Monday, January 30, 2006

Purpose - January 31,2006

*Note: I accidentally posted one blog twice as I was backlogging -is that a verb? Dad's been complimenting me on my writing *hilarious, since all these interesting things happen, and all Dad can notice is how my writing is maturing... cute* and I don't want to ruin my good streak with bad grammar...- SO, after that digression within a digression there... January 17th's post is changed.*

I'm having a hard time breathing tonight. I'm not sure why. (And no, this isn't for dramatic effect- you wanted my real life and here it is... Bodily functions and all...) Dee says it's because we had a hard day (What, a 9 hour day is hard?? No! Ya don't say!) and my lungs got a work out. I'm not sure what it is, but I thought if I were to die tonight, I should at least write a good blog about it.

Ok, enough morbid humor.

The week has been routine enough.

Or not.

Todrick, my partner in the duet, had a problem with his passport so had to go home to Texas until we get there on Sunday, so he'll miss the big office run on Friday, which creates a huge blocking problem (dancer-speak for: arrangements of dancers on stage) for our directors and our poor dance captain, my very own roommate (at the moment) Dee. She's currently poring over stage diagrams figuring out where we should go now that we're missing a body on stage. (Poor thing.)

So Gareth, Todrick's understudy, (and coincidently, his boyfriend) is getting a crash course in Todrick's track. He's stressed, to say the least. (Poor Gareth)

And I cried for at least ten minutes on the ride back from home this weekend. (Poor me.)

This weekend was so great. I love every minute I'm at home. Ocean Cat is always extra snuggly, my room is always clean *I'm never there! Of course it's clean!* and seeing Levi is always so much fun! For the last two weekends we've had dinner with my Dad, which is always a treat. (Sushi, of course) This week was particularly fun for some reason, and I have some funny memories of laughing so hard wasabi almost shot out of my nose. (Well, not really, but it's a funny image, no?)

Emily and Gilligan (AKA Davey AKA David) finished their little blue canoe (AKA John) and we all took it for a test drive. (You can see pictures at They were so cute! But when I said I had to leave for six months I thought they were going to cry. (I thought I might too!) It was so sad! But I told them they're not allowed to grow an inch while I'm gone.

Before I left, we went to see Alan and Cindy. Levi's been helping Alan with his new computer, so while they tinkered, Cindy and I made cupcakes. Every time I've left home it's gotten harder and harder. Cindy and I baked cupcakes (cakes that will fit in a cup, get it?) until 10 pm, and then I left a little tired, but hyped up on confectionery sugar and frosting.

Levi and I didn't cry as much as last time, he didn't really cry at all, but of course I did a little while he was there. I always wait to get in the car and put on a really sad song to really, really cry. (The Copeland CD got me this time, last time it was the Romeo and Juliet soundtrack.) But this week, something was different about me crying on drive back.

(And it wasn't the fact that it was super dangerous, since I was going in excess of 70 miles per hour both times. Yikes. And Dad thinks talking on the cell phone is dangerous....)

Last week, for some reason, as tears rolled down my face, I wondered why I was doing this. Why in the world was I leaving everything and everyone I loved? Why was I missing out on half of a year with my family, my kitty, my niece and nephew, time that I will never get back? The thought that most dominated my teary reverie was "Why am I doing this to Levi?" As if me working on this ship was something I was DOING to him, as in "Why am I hitting him over the head with this rubber mallet?"

(Ok, a little bit of a dramatic comparison, but same basic effect)

Well, this week, as I cried my little tears of self-pity, I didn't have those thoughts. I didn't really wonder why I was doing this. I feel like during the past week, though working with Lamar, I've realized that I'm here to learn and grow and achieve something. Not just mastering the choreography, but mastering something within myself. I'm really here to learn how to rein in and focus my energy as I dance; I'm here to learn how to perform.

I'm here for me.

And I realize that's selfish, self-centered, blah, blah, blah. But I'm 22. Now's the time. It's truly now or never. In a few years, I'll have so much more responsibility. I'll have so much more to worry about. A career, an apartment, a serious relationship and everything... Now is, albeit not the perfect time, probably the most ideal time.

Besides, Levi said if I really had to go dance on a ship and be away from him for six months, might as well get it over with now.

Quick. Like a bandaid.

Well, this time next week, I'll be on 'said' ship. My home for the next half of a year. The Rhapsody of the Seas. Setting sail in T-Minus five days.

I can't wait.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

January 24, 2006


"You're making it look too easy."

"Get more into it."

"You're being too pretty."

"Stop being pretty."

These are the notes (that's dancer speak for "corrections") that have plagued me my entire life. (I blame it squarely on my ballet upbringing, but whatever.)

My sister puts it like this:
"Selena," she says, "You need to get a fire in your belly when you dance."

What?? Why? I thought pretty was good?!?!

Well apparently, not so much in these days of contemporary dance.

Anyway, today, Lamar, our guest choreographer for the next few days, commented on not just me, but all of us; about how we don't look like we're trying, or even that we're enjoying ourselves.

(In our defense, it's hard to really feel 'into' a piece you run at least 10 times a day every single run, but he's right, really....)

"Remember that Broadway show you saw when you were little? Remember how those dancers made you feel?" he asked us all. "You thought, 'That's where I want to be. I want to do THAT.' Well, make ME feel like that NOW. Own the stage, let it go, let me see the passion, let me SEE that you love to dance."

So we did.

And he's right. Something flipped, something clicked. He said we were right there, we were great. And even more than that, he was very complimentary of the girls. "You four danced as a unit. You were all dancing as one." (That's pretty awesome for us... and I think the friendships growing have helped...)

I now feel like I understand what everyone has been saying to me my whole life. I mean, I've understood it all along, but for some reason, today something clicked.

I feel like I've been dancing in the back half of my body for a while. Like I haven't reached my full potential artistically or emotionally.

And that's an exciting feeling.

To know that I have something to grow into, something more than what I am now, something to work on, something to achieve....


"There's a very fine line between being great and being a legend," a very wise person told me tonight. "All you have to do is cross it."

Where's your line?

January 17, 2006

Levi-sickness sets in....

Forget home sick, I'm Levi-sick.

(Or, if Levi is my home, then homesick...)

It's really starting to feel like a job now. It's still fun to dance every day, but goodness, working 6 days a week is starting to wear on me mentally and physically.

Not to mention only seeing Levi once a week.

But I shouldn't complain. It could be (and will soon be) much worse. Once I'm on the ship I'll only see him once a month.


The price I pay for my art.

January 13, 2006

A funny thing happened on the way back from our physicals...

It's been a great week, if not a tiring one. (Ok, I'm not sure what that phrase means exactly, but I've seen it in books, so it's gotta be right, right?) Right.

Anyway, we've finished our first show, Piano Man. We learn two complete shows and then perform them four times per week. (Twice per show)

Wednesday, we had to go to some mandatory physicals at the doctors office. All in all a hilarous experience. Picture seven dancers and four singers in a doctors office waiting room, goofing off, laughing, joking around, and singing and dancing our different songs and pieces around that waiting room so that we get some 'homework' done while we're away from the studio.

Now imagine the looks we got from the hard-core South Floridians that were there for check ups.

Now imagine the look on the boys' faces after their physicals... haha, just kidding, don't. I'll post pictures later. Gareth was the first to come out and he was pale and violated. He just kept shuddering and muttering "She did it! She really did it! The baaad one!" It was priceless.

So we had taken this van to the office in the morning for the check up, but when they came back to pick us up, they got lost and we ended up sitting around for an hour waiting. Finally, we called and cleared up the confusion, and our ride rolled up.

Our white, stretch Hummer ride.

We freaked out.

No WAY was this our ride?!?! We climbed into the limo in disbelief. I was cracking up and snapping pictures the whole time.

Rolling up in the parking lot of Royal Caribbean Productions was a sight to be seen. When we piled out, one of the office guys ran out and gasped "Did ya'll just hop out off that thing?"

We all laughed and said yes. And I added "Yeah, that's right. That's how the Rhapsody rolls!" (That's the name of our ship and, therefore, our cast.)

Unabashed, he replied. "Well, it's coming out of ya'lls per diem then!"

"Right, well, did the Voyager cast tell you that it was their treat? Cause it was..." I backpedaled.


If that's the way Royal Caribbean rolls, we should all go for physicals more often...

January 7, 2006

Thank God it's Saturday...

Finally! The last day of our work week.

Yes, it's six days a week, eight hours a day of dancing.

Yes, my body hates me.

Yes, I'm having the time of my life.

But I miss Levi a bit too much, so I get to go home tonight to see him!

We got one of our new girls. (Two girls from our cast didn't show up... odd.) Her name is Judy and she's really sweet. She's from Michigan but had just moved to NYC to make it as a dancer when she got this call. Get this- her birthday is May 23rd! (Another Gemini in the house... awesome!)

Anyway, the show has been going great. I love all of the pieces and our cast. We learned a really fun, fast piece yesterday that I love, but is pretty intense.

You all should really come see it for yourselves on the ship!

We all can't wait to ship out. All we've heard are stories of sitting around on board and laying out in the sun, getting off at port to go shopping, diving, jet skiing, snorkling...

Oh yeah, and dancing in the occasional show....

January 3, 2006

The First Day

Well, I survived!

The girls and I got up for orientation and met 'our' boys- a set of very, very sweet boys. (I can say 'boys' because they're all younger than me! Wow! A first!)

They're awesome, and we were all really excited to start. Orientation was the usual rules and such, blah blah blah. Then we ran for a quick lunch (Miami Subs, yum!) and then hit the marley. (That's dance floor material, for the un-dance-enlightened.)

We learned a Stevie Wonder piece that Jeremy, my 'flying' trainer choreographed. It's so fun and very stylized- I love it! We partner a lot with the boys, and that was interesting because I was the only girl dancer! (Robyn helped out a little, she can dance too!)

The two other girls are missing in action, and eventally we found out they weren't coming. Hmmm... so they called another girl and are having her come in Thursday. (Imagine that call. "Hello, stop your life and come dance for us for six months. Be here in two days." Yikes... two months to leave was bad enough)

Anyway, it was really fun, a little tiring, and I know I'll be sore for it....

We all piled into my truck to hit Target after work, always a fun experience. Then we heated a little dinner and Miles and D finally came! (She's the one I 'flew' with in Vegas) So we have half of the dancin' girls....

Any girl out there want to dance for RC?

(juuuuust kidding. Unless you auditioned. You should call them if you have...)

So I guess we'll catch D up tomorrow... looking foward to more 'work' tomorrow...

I can't believe I'm getting paid for this...

January 2, 2006

Welcome to the first day of the rest of my life

Here I am.

Not-too-many-miles-from-home, Hollywood, Florida.

I arrived at our apartment first and alone. No one was there with the fan-fare I expected. Adeliani, my fellow 'flyer' is still in Hawaii, but I'm saving a room for her. (Mine!)

I wasn't sure what room to take- the tiny room with no space, the slightly bigger rooms with not-attached bathrooms, or the largest room with an attached bath and walk in closet.

So I called Adealiani. So I wouldn't feel guilty for doing the ineviatable.

And took the big room.

I ate a lonely dinner of egg drop soup and sardines. (Sounds gross, really isn't.)

I'm really living that 'starving artist' life- I have around $100 to last me three weeks or so.... hmmm...

Anyway, I indulged in a few hours of mindless MTV before my first roommate came- Katheryn. She's very nice, French Canadian from Montreal. A singer. Sadly, a slightly sick singer- she came in with a cold!

We chatted and I finally began to unpack.

Then, another knock, and in came Robyn, my next roommate from Grimsby, "straight opposite from Manchester, where the pilgrims are from," she says.

Very cool girl, seems that she will be the life of this party. Another singer, but she is also a dancer.

I'm still the baby so far, it seems. D (Adealiani's nick name) is 26, Robyn is 25, and Katheryn is older, I believe.

Another girl came to visit looking for her friend. Her name was D- something. Nice girl, from Australia.

--It's been a regular UN in here...--

She's worked a bunch for RC and gave us the low down on dress codes, rules, and the shows we're doing. Piano Man is amazing, apparently. She thinks I'll love it.

I already am.


Well, here's some of my personal entries from when I was getting ready to go, and from when I first arrived, starting from January 1st:


Packing purgatory

Alrighty, leaving in t-minus 15 hours... and not done packing.

In fact, I'm in packing purgatory.

My room looks like my dresser caught the stomach flu (or drawer flu, in it's case) and threw up all of my clothes on to the floor.

But thanks to my amazing sister, my incredible best friend Yadhira, and my helper monkey of a neice, Emily, I'm starting to making sense of things.

Still not done, but on my way...

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

A New Blog!!!

Well, here is is, finally!

My OFFICIAL blog site!

This is where you would want to go to get the latest on my cruise experience!

Lots of posts, pictures, and periodicals (? I needed something with a "P...") to come!!!

Stay tuned!!