Yesterday, I had another Drosselmeyer rehearsal with one of the new "Dross's" and our Artistic Director. I have to say how excited I was and am to watch this guy begin to take hold of the reins and really begin pouring himself into the role. There is nothing worse for me as an actor/dancer to watch than when people don't take opportunities to expand themselves as artists. There are many types of dancers. Some are technicians, some are tricksters, some are more theatrical, and some (but few) can do it all.
Not all dancers enjoy or feel comfortable playing the acting roles. It is nice to see the role that I love and respect being treated with care and not taken lightly. I commend my fellow dancers who are now creating their own versions of Dross for working as hard as they are.
In that rehearsal, I enjoyed watching the other guy getting coached. I have been playing this role for so long, and I have many clear and set-in-stone choices that I use because they work for me. I have never been bored by this fact because as it is live theatre, it continually breathes and changes. However, it was fun to stretch my brain a bit and take myself back to when I was creating the character by watching the other dancer work. Listening to my boss give ideas and motivational guidance gave me the chance to reevaluate some of my choices. Usually, I don't get to do this because due to the fact that I know the part like the back of my hand, I simply go to rehearsal, do my thing and leave. In this coaching session, I had the chance to step back and look at the character afresh.
More than likely, I will continue to execute the role in the way I have fashioned it over the years. I can say with confidence that I am happy with how I portray the part. That doesn't come from ego as much as it does the fact that I love this part and do everything I can to preserve it. As I said in my first Dross posting, I've been working on this part since I was a little boy.
It is exciting to be passing the torch on to the others, and of course it's still heart-wrenching, but that's all part of the game! I hope that the dancer who was working on the role so well yesterday really is enjoying it because if he's not, then he's an even better actor than I thought! It's looking great, and I'm so proud.