I have a clear understanding of why I do what I do. It's simple. I love it. I love being on stage. I love performing for people and the rush that I get when I take a curtain call and see the audience standing. I have always felt that a performance should take the audience away from their lives. I love the ability to transport someone away from the things that are going on outside of the theatre.
Believe it or not, there are artists who don't feel the same way. Dance is for themselves only. I don't understand this type of artist. I'm not invalidating their experience simply because it is different than mine; I am simply stating that I don't understand their perspective. The performing arts are just that-arts that are meant to be performed! Some people love the time spent in the studio more than being on stage. The "process" of rehearsing has never been my favorite part of the job. Of course I respect it, for without it, the end result would be disastrous, but I live for the stage. I need the energy of the audience. I crave the butterflies that I get in my stomach when I'm waiting for the orchestra to tune. I still get chills when I hear the pulleys rumbling as the curtain goes up. Every aspect works together to give me the excitement of bringing joy to others, and in return, I receive the most joy.
Tonight, I went to a performance of the Kansas City Symphony, and I was reminded of something else that I have enjoyed over the past ten years. A tiny bit of fame. I was well out of the normal ballet stomping grounds at a theatre far from where the symphony and ballet usually perform, and within five minutes of entering the lobby I was approached by seven people who recognized me. They ranged from people I had met over the years to people who had simply seen me on stage and wanted to express how they had enjoyed seeing me grow during my time with the ballet. It made me begin to think of how strange it will be not to get stopped in the drugstore and thanked for my artistic contribution to the community by a father buying diapers. After this year I will no longer get to see a child blushing when her mother says, "Look honey! It's one of the dancers!"
After this season, I completely begin again. There has been such safety in being known. I admit, it inflates my head a bit! More than that, I feel honored that my work has been appreciated. At the root of my love for the art, is my love for the audience. I will sincerely miss bringing this attention to Kansas City.
I would like to reiterate that I realize that in actuality, I am not famous! I am one in a company of twenty-six talented individuals who work together daily to bring their passion to the stage. Without them, the little moments of "fame" I receive will quickly dissolve. I'm not afraid of this. More than anything, I'm intrigued. Will I be able to experience this again? I am excited to give it all I have in order to find out.