Despite our rather lite rehearsal schedule the past few days (which has been unbelievable) I've neglected to write. I like to think I was out living my life instead of day dreaming about it. From now on my free moments will be few & far between...as much as I would like to stay in bed & sleep them away, it's worth it to take the opportunity to explore at least a few of the 31 destinations in my near future. Our last few days of rehearsal before opening have felt slightly surreal considering how pleased everyone has been with our cast, Julie & Linda couldn't be more happy. How often do you get to play Radio City Jeopardy & end rehearsal an hour early with a cast sing-a-long to "Joy to the World" instead of cramming in one last full dress run. (it's amazing how few of the words I really knew to that song...)I'll admit...It made us all feel a little warm & fuzzy inside. In return for our hard work, we've had a lot more fun & a lot more free time!! (Opening day I had another phone interview, for the Grand Rapids Press...note to self Nicole: while in an interview situation, Rockettes do not use the phrase, "yea, man..." Honestly...)
Monday night was finally opening night, complete with butterflies & nerves, speeches, gifts, & a party! With electricity in our veins & stars in our eyes, the gun went off & we hit the ground running. The giant, dark, empty space we had been performing in for the past few weekshad magically become a sea of movement, life, gleaming faces & thunderous applause. I have yet to find anything more gratifying, more elating, than the curtain going up on opening night.
Naturally we had some major technical boo-boos in the show. However, when it really came down to it...as we were doing our best to dance off of a moving double decker bus & charging downstage after our Shine staircase refused to budge, denying us the epic entrance we so deserved...we managed to accomplish everything we had so painstakingly rehearsed for the past two months, with more grace & style than any of the thousands of people sitting spellbound in the audience could have hoped for. On top of that we did it all without a hair out of place & a twinkle in our eyes, Lady Danger style, of course...what's up Hamilton? See you tomorrow Montreal.
So here we go, 105 shows, 31 cities, 17 one nighters, Thanksgiving on an airplane & Christmas Eve on a bus...Merry Christmas America. It's not necessarily the most ethical lifestyle, but as far as I can tell, it's what I'm best at. Thus far in life, normalcy is not my forte...I can't sit still...& although I still have yet to master sleeping in the fetal position across two seats on a greyhound bus, I'll take it over a white picket fence any time, at least for now...I like looking out my window & seeing something completely different every day, running out of my hotel room in a city I've never seen before on a rare moment off & discovering something new. I'm quite sure a month from now I will most likely change my tune & want nothing more than to stay in one place for a week & sleep it straight through, but then again, I've never pretended to be consistent.
One of my favorite people on this crazy little Christmas tour said this to me in an email yesterday, I think it might be one of the most epic, brilliant things I've ever heard on the subject of touring.
"Touring is crazy. It makes you crazy. The world will never be the same to one after one has toured and absorbed at the speed and level in which we coexist and make magic that we are all just used to creating, and sometimes fail to notice how cool this gypsy lifestyle is and we are leaving positive marks on people all over the map. That's ass kicking, and it's exactly the romance of the road."
Did I mention that I work with some of the coolest people on the face of the earth?