Today was amazing.
It was our final day of rehearsal in the studio at the church before tech starts (tomorrow in general, but Saturday for us). We had a full run through nonstop of the show for each cast while the other cast watched. What fun!
First of all, yesterday at the end of rehearsal our cast, named the Blue Cast (the other is Gold), decided that we would all get together for our last day and all wear blue. So today everyone came in with blue leotards and shirts and so forth. Hooray for team spirit! I wore my favorite blue leotard and it was fun to see everyone all together like that - like school spirit. The energy was so positive with the group as a whole, way more so than the workhorse nature of the past 2 weeks. It was great. The other cast had the same vibe, but they had a group cheer for their cast, haha. Rockette cheerleaders. Throughout the two run throughs everyone was SO supportive of each other, cheering each other on and giving a standing ovation at the end. The directors even commented at the end of the day on how well we all worked together. They were pleased with the day (despite giving pages and pages of correction notes) and think we are ready to hit the stage. Just before we left for the day the big director made a comment while "almost getting weepy": "All your hard work and how much you genuinely love what you do is really showing through. What you created in this basement is truly incredible." Aw.
Our cast went in the morning, and the "show" went well. I felt good about it, and I enjoyed it much more having an audience beyond the 4 dance captains staring us down in search of mistakes, haha. Even though it was only the 50 or so members of the other cast watching (crammed in a 2 foot space along the mirrors up front!) it was great because it made me "perform" more.
At the end, everyone stood up and was clapping wildly - both casts. It was this incredible moment of satisfaction and excitement and energy and gratitude and joy and teamwork. You give so much while dancing, and those moments of actual performance are sublime. Your mind goes blank and your body takes over and it's pure movement and music radiating from inside.
But that moment immediately when it's over. At least, today, anyway. Maybe it's the adrenaline or the shakiness of muscle fatigue or the sake of being so very in the moment. But there is no feeling like that. Today I wanted to close my eyes and stop time and just savor those seconds of incredible happiness. I haven't felt it like that in so long, if ever, to that extent. Nothing else but performance can do that, to me anyway.
The clatter of applause drowns out all noise and time freezes with a smile, and then the warmth of joy melts you back to reality. Fulfillment and emptiness coexist. You have everything and yet gave it all. A few minutes later that moment is gone, forever. Ephemeral. I can only imagine what it will be like experiencing this moment ONSTAGE at Radio City Music Hall with 6,000 people clapping. I can't believe the best is yet to come.