Ahhhhh... the care and keeping of a ballerina during Nutcracker week is literally a full time job. Two dress rehearsals and eight performances in the space of 6 days is hectic to say the least. There are early call times, hair and make-up to be done, costumes to repair, eyelashes to glue on, hair pieces to clip in and of course, hats, bonnets and tiaras to secure to little heads. I admit, I have had a bit of tiara envy. I wonder if the Snow Queen would mind if I accidentally knocked her over and swiped hers... ;).
One of the things I like to do during this week is focus on the many behind the scenes moments that just kinda make your heart sing... you know, if you have a heart that's not encrusted in ice like mine.
Yesterday's moment: It's intermission during a school show. Audience is filled with little tiny humans as well as a buncha seniors from area nursing homes. We don't let any of them out of their seats during intermission (no mass chaos in the bathrooms, no wandering off, etc.), so instead we entertain them. They do some stretching, they watch the snow get cleaned off the stage by the North Pole helpers who have to rush the snow back to Santa before it melts, and then Rudolph himself makes an appearance. One of the company members leads them in singing Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer and a few other songs that fill the time so we can do the scenery change.
Backstage, the audio is piped into the dressing rooms so everyone can hear their cues. It's cute to hear all the kidlets and the blue hairs singing away out in the theater. But today was different. Out of nowhere, all of the girls in the dressing room stopped what they were doing and started singing along to We wish you a Merry Christmas. It was like time stood still and the crazy hustle and bustle of costume changes, hair spraying and Timeless Ruby lipstick application was forgotten and the spirit of the season took over. In that moment there was a sense of "this is what it's all about". They were there this morning to give back to their community... to reach out simultaneously to the youngest and oldest members of it and share their collective passion with each other and their audience.
The song ended and it was back to business as usual.