Friday, August 31, 2007
My "girls" and Diva napping
In “The story of Art” Ernst Gombrich advices us to keep a fresh and open mind when enjoying great works of Art. If we do, “there is no telling what one might bring home from such a journey”.
This journey started with a week of promotional work in Sydney and Melbourne. There were 5 of us, the remaining divas arrived, not looking like divas at all after traveling for 24 hours, towards the end of that first week.
To save time on this my first blog entry, I decided to merely copy, word for word the email that was sent to my friends, describing events and experiences of that first week of Grandivaness.
I am dancing (though I am "retired") as a male, with an all male company doing classical ballet on pointe. It came about rather suddenly, which is always a good sign. I have yet to fully rehearse anything. Most ballet companies seem to aim to be organised, but rarely are. Contrary to most of the other companies I have worked with however this group takes themselves a lot less seriously. These "girls" take everything with a smile (sometimes a " you bitch" or a squeal) and make royal fun of everything.
The first week, which is drawing to a close now was a promotional week. The director Victor Trevino and 4 other dancers plus myself met up in Sydney and did TV, photos, interviews and a lot of waiting around. I was the lucky one, I only had to be in "normal" makeup, the "girls" spent entire days sitting in tutus and pointe shoes, wigs and full blown over the top makeup. Again, I can't imagine "real" ballerinas going for that with the same sense of humor. After a few days I thought my stomach was sore from repeatedly picking Victor up in over the head lifts, waiting for photographers to check the light and angles, until I noticed how much we were laughing.
Seeing them do serious pointe work, on marble kitchen floors in a tv studio at 8 am on live tv, on tile lobby floors and on a raked wood stage that tore everything to pieces, has been awesome.
The presenter and his PR man are a show in themselves. Each enjoy being the centre of attention and find themselves competing against each other and a bunch of drag queens. But they are sweet people, fun-loving yet on the ball when they need to be. PR guy, Lionel, has the most interesting version of "fetch-hair" (comb-over) I have yet to see. All but a few strands of the long ones hang down the back of his head. The few that are actually entitled to be called a comb-over grace the top of his forehead. At first I thought it was the wind that was the coiffeur, but when it didn't change over the next 3 days I figured he likes it that way or simply has no clue to what his hair is doing.
The rest of the group arrived yesterday in Melbourne and we have our first show on Monday in Shepparton. So far haven't rehearsed much, due to the pr schedule, but we have 70 shows scheduled and up to 130 if tickets sell well!
Performing in 65 theatres throughout Australia and New Zealand, this is the largest, most extensive tour of Down under of any international perfomance troupe, according to the presenters.
The logistics are nuts; we found out the other day that we cannot go by bus at night due to kangaroos, so we might have a lot of shows straight off the bus and into the theatre.
Best part for myself, is that I am now going to perform all the classical repertoire, the princes etc. that I never did (was never that interested either) as most of my directors didn't think I fit the bill. Add a dose of humor and here I am in the white tights, hoisting guys instead of girls!
We already had our first drama. The costume guy, who arrived yesterday, already feels that he is not being treated right. He seems to be a bit high maintenance and was upset about not being introduced straight away; and here I thought that the cause of his despair was that one of the "girls" had turned him down.
I am so far getting along with all the ones I've spent the first week with. Victor and I share a room. It just happened so, that though it has been cold, rainy and windy outside, the AC in our rooms turned them in to sauna's, so everytime any of the "girls" would come by, they would find me very loosely dressed. The first time I looked at them with a "royally pissed off look" and exclaimed how I had not been told I was to be the house boy! It has been the first of many jokes and it is great for me as well to see how easy going they are as well. So far our humor fits well. Marlon, from Brazil, is the main jokester and storyteller. Giving me the head's up on everyone he told us that he doesn't really get moody " why be miserable when you can enjoy others being miserable?"
Oswaldo, the gentle giant, is a man of few words, but when he does speak he is right on point (pun intended) and very very funny. I think I will learn a lot about comic delivery on this trip.
To be continued next week, same time, same channel....