Yep as the title suggests- Thats how I earned my money today!! God, for how long more? Huh?
Does it matter that I had been up dancing and rehearsing and choreographing from 9am that morning? Or does all that not count because I am not getting paid! Hrmf! Do people just see me and think thats all I do with my life? Do they care that I have been rehearsing for a show thats on next week or that I am choreographing and collaborating with two musicians for a piece in July? Would they think that I have been performing with a company who have been showcasing their work in Cambridge and Bath the last few weeks as well as getting ready for the Edinburgh Fringe Festival? Would they believe that I -The Paper Shredderer had a piece that I was commissioned (that means I was PAID) to make, that was currently on tour around the UK (well Dundee, Isle of Man and Leeds!! ha lol)?
No I dont think so. In fact I think they think I am a failure. The one who didnt make it. I mean as I live in this wacko dance world, I remember the dancers who I came across through the years and I remember looking at them as people who didnt really make it because they weren't in a full time company and they were just teaching!!!! What a naive little belter was I? I now apologise to those dancers/artists as I know the reality, which is not felt until you are smack bang wallop in the middle of it.
This week teaching pro class is Fred Gehrig and on Monday morning, right out of the blue, he asked "who in the room is working at the moment?". No one put their hand up. I knew a few of them had work lined up either starting in a months time or who are currently doing smaller projects and some who had just come out of a contract, so it kind of annoyed me as I felt they were letting our side down!! haha We need to stick together us freelancers. COME ON! lol. I, the ever-over-achiever-wannabe-dont-ever-call-me-a-failure-who-will-not-stop-at-anything-to-get-where-I-want-to-be-Blanc shyly put my hand half way up thinking yes look at me Fred over here behind you -I am working. Look at me. But then I asked myself 'why not stick your hand straight up in the air then and yell out with pride? Blanc why you being all coy? What you embarrassed about??'
Then I realised that I was doubting that what I was doing was valid because, well. can I really call myself a working dancer when I am not getting paid? Up until that point I didnt question my validity as a dancer.
I stopped my thoughts in their tracks and thought ina Barrack Obama voice 'YES, yes you can Blanc!!' Of course you can.
Number one you are doing lots of stuff which is getting you and your work seen. Number two you are f***ing knackered and dont have a social life. Ha! Surely the makings of a hard working dancer? You get up every morning haul your ass to class to keep yourself in shape because there is always that dream and that chance that one day you will be in a position of living solely off performing and you will make sure you are ready for it!
You have to start somewhere. Everyone started somewhere and everyone's start is different. (just thought I would get deep for a moment)
But until then I need to look at the fact that my rent is paid all from teaching and choreographing which is more than some people can say (always a competition folks) and all the little bits and bobs that I do help me pay my way so that I can have time to rehearse with different choreographers/companies or have space to choreograph or to do amazing workshops/classes or enable me to live if i need to go away to perform or audition. I am making a living out of dance. Is that not enough?
At the end of the day experience is priceless.
WOH! Glad thats off my chest. Feel ten times better.