Things look different on a stage with lights. At tech rehearsal for Teena’s hip hop piece tonight, I stumbled through the first runthrough — the lights turned on! and there were colors! and where was I? and the music had a totally different quality played through the stage soundsystem than from a boombox nearby. I needed to reset, play the song inside my head, squint into the darkness when Mary Beth called out instructions (Bryce, thankfully, relayed them to me when he realized I couldn’t lipread outside the flood of stage lights).
Tech rehearsal for Kyler’s piece went off with fewer hitches, though the loudness of the music means I’m now entirely dependent on feeling vibrations through the floor in order to tell when to uncurl and scramble up after Lily. I used to be able to hear and feel her fall. Now it’s just the feeling.
It was fascinating to watch how disoriented I was. My entire visual environment had been thrown into disarray, and I live by my visual environment. I think I recovered fairly quickly, though. I learn fast. And by tomorrow night’s dress rehearsal, I’ll be okay now that I know what to expect, and I know to ask my fellow dancers to give me physical cues in the dark (shoulder-taps, not whispers).
I never thought I’d actually be dancing on a stage. I’ve worked tech for dancers before — I even got paid once in college when a troupe of traveling dancers came by and Steve Westwood and I signed on to work the show. The lights turned the stage into a different world; I still remember rolling and flying props onstage mid-song; scooting out a luggage for a dancer to catch and sit on, floating a balloon down for another to grab. They leapt and rolled and flirted and fought to brassy jazz vocals and soft piano music and everything in between. I’m used to seeing that from the sidelines — admiring, contributing, but not being out there in the spot.
It’s still a weird moment, stepping out and having the lights turn on. How did I get here? What am I doing? Gotta figure out how to console myself that I’m supposed to be there. Better yet, just focus on dancing. Deep breaths. It’s good. You’re learning!
Next up: more Readiness stuff. I am still writing! I just, y’know, had a full day of classes and meetings and finished all my homework for a week today; it’s been packed with non-Readiness from 7:30am-10pm, so I just started for the day an hour ago. Let’s see if I can close by midnight, get some sleep for a change.