It feels like it's been forever since I was last this busy. It feels almost new to me. I'm glad I'm more spiritually- and emotionally-stable, wiser with how I work with my body, and less temperamental now than before that I am able to cope very well.
One would think that for people who earn a living by performing, like me, auditions would be a piece of cake. Not true. I've been auditioning my whole life and it hasn't gotten any easier, no matter how big or small the part is, no matter how big or small the production is.
Tonight, I auditioned for the Christmas Cabaret, an internal Christmas show for our department. Two numbers: a corps neo-classical piece and a contemporary pas de deux. Jitters, jitters, jitters! But they were the good kind. They kept me on my toes and pushed me to perform better. And for the first time, since day one of the pas de deux's choreographic process, I was able to do the overhead dead-weight lift that opens the piece. It's all over now. They passed by so quickly I barely had time to really enjoy the numbers. We're now just waiting for their judgement. Do we get to show them off or not?
Me, As A Dancer
Yesterday, while rehearsing the corps neo-classical piece I am cast in, my partner, Terasa (an Aussie girl, formerly principal dancer of the HK Ballet) asked me after the penchee promenade if I was comfortable doing it. I honestly told her I was scared. Hello! The girl was en pointe, on a vertical split and I was turning her around. I had all the reasons to be scared! She rubbed my chest and assured me I was dong fine. After the second time we did it, she said, "Rye, that was perfect. I was centered the whole bit."
this is penchee. imagine me standing beside her, hip-to-hip, holding her by her arms and going around her as if the toes she is standing on is the pivotal point by which I bring myself and her whole body around. that is penchee promenade.
Today, before I and my partner were called to the audition room for the pas de deux, I said to Verna (my wife, a seasoned dancer, and then- principal of the CCP Dance School and soloist of Ballte Philippines), "I'm not really sure I can do this."
"Why?", she asked me.
"This is a principal dancer's piece. Di ako principal dancer. [I am not a pricipal dancer.] Never was. Never will be."
"Anukaba! Isipin mo, recital lang. [Just think of it as a recital]", she said encouragingly.
"Kahit recital, pang-advanced students to. Intermediate lang ako. [But even for a recital, this pice would be for advanced students. I'm just intermediate.]"
"Professional ka [You're a professional]", she punctuated our conversation.
Coming home tonight, I felt silly. These were the kind of roles I dreamt of doing when I was with Ballet Philippines 4 years ago, but was never given the chance to do. This time, I was personally hand-picked by the choreographers themselves to do them because they think I'm fit for the role. And I am doubting myself? Where is that coming from, that fear?
I grunted when I first heard that I was part of the cast hat would have to stay until midnight tonight to do a special buy-out show for a major cosmetics line.
The show was slated at 11pm, but fortunately, we started thirty minutes earlier. Even then, I was cranky that I had to stay that long and do that show.
When the curtain opened, we were greeted with a thunderous applause from the audience --- something so poignant that I've never heard for so long. I smiled wholeheartedly. Because right then and there, I felt the high that made me remember why I decided I was gonna be a performer.
As soon as I got out of work, I received an sms from Cielo, La Remi's bestfriend: "Hi Rye! Just informing you that your mom is in the hospital because of hypertension. She's in better condition but we decided to let her stay so she can rest. Your prayers can make her even better. Be well."
I was worried. Instant reaction. I am not anymore. I know she'll be fine and kicking like a horse by tomorrow. I just know.
When I felt the first panicky heartbeat in my system, the first person I wanted to call was Mai, my brother in Dubai. But I thought he'd get more panicky so I decided to call Ricky and have him check on Remi. We picked up and I told him the sms I got.
Thirty minutes later, he asked me to call him. He said everything was under control and that he would call Cielo again tomorrow morning. He promised to keep me posted.
Just before we hung up, he said he hit a post in the parking area of SM Megamall, while driving out of it. He was totally fine but the damage in the passenger's side was huge. I reminded him to be careful of his driving. There's too much stress landing on his lap right now and I told him that I hope that Remi's condition didn't add to it.
He sms'ed me when he got home and I replied: "Good night! Rest well and thank you sooo much for still being family."
In less than two months, we will be commemorating our first year of being separated.