Tag Archive | Performing Arts

the “c” word

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That’s right, ladies and gentlemen. College.

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking lately about whether or not I want to go. Obviously my parents want me to. The hard part is trying to factor in whether or not that really matters to me. You see, I want to be a dancer, there’s no mistake about that. The question is, how do I get there? I don’t want to be a ballerina. Contemporary and commercial dance are where my heart’s at. I don’t necessarily need to go to college to be able to do those, I just think my parents believe that all successful roads in life start with university.

The problem, part two: I don’t want to waste the first four years of my adulthood, when I could be joining a company/agency or getting better training and seeing the world (London, specifically), trapped taking jazz and working towards a useless bachelor’s degree. I wanna do exciting things and meet exciting people. I want to dance.

Some of my friends’ life goals look like this: graduate high school, go to college and get a meaningless degree, and maybe work a little bit before marrying a dude and raising his family. I’d rather not. I have ambitions. Every day college starts to seem less like an achievement to aspire towards and more like a roadblock on the path to what I really want to do. I’m in the eleventh grade and the reason for everything I do nowadays has been reduced to “It’ll look good on your transcript.”

I overheard a conversation between a friend and his mother when they were the car yesterday. He told her that he didn’t want to go to uni because voice acting was the career he was after, which made college somewhat unnecessary. His mother said to him, “Will you feel the same way when you can’t feed your own family?” and that swiftly ended the conversation. Tense silence in the car.

Our parents just want the best for us. But I’m not ready to dedicate more anxiety, time, and money thinking about something that will determine the course of my adulthood. It’s too big for sixteen. I just want to dance honestly.

— Bethany.

new year, no fear

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Winter break is officially over for me. I arrived back at my ballet studio two days ago, and I’m proud to admit that even after a month of vacation, I have not fallen out of shape in the slightest. That didn’t stop my calves from complaining, though.

This is my first year in company, and this season we’re putting on “The Carnival of the Animals” ballet as composed by Saint-Saens. The little composer in me is still fangirling over the music; there’s nothing like an instrumental. I’m in the aquarium dance, which happens to be my favorite movement in the piece. It sounds so otherworldly. On Monday the dancers worked on a couple of combinations and phrases set to the music, and I’m excited to see what our instructor has planned.

So far, the new year has been going well for me. I can’t complain. I get to wake up every morning and, schoolwork aside, do what I love, whether it’s writing, dancing, or composing music myself. I’m excited to see where 2014 will take me.

Oh, pointe shoes. How I have missed you.

— Bethany.

 

 

I Know What I’m Doing, Really.

winterlondon.jpgWell, sort of.

Lo and behold, it’s Krysta again. It recently occurred to me that I haven’t explained what I want to do overseas. Now I know it’s been stated that I’m the theatre major of the group–if we haven’t stated that, now we have–but there are quite a few details missing from that statement.

For example, very few of all acting gigs pay well enough to support one’s self (and her companions). Aside from blockbuster movie/TV/Broadway stars, only big theatre companies make enough to consistently pay their actors. It’s no wonder so many actors get crazy–you have to fight a lot of dreamers to get a job. Not only that, but you have to look a certain way. That means talent alone can’t get you a great job.

Now I know you all must’ve heard this before–it isn’t new information to me, either–but it’s just that this is all dawning on me very suddenly. It’s one thing to hear this information over and over again, but it’s another to face the facts as an aspiring actress. What puts me two steps (because one is not enough) ahead of the game? What makes me stand out?

And that’s when I knew I had to study theatre. I’ve been in multiple plays and played almost every improv game in the book, but learning from the best of the best is what’s going to separate me from the competition. That’s going to launch my future career. That is what’s going to help me be the best (and trust me, you need to be the best in this business).

I’m sure some of you are wondering why I don’t sound like I’m relying on a “normal” job for the time being. It’s partially because I get bored easily of things I don’t enjoy, and I don’t enjoy “normal” forms of making money. And I know a job isn’t for fun, but I have trouble with sticking to things I can’t stand. There’s no way to say, “I didn’t do as I was told because it was too boring” to your employer without getting in trouble. Now I have my nannying job (and will soon have another one, I hope), but that can only last so long. I mean, once we head to England, I obviously have to get a new job. As if it wasn’t hard enough just getting my first one….

So to recap, I have to get more jobs, go to theatre school, learn a lot, kick butt at auditions, become the Doctor’s companion as soon as possible, make enough to support self and friends. Simple.

I’ve got this.

~Krysta

the unemployment blues

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I’ve been eligible to work for almost two months now, and I still haven’t been able to get a job. I’m working on it, though.

I think I’ve applied to like, thirteen places. No matter how hard I try or how many references I list, I can’t persuade anyone to hire me. And I know exactly why. It’s my schedule. When January comes, I’m going to be taking five ballet classes a week, which leaves me maybe three days open for work, depending on where the place is (no license yet). Apparently that’s not very appealing to many places of business?? Go figure.

All that aside, it’s Nutcracker season in the ballet world, and my studio is two weeks away from the production. That being said, my repertoire class is nowhere near being ready, but I’m crossing my fingers that it’ll be one of those times where things sort of fall together at the last minute like my life. Dance has been my outlet to take my mind off of my current unemployment… being in my pointe shoes running “Waltz of the Snowflakes” makes me feel amazing, even if there are people who still don’t know what they’re doing. We’re helping each other. Dance is helping me. Next session I’ll be making my debut in the Lakewood Ballet Company, after four long months of apprenticeship. Life is good.

But I still need a job.

–Bethany.

a short post about sacrifice

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Over the past few weeks, Fate has often been reminding me about the amount of sacrifice involved in the life of a dancer. Not that I’d had any doubts before; sometimes I just like to think of myself as being exempt from the rules. Regardless, I’ve had to make some decisions lately that were less than enjoyable.

A lot of people say that children who want to make careers out of ballet don’t have enough “fun” or they simply don’t have childhoods at all. I’ve had my fair share of sleepovers and trips to the movies (see this post and this one) not at the expense of my dance training, maybe even more than most. But as I grow closer and closer to my nearest goal, I’ve had to say goodbye to some things I would have been doing otherwise.

I had to give up modeling. For the entire season, maybe forever. It was causing schedule conflict with ballet and, much to my close friend and fellow model Jasmine’s disappointment, I had to resign. I was also unable to make it to two recent sixteenth birthday parties because of dance. Which I felt bad about.

But you know what? I wouldn’t have it any other way.

My friends understand that for me going to dance class is just as important as going to school. Ballet is what I love, and I don’t believe it’s compromising my childhood; just the opposite, really. I can’t imagine a life without dance. I wish everyone had something so pure and steadfast to be a part of… I feel very lucky. Dance is my bridge to take me places, and eventually, London. I’m getting closer every day. The time and the effort and the sacrifice just continue to validate me.

It’s a really nice feeling.

— Bethany.

Getting Down to Business

Summer is ending very quickly and I’m glad of it. 

Hi, people. I’m Bethany, the youngest owner of this blog, and I’ve been spending my summer either indoors or taking the limited amount of dance classes available at my studio; and as socially-damaging as it sounds, I’m glad the season’s almost over. As soon as school starts back up, I can focus on my dance training and get a job; me and the girls want to save a minimum of $3,500 individually just to cover the cost of getting settled in England.

The Urdang Academy of Dance in London, England

The Urdang Academy of Dance in London, England



Step one: dance.

My dance training is extremely important to me. I’m taking on more courses this year so that I’ll have  a broader spectrum of capability; so far I’m mostly trained in contemporary/modern. Plus, there’s no way I’ll be able to live in London if I can’t get into any of their dance schools! And as for that, I’m torn between England’s Urdang Academy and Bird College. Both seem like really good schools to train at, but my main issue with choosing between them is that I’ve not yet decided which field of dance I would most like to break into (company or commercial). Once I’ve decided I think it’ll be easier for me to choose a school, but for the time being I’m just trying to have as much experience and technique under my belt as possible: continuing this autumn with four ballet classes (two en pointe) and an advance contemporary class.

Step two: school.

It would also be helpful if I actually graduate high school. Maddie and Krysta are already putting the trip on hold to wait until I’m out of school (2015), so I don’t want to keep them waiting any longer than legally possible. We’re all three home-schooled (Well, Krysta graduated this year, but she was), so we have flexible schedules when it comes to our educations, and I think I’m going to take advantage of that to shape my school schedule around work and dance. And family, of course. My mom, dad, and my little sister Grace are extremely supportive of my aspirations and I just don’t want to let anyone down, really.

Fine dining at Jerry Jack's.

Fine dining at Jerry Jack’s.

Step three (the final step): work

This topic has been long-considered in my brain. I’m only fifteen and quite lazy to be honest, which puts a bit of a strain on my options as far as employment. I’d decided that I didn’t want to work in fast food (I can barely make cereal for myself, and you’ll never catch me cleaning a public toilet on this side of the grave) or with children, which are the two main jobs young teenagers tend to have. At first I thought to work in retail, maybe at a store in the mall, but at the current moment I haven’t got a car to drive or a full license, so that seemed pretty pointless as well. Now I’ve resolved to apply for a job at this cute little diner within walking distance from my house, called Jerry Jack’s, that my mom has written a story about in our local newspaper. I think I have waitress potential, if only I could learn to be a little nicer. ;P

This is my plan so far for the beginning of fall 2013. I’ll be back once I get the job to talk about budgeting and spending. For now, I’m trying my hardest to focus because, to be real, Maddie and Krysta are boarding the plane to London without me unless I’ve got all three bullet marks on lock. But don’t worry, I’m going find out how to make it work.

— Bethany.