Sunday, May 25, 2008

a novel length update on everything else

So I finally had some time tonight (admittedly, while killing time at work before my next assignment...) to write about recent events I've missed blogging about. There's a LOT to say and I apologize for the length and disorganization, haha. If you care to read it all, great. If you don't, I totally don't blame you - it's all a little insane, haha. But it helps me just to get it all down anyway. So here it is: a novel length update on everything that's been going on that I promised to describe in an older post:

-end of my writing on dance course
As you know, last month I took a 6 week Writing on Dance Course with NY Times Dance Critic Claudia La Rocco at DTW. It was one of the most interesting and exciting classes I've taken in my intense college/graduate education thus far, and it didn't even count for anything except my own enrichment.

It was so great. Each week we had an assignment to see a show and write about it in a different way - in a specific word count, bending certain rules, etc. It really got my creative juices flowing and got me so much more engaged in reviewing performances than I had been previously. From the conversations and the workshopping of different people's writing I started to notice different aspects both of dance and of criticism that are really exciting to me. I was really inspired each week and since it has ended I've missed it! Haha I guess that's a bit odd but not really...I'm super quiet by nature and didn't say much during the discussions, but taking it all in - everyone's opinions, creativity, passion for dance from all perspectives - was such a unique and great experience. I hope DTW continues to offer that kind of course because there is little outside opportunty to disucss the art form on that level (which is a shame).

I churned out quite a few reviews during the course and definitely think it has improved my writing compared to those I wrote beforehand.

-numerous recent auditions
Ah yes, spring is audition season. Ballet company -type auditions were early this year but I skipped out on most of those, largely because I've made up my mind that it's not worth it to me to be an unpaid, overworked, under-performed (made up word, yes) apprentice or student with a ballet company in a smaller city or town when I can do that and SO much more here in New York City. I have too much to be thankful for in my life here and now that what I once wanted makes no sense anymore.

SO I have been only doing auditions for things around here. As you saw from previous posts, the most successful one thus far has been for Radio City's Christmas Spectacular. I'm super excited about that and I want it SO much, but I won't know for sure until July. I'm trying to be optimistic (a concept often lost to me, unfortunately) without getting my hopes up too much.

-my "choreographic debut" with the high school kids i taught
The kids I was teaching all this semester did really well with their performance. It was my official little 'NY choreographic debut' and I was pleased with it. I wasn't able to make it to their dress rehearsal so I was a bit nervous for them the night of the show, but it went really really well. I was proud of them and it felt good to see my work completed with lights and costumes and the works. They brought me up onstage to introduce me and give me flowers - a nice touch :). Teaching has really been a side thing for me to this point but it's definitely something (one of MANY things, good God) I'd like to pursue eventually.

-seeing my old studio's spring performance
Since I am still in charge of their newsletter even though I finished an issue just recently, I got to attend my old studio's spring performance. I'm working on the next issue for June and had to squeeze in time to catch the show between everything else going on, but I'm glad I did. All my former classmates were wonderful. It's so funny to watch like that as an outsider when I was once so involved myself (the past 2 years). But I wasn't really nostalgic or wishing I was a part of it this time, which is odd. It felt right to be in the audience cheering them on and writing about it like I've been doing for a while now. They deserve the spotlight.

-additional blogging opportunity
Amongst new endeavors for the summer, a new website has asked me to blog for them. I know, I continue to add projects endlessly but I do try to see them through and I only take things I think are worth it (okay, maybe I say yes to everything that comes at me, but it's all worth it so far). recently launched and I'll be writing for them. It's a social network kind of thing along with dance videos and such. Interesting...check it out.

-not getting one of my dream jobs
This was a big one. Being the obsessive person that I am, I'm constantly on both audition and job websites looking for my next opportunity. Since I just completed my internship at The New Yorker, my 4th magazine internship and 6th internship overall, I've come to the logical conclusion that my days of unpaid labor are largely over and done with, haha. And what's the next step after that and graduation?

Well, it SHOULD be a full time job, I suppose. Unless you're only 19 and in graduate school. But that didn't stop me from applying to the most ideal entry level job ever for my situation. I don't want to specify exact details just yet, but it's exactly the position I would want in publishing...but maybe, like, 5 years from now.

I was asked in for an interview (a story in itself...) and I seemed to have a decent change of getting it. The problem: it would have meant a full time job, which means no time for dancing. The long week I waited to hear back about the job practically killed me - on the one hand, I wanted it so bad because it's exactly what I've been preparing for and a great step towards my one career. On the other, much stronger hand I couldn't bear the thought of sitting at a desk full time at this point in my life, and giving up my first love. No I could never quit dancing all together, but basically getting this job would have meant (to me, anyway) the end of my pursuit of a professional career.

Many have told me this wouldn't have been the case and no decision means forever and blah blah blah, but it was tough for me to consider. Luckily, or unluckily depending on my mood, I didn't get the job. I'm glad for the moment because I can continue trying to dance for now, but part of me is a bit lost in thinking what will come next. I've been going crazy over this one...more details someday when I get the courage, haha.

-being interviewed for the big website, one of the sites I check regularly for publishing jobs (ironically, where I found the aforementioned failed dream job listing) contacted me for an interview to be posted on their site. I found it kind of humorous honestly, because I feel like that site is so professional and high status and I'm just a (relative) newbie to the media industry. BUT the writer spoke with me about arts journalism and starting a career in the field. It was really interesting to hear myself talk about this, haha, because I'm still navigating my way and trying to launch myself in this dying area. I'll be interested to see the final article in a few weeks, and will post a link when it's up.

-official college graduation ceremony (and getting sick beforehand!)
Just as a funny milestone of the past month: I went to my official Marymount Manhattan College graduation ceremony at Avery Fisher Hall (!) a few weeks ago, even though I officially graduated months ago. It was amusing for many reasons, but mostly because I got really sick that morning for no apparent reason. It was not fun, but funny in hindsight. I was quite miserable the whole day, which was unfortunate because that's one of the first "real life" milestones I've experienced. My high school graduation was a joke because it was held in a ballet studio with 4 other graduates. Prom was equally lame. Moving away to college was unmomentous because I had been away since age 14. So finishing and sitting through the ceremony was kind of big, haha. I felt like I was at Hogwarts or something with all the professors in uniforms and such. Maybe I'm revealing a bit too much of myself in this post, hahaha but I don't care.

-other teachers i've been taking class with
Since my fabulous teacher went away all this month I started branching out and taking ballet class with numerous teachers I haven't experienced before...and I really like them! Different styles, different approaches...but good classes. The famous Madame Darvash was teaching at a small open studio and few people knew about these classes, so it was an extreme privilege to learn from her with a very small group. She gave me a ballet book she swears by to "study" and taught me A LOT about her way of seeing placement and weight distribution and such in a very short time. She's great. As are many of the others I've been taking with and plan to continue with after ABT's intensive the next 3 weeks.

-recent & upcoming performances
Last week was the little play I was in, which went well. Next Sunday is our student showcase, and I'm doing a variation from Le Corsaire, which I just saw ABT do (wonderfully). We're also doing some group pieces...should be fun. Also at the end of ABT's intensive we have 2 studio showings, but won't know what we're performing until rehearsals get underway this week.

Well, there you have it...a novel about the past month. There's probably a ton of things I've missed and should have added, or tons I should have left out (haha) but it is what it is. The rate my life is going right now is insane and hard to keep up with, but I'm enjoying every minute. Thanks for keeping up with my blog despite some lag time :)

PS- If you made it all the way through this crazy long post, I admire you! Haha

Happy Memorial Day to all, and I'll be starting at ABT's Collegiate Intensive on Tuesday so look for posts all about that soon.

1 comment:

Kathy with a K said...

Madame Darvash! My goodness, Russians live forever don't they?!

note: comment not made in disrespect, rather complete awe. I have friends who studied with her over 30 years ago. See?