So it’s been just over a week since the show ended. I expected to feel much more of an immediate impact, but I think because Jess and Anna were visiting, it cushioned the blow somewhat. I had dear friends around who I hadn’t seen for over two years (ARG), we did touristy things and it wasn’t like just going back to reality straight away.
Now my body is starting to go “
All that aside, the whole Strictly Ballroom experience was just wonderful from start to finish. It was an incredible bunch of people assembled to bring the show to life – just a lot of hardworking, humble, talented, kind and good-humoured people. No egos. Almost everyone was fairly accomplished in one way or another, but I didn’t know most of it until reading the program bios. I love that. Maybe that’s the difference doing theatre in a place like Launceston as opposed to Sydney; there’s a lot less self-promotion, a lot less competitiveness, a lot less angst about everything. Sure, people have ambition and want to succeed, but it’s not so brash and offputting like it can be in a big city where everyone is climbing over everyone else. Or maybe I haven’t seen it yet. Anyway. In this particular production, there was none of that, which made it a pleasure to turn up to rehearsal and the theatre every day.
The show itself was just gorgeous. So much colour and movement and incredible lighting and fantastic music from the band and the dancing!
Man I wish I could dance.
But I can sing! I loved singing the music in this show. The ensemble songs were fun, and being able to sing off stage for most of the ensemble numbers meant that even though I wasn’t onstage a lot of the time, there wasn’t as much down time lying around in the dressing rooms like there was in Sound of Music. I think that possibly is one thing that helped everyone feel like we were a cohesive whole, as we were mostly all involved in the bulk of the show.
One of my joys was being part of the ‘heart’ of the show. Rick, Charlotte and I had our little family unit (Rico, Fran and Abuela), and my two songs were all about connecting with the “music of your soul”, believing in yourself and being true to what you believe and who you are. It was a moment to come down from all the frenzied neon sequins and feathers of the ballroom world, with the muted tones of set and costume, and my lower-pitched voice, and the rhythmic dancing of Magnifico.
And Leap of Faith (written by Sia, no less) is just a gorgeous song that I felt privileged to sing – totally within my range too, which is nice.
Speaking of Charlotte, what a joy to meet and work with her! She and Tarrant are every bit the stars that they looked on the posters in terms of talent and helming the show, but as
A three-week run (nightly shows Wed-Sun with a Saturday matinee) while working full time is a hard slog – it really was much easier when I was 20 and only had to pretend to pay attention in class the next day! I’m glad my character needed to look old as I didn’t have to think about the bags under my eyes.
I ate really badly; lots of sugar, lots of caffeine, lots of carbs (just the ticket for a type 2 diabetic, hey?). I would go straight from work to find dinner, then into the theatre because there wasn’t really enough time to go home to Grindelwald and back into town (one of the few times I wished I lived in town!). And eating dinner at
Then after the
But that’s just the reality of any marathon effort. I’d do it all again. Of course. I am so glad I was part of this production. I was saying to mum today, it’s nice to reflect on it and realise that I am actually good at performing onstage and it wasn’t just a misguided lark back in my uni days. In
The weirdest thing is getting used to praise. I never know what to say to people who gush about the show, and there have been a lot of them! People at school stopping me as I walk past, or coming into the office especially to tell me how much they loved the show…and me in it, specifically. People on social media! In the
People keep asking me what’s next. I don’t know. It will be something! But this one was special – I don’t think anything can top it.