweat from warm-up class will make the makeup blend in, and then when I fix it, it will look fine.

2:10, via notebook:

Good things about warm-up class onstage: 1) It’s fun dancing under stagelights and seeing your shadow instead of your reflection in a mirror. Shadows are more forgiving than reflections. Take from that whatever metaphors you will. 2) It lets you get used to things like the lighting, the size of the stage, and the feel of the floor while you’re warming up. 3) Dancing in an environment with the unique smell of the combination of hairspray, extreme quantities of makeup, and sweat gets you in the performance mindset.

Bad things about warm-up class onstage: 1) It’s too crowded, and everyone keeps accidentally kicking each other. 2) Now I remember how much my stress fracture hurts from wearing pointe shoes for several hours yesterday evening.

About 2:30, via mental notes:

The curtain will be going up any minute, and I’m in the wings, ready for my first of three roles, which is as a parent in the party scene. This is the least cool of my roles, but the fun thing about it is that “my” children are awesome. Normally I have three kids, but only two of them are here for this performance. That works well, because I have two hands, so I held out both hands and whispered, “High five for good luck,” and they simultaneously high-fived me quite forcefully, demonstrating their superb high-fiving skills. I’m proud of those children.

4:34, via notebook:

Show #1 is over. It didn’t go so well. My biggest problem is this stupid stress fracture and my bruised toenails. While I’m dancing, the adrenalin sets in and I’m capable of putting weight on my feet, but the adrenalin also makes them go so numb that I can hardly feel when they are and aren’t on the ground. If that sounds really ethereal, it totally isn’t. It makes it hard for me to point my feet in the air and to balance on them on the ground. They just kind of flop and stumble around like oversized gummi bears. Red ones, because pointe shoes are tight. Then I get offstage and I almost pass out from the pain.

5:30, via notebook:

They brought in boxed lunches for us to eat in between shows, and we found a platform thing by the stairs to sit on while we eat, because cool people like to sit on platforms, especially while eating. And I ate two and a half cookies because some people didn’t want theirs, and I’m a pig, especially where chocolate chip cookies are concerned.

Ugh, I don’t want to put my pointe shoes back on my swollen, bruised feet.

9:00, via mental note:

The second show went way better than the first one, although I can imagine ways in which it could have gone better. For example, I could have not messed up the pas de chat part in the snow scene by randomly turning around in the air even though it’s just supposed to go straight. Or I could have not bumped into anyone during Flowers. Or I could just have danced better throughout the performance, depending upon how you define “could”, ‘cause I was genuinely trying to do my best. I’m just a very imperfect person.

The instant the curtain went down, I yanked off my pointe shoes. I wouldn’t have even been able to walk offstage without getting those shoes off of my feet first.

11:17 PM

Agenda for tomorrow: sleep, wake up, church, Nutcracker, homework, sleep

Waltz of the Flowers from New York City Ballet's Nutcracker

Waltz of the Flowers from the New York City Ballet’s Nutcracker