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On the Road

written by Joe at  on 28.12. at 15:12:20 - as answer to: Holidays are over by kyle at
I'm rehearsing this week and will start touring on the third.  I work for a children's theatre company that has a "Ballet for Young Audiences" unit that performs in elementary and secondary schools.  We're doing "Hansel and Gretel" and "Peter and the Wolf."  "Alice in Wonderland" is just our speed.

We are a company of six dancers (they call it "chamber ballet").  We tour in a van that carries the company, stage manager, all our luggage, costumes, sets, and a portable barre.  A typical day is to get up at 7AM, check out of whatever motel we're in, sort of have breakfast, and get to the school where we're performing.  We all help load out the sets and costumes, usually with some help from school personnel. We set up the barre and have company class.  Then we get into costumes and make-up; most of the time the dressing room is the boys washroom.  We give our first performance between 10 and 11AM.

We load out, pack up, and head for the next school.  Lunch is most often grabbed at a supermarket.  (The per diam on this job is very little.)  We repeat the routine in the afternoon, finishing up at 3PM, as school gets out.  We travel to our next town, find our motel, and then try to see if there's anything to do with our evening besides dinner and bed.  I like to read, and I write poetry, so if we're in the middle of nowhere, I can entertain myself pretty well.

Generally we do "Hansel" for the younger audiences.  I dance Hansel.  I wear shorts with no tights, so I have to buzz my legs every couple of days.  I also dance "Peter".  In that ballet I wear blue tights, and on my first entrance I get whistles and catcalls from the older boys in the audience.  But when they see that I can do athletic moves, they settle down and appreciate my work.

We do this five days a week.  On Saturday, we look for a local dance school where we can take class. Saturday nights we go out, at least to a movie. On Sunday, we try to have some fun.  If it's not too cold out we go someplace pretty and hike around.  If it's cold, there's malling and movies.

On Monday morning, the fun starts all over again.


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