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Nutcracker Frustration

2 Left Feet

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I was asked to be in a local Nutcracker this year. I did Cavalier and Prince in it last year. It was choatic but I ended up enjoying it. So this year I'm asked back but not told what parts I'd be dancing. I was told to be at the studio last Saturday at 11AM for rehearsal. I showed up to learn they'd changed the rehearsal schedule and I wasn't needed.


Cut to today, I show up when I was scheduled at 10:30AM. I walk in and find no one in the studio except a receptionist. She looks at me and gasps, "I was just about to call you." They'd changed the schedule again without letting me know. They moved reheardsal back two hours. I look at the new schedule and see we'd be running Act II today. Thats all and well but I haven't rehearsed anything yet! :lol: I don't know what parts I'm doing. I don't remember last year's choreography and they want me to do a full run through?


I told the receptionist I'd driven 30 miles to get there, that I didn't appreciate not being informed and to have someone call me. I left and came home.


Two weekends in a row I've move doctors appointments, changes my schedule around only to find they either didn't have me scheduled or they'd changed the times without letting me know. My instinct right now is not to bother doing the show. I don't want to be a prima donna but, come on, two weekends in a row they change things and don't bother calling me? It's not like there are a lot of guys on their list to call about changes. Not only is a it inconsiderate and a major inconvenience, there's also the drive time, the cost of gas, etc.


I have no plans to go back today and I don't think I should until they call me to give me a correct schedule.


Am I being a prima donna or should I just abandon this show altogether?

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I would stick it out, but not get too emotionally wrapped up in things. Express your displeasure, but remember that whatever organizational issues are going on, you're not the only one suffering from them. If you stick it through and make yourself available, chances are they probably will eventually figure out what to do with you. Not being told your part yet is not such a big deal, that is common in professional ballet. I understand that what's happening is only adding stress to your life, but many many dancers go through exactly that kind of stress with Nutcrackers.

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However, you ARE being jerked around, and that's not cricket. Finish this show, then next year, decline to do it with this group. It sounds to me as if rehearsals are the only contact you have with this place, so you're a guest artist. If you aren't entitled to consideration on that basis, then nobody is.

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I didn't go to rehearsal yesterday. I left a note asking the AD or someone to call me to discuss the schedule. No one has called yet so I'm guessing I have my answer.


Yesterday I went to my regular afternoon class. There was a guy there who was also supposed to be in the show with me. He told me he'd pulled out as well. With the third guy out for back problems, that means there are no men in the show at all. I'm sure it's common, but you'd still think with the guys dropping out they'd make an extra effort to keep in touch with the one they had left.


I'll admit it was nice having the afternoon free to do my own thing today.

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Call it a series of senior moments, but every time I agree to be in a ballet, I forget how much work it involves. I live 40 miles from the studio, so first comes the drive, then the hours of sitting around while waiting for my part.


This past weekend was "studio dress rehearsal" for our Nutcracker, Saturday for Act 1, Sunday for act 2. Drosselmayer is all over act 1, so I had a nice busy productive day, but yesterday I planned my arrival to be just in time for my only appearance in the finale only to find they hadn't even started act 2 yet. That meant I had time for my weekly visit to Home Depot!


Nut rehearsals tend to be absolute chaos with little mice kids running all over the place and the artistic director basically losing it. Saturday, instead of counting down "10 minutes to curtain" "5 minutes" "places" etc. she just started the overture with no notice and then screamed "why wasn't anyone ready?" As the first person onstage, that was directed to me, but I just remained quiet.


It is an awesome task for a small school to stage a full ballet. There's not enough staff and everyone has to pitch in wherever they can. After living through really really bad rehearsals, I'm always amazed that when the curtain opens for real, it all comes together somehow.


(and that's why I'll have another senior moment and do it again next year)

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