The saddest part of performing to me is the final bow after the final performance.
We’ve been rehearsing Billy the Kid for almost three months (the most intense rehearsals I’ve been in, including Nutcracker). We had three performances and they were over too soon.
No more trying to get the “Journey West” dance down. No more trying to figure out the horse dance steps that I seemed to butcher until the performances. No more learning how to die “realistically.”
And sadly Nutcracker is still eight months away.
I’ll be honest, I never felt more comfortable on stage performing that I did the last two nights. I did the correct steps during the “Journey West” dance each performance and my timing was good. The horse steps finally, finally came during the performances.
And I was able to finally, really be able to get into character during the Town Scene, which was my main scene during, and much to my surprise when I first went to rehearsal, my character was one of the main characters of the Town Scene.
And my death scene is the end of the Town Scene, and the most dramatic parts of the whole ballet. I get into a fight with one of the other cowboys in the scene over two saloon girls. His character pulls a knife on me, the dancer playing Pat Garrett pulls the other cowboy away, and I accidently shoot Billy the Kid’s mother. Young Billy ends up stabbing me in the back at the end of the scene, starting his life of crime.
Loud applause followed my death scene during each performance. That’s an amazing feeling. Maybe I did OK.
The intense rehearsals, company warmups on stage, and the fact that this was a real dancing part, I think I felt more like a dancer this weekend than at any time since I restarted ballet as an adult.
I am eternally grateful to Mr. O, our artistic director, for casting me.
I’m sure come tomorrow, I’ll start having Billy the Kid withdrawals.