Friday, April 24, 2009


When I'm mad at someone ... (I'm remembering a dancer who quit when we came back from a tour that was long hours on the road, sometimes sleeping in the car, waking to perform a morning show, as part of a college convocation series for its student body ... I'm remembering lousy accommodations, uninteresting food, slippery stages, small audiences, listing all the not good aspects of the tour to support the dancer who quit when we came back to the city) ... I want to say to him, to her (quitters happened more than once), go ahead and quit, but our tour, and the dancing that you did with me as your artistic director and "star" was the high point. Someday you will look back and understand, I was the high point.

Gee ... that sounds like apish pounding myself on the chest -- me? Em? The high point?

I was. The work they put in, the hard tour, the dancing as part of a small size company where each person emerged as an individual -- for any dancer age 20 to 30, who was a good-enough technician, with a nice looking face, a good body, who saw the ad in the magazine and came to my audition, who needed that job, wanted that job -- that dancer wasn't likely to get a job in a Broadway show chorus where you have to be handsomer, prettier, and more spectacularly endowed with technical facility. He or she would have ended up with much much less when they decided it was time to quit.

They might have been able to impress their parents and hometown friends who recognized the name of the show, and "Broadway" -- but having a chorus job isn't a high point. High point is a use of self, beyond what you envisioned as a kid, going further, beyond what you dreamed.

That tough tour, those exhausting tours were a long time ago. The guys and gals who quit (some talented, some not very talented) were all very attractive. I had a thing about hiring "attractive" dancers, masculine looking men, women who looked feminine, because they enhanced the choreography.

Those dancers are into other things now. Dancers rarely last longer than their late thirties. Muscles give out, spirit gives out, need for other things builds and builds.

They know, because they couldn't turn back the clock and go back to those days, that the high point was the stressful, hard-working, intense, real work of that tour. And me.

You? Me? (me spelled backward is em.) It's a highpoint for me to realize this. Yes, it was a high point, a completely totally full-out using of me, and only now, can I understand it and say it loud and clear.

Not just in room full of friends, and my guys.

In the privacy of paper on which I put words, that will be seen and read by you, whoever who you are, no matter who you are.

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