I don't think I want to be a teacher. But I love to teach.
I don't know if I'm a choreographer. But I love to tell stories through movement.
I don't know if I'm a director. But the act of engaging with someone in order to have them most fully tell a story is exciting to me.
I'm currently the Associate Choreographer for Flashdance the Musical. I am about to run off to another day of these auditions but have been dying to write!!!
Each day I'm floored... By the commitment and talent that comes into the room. The wonderful energy that is returned to me. I am potentially a scary presence. I hold their resumes and say 'yes or no' to continue to the next round. Instead of meanness though, I try openness. And what I find is that these ladies and gents relax and show me their best. Whether they make it or not. And then, how they surprise me! They come to a dance call and stay engaged and present, maybe they aren't dancers at all, but maybe we keep them through anyway. Then, they open their mouths to sing and they soar. And all the sweat and frustration from the morning clears and they own the room. Or a dancer who comes in and just IS what you are looking for, who then doesn't know that when they open their mouths to sing and real music comes out and it is good! A dancer just getting started who comes in with sides, a very scary thing sometimes for someone who spends their time telling stories with their bodies not their voices, but then is prepared and has thought about the scenes and characters. They made choices and in that moment I just think 'wow! I get to be here when you were just getting started. And that is awesome.'
I feel newly invested in the show and in this still developing company that will tell this story. I want to get in the room with them and challenge them, but also give them room to become the characters and performers that they are and will be. We are casting these people based on their talent for sure, but also on their potential to grow into the roles and the story.
Engaging with these people has been very rewarding and we are only halfway there. There are only a number of slots at the end of this, but I hope that everyone who passes through the door will feel like they were able to show us their gifts. And I'm certainly learning a tremendous amount about the importance of that first impression, of staying engaged, of trusting the people at the front of the room, of trusting yourself and of simply doing your best. Come in ready to work and we will take care of you and be thankful for you showing up.
Need to go eat a quick breakfast. I gotta go!