We had our tech rehearsal for this weekend’s Nutcracker performance last night. I got to see Broadway Joe in action as a director and a dancer. Gotta say, he’s a whirlwind of energy:
“Okay, now, Darling…” he said, to one of the performers, “I want YOU to be right over HERE… and… where is the sweet cart?”
My show husband/dance partner placed his hands on my shoulders and shifted me forward a couple of steps, “She’s right here.”
I glared at him playfully, yet astounded, “Do I look like a tray full of desserts to you?!”
He laughed, “Ohhh… oops. I thought he said ‘Sweetheart’.”
I am now responsible for some behind-the-scenes action. I am one of two dancing moms who have to move a curtain out of the way when the Christmas tree gets pulled off the stage… and then move it back into place — all without being seen, of course (the magic of the theatre!). But when we practiced it, I stepped back too far. I thought the backdrop was a little more solid than it actually was and managed to nearly fall into it. The other dancing mom caught me by the elbow and we burst out laughing. We had visions of the entire back curtain falling from the rafters into a giant puddle of fabric on the floor. Hours later, everyone would still be wondering how it happened and they’d finally un-earth me and call out, “Is there a doctor in the house?”
Maybe you had to be there to find it as funny as we did… but what made it funnier is that, moments later, on the other side of the stage, the director was wheeling out his favorite set piece: tall candy cane columns topped with whipped cream. Being unfamiliar with the construction of our props, he began to push them out from the top instead of the bottom, which immediately caused both to come crashing down. By the time I saw what happened… they were settled, broken on the floor, looking like ancient ruins.
Which brings me to my next point: Mere paces away — whilst I was on stage performing my role at the Center for the Arts — guess who was in town in concert on the arena stage… in the building next door? BASTILLE!!!… performing “Pompeii”.
Coincidence? I think not….
So, of course… I dreamt about you last night.
We looked like catalog models for Eddie Bauer (a season or two behind), in coordinating fair isle winter clothing, complete with matching sweaters, boots, scarves and hats. We were camped out (yes, camped as in camping) on top of a mountain, with sleeping bags (color coordinated with our charming clothing ensembles) placed sensibly near a roaring fire.
We stood together, looking out over the mountain range; you held me tightly, warmly against you beside a picturesque, almost-leafless tree with deep, tangled roots. I was afraid of falling. You said, “Wanna jump instead?” I asked, “Do you???”
We sat by the fire talking a while. I pulled out a white sheet of paper and a pen with blue ink and mapped out the stars for you. You said something that didn’t make sense to me.
So I walked away… hiking a short way down the mountain to a little pub. The bartender asked me what I wanted.
“Here we are in the exact same place, looking nearly identical… with all the stars aligned, by a fire, on a mountain held together by a strong secure tree, sharing the view… and he still doesn’t get it. How can he not get it???”
She poured me a Belgian chocolate milkshake, “He can’t see what he’s missing.”
“I have shared everything with him. I don’t know what more I can say. Nothing matters.”
She smiled, “All he sees are the holes. Fill in the blanks.”
So… after a few frustrated sips of my milkshake, I headed back up the mountain to see you. You were still sitting by the fire. I stood quietly in front of you and, when you finally looked up at me, I asked, “What are you missing?”
…. annnd scene.