Several weeks ago, I took PGirl Jr. to her ballet class. As I waited in the reception area, the new director of the company began chatting with me. We work with each other occassionally through my new job, so we had some business to discuss. After a few minutes of this kind of talk, she asked me if I wanted to be in "The Nutcracker". I've done a bit of theater in my time and have studied acting for 16 years, so I figured she wanted me for some background work. We theatre-types call this "dumb show". Having seen the ballet a couple of times, I knew there were some small parts in the party scene. I bit.
Me: "Do you need me to play a butler or servant or something?"
She: "You'd play the host."
I begin to sweat, having never danced in a show, ever.
Me: "That's not the guy who brings the girl the nutcracker, is it?"
She: "No. He's the father of the little girl who is the center of the show."
Me: "I'll do it."
Me: "So I stand around with other adults and pretend to have a good time?"
She: "Yes. And you dance."
Me: "Oh. Do I have to buy a dance belt?"
I didn't have to buy one.
I've been rehearsing on Sundays for almost a month now. The artistic director, not a dyed-in-the-wool football fan, has scheduled most of the rehearsals during the Bills games. But I've survived so far.
I know how to do a cross step now and the people who play my wife and daughter answer my questions when I have them. There have been two kids who've played my son so far. I think the one I worked with today is the real one. I'm even having fun with the "dumb-show". When the other "party parents" greet my character in a reception line, I shake the men's hands and say things like, "Glad you could come to the party old-chum!" and "You still owe me money Roscoe!"
Last week's rehearsal kind of rough. I smacked a girl in the head with my watch and a kid who I had to stand behind smelled vaguely poopy, but I get that every week in my own house.
Anyway, I have to wrap this up and get ready for bed. A dancer needs his rest.