lifebeyondexaggeration

What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Stranger

Flying With Footwear February 27, 2017

I went to college halfway across the country, so I was always flying back and forth to school. As a dance major, I would always pack a carryon with all my dance shoes and leave less important things like clean underwear to fend for themselves in checked baggage.

It was always fine, and since my checked bags usually arrived three days late, a pretty great system. Until it wasn’t.

I was flying back to school after a summer of theatre and had my tap shoes in my little rolly bag. I popped it up on the conveyor belt and sent it through the X-ray. For the first time in my life, the guy at the end pulled my bag aside, saying there was something suspicious they needed to examine. Fine, whatever. I don’t mind being searched if it keeps people safe.

The man grabbed out my tap shoes and sent them back through the X-ray. They were super fancy tap shoes, so under the tap was a thin layer of metal to create better resonance. But this man didn’t know anything about tap tone quality; he just thought my beloved and expensive shoes were a threat.

He reached under his counter and pulled out a screwdriver to unscrew my taps and check beneath them! (more…)

Advertisements
 

Panties Predicament October 3, 2016

I’ve been onstage a few thousand times at least. I’ve made my living for my entire adult life on stage. But there are certain times that having years of muscle memory built up can bite you in the butt.

I just opened Anything Goes this week. It’s a super fun show that I’ve never had the opportunity to do before. I’m an Angel in the show, which in this case means a sultry backup dancer. Rather than design and build the costumes for the show in-house, the company I work for decided to rent the tour/Broadway costumes. And that’s great! They’re beautiful, but they are meant to fit other people.

So while all the costumes are meant to have bloomers (show panties) built into them, there is one costume where the bloomers had to be taken out so I could tunnel into the costume instead of stepping into it. All the other girls get to step into their dresses, but me, with the boobies and the bootie, cannot get into that costume in the customary direction. (more…)

 

It’s Curtains for You! April 25, 2016

Hello everyone! It’s Chris here again. I am happy to get to introduce a new segment on lifebeyondexaggeration. Being in theatre, Megan and I hear about and experience a lot of great/terrible/hilarious happenings onstage and off. So Megan has decided it’s time to keep a record of the raucous mischief the theatre gods reap. And we’ll kick it off with “It’s Curtains for You!”

Megan and I are currently doing a production of Funny Girl in Florida. It’s great! The cast is lovely, our Fanny Brice is excellent, and we’re getting to live in Florida! Always a good time.

Despite the occasional bird or two dropping down on the stage, it’s been a fairly smooth run. That is until the day the curtain decided not to open.

You see, there’s this number in the show called “Rat-tat.” It’s a tap dance number full of comedy and Americana. A real crowd-pleaser! My character, Eddy Ryan, begins the number as a rehearsal. I tap dance and sing center stage with two lovely ladies behind me. They help me put on my costume, give me my wooden rifle (for some sensible twirling), and then leave the stage. I finish my solo part of the song and then the curtains open to reveal the ensemble… usually. (more…)

 

May the Tap Gods be with You July 20, 2015

I went to college for dance. It was a great program that I had a lot of problems with. You were weighed in… a lot. And your weight affected everything from your ballet grade to your scholarship. I’ll let you think of that what you will.

Some of the professors really pushed the weight thing, some tried to stay in the back of it, but only one teacher really fought it.

He was a tap teacher and a really fantastic human being. Not only did he manage to inspire confidence and perfectionism all at the same time. He also genuinely cared about his students.

There was a legend about him at school. I can’t prove how true it is, but I do believe every piece of it.

There was a girl who had come to the school as a fantastic tapper, but she had natural hips and wasn’t built like a board. So the weigh-ins pushed her and pushed her until she became really badly anorexic. It had time for adjudication, and she went in to meet with the entire dance faculty.

The department head complimented her on how much her turns had improved, the girl said, “Yes, but I’m not eating.” (more…)

 

The Perfect Aunt November 12, 2014

Filed under: I Meant Well — meganorussell @ 10:00 am
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

I don’t get to see my adorable baby nephew as often as I would like. I don’t live near my sister, and my schedule is crazy. Besides constantly asking for pictures of his chubby little face, I have all these activities I want him to do. I mean, true, I won’t be there for them, but I can enjoy the benefits without any messy cleanup.

For example, I want to buy him tap shoes. I want to see videos of him scuffing up my sister’s perfect floors as he shuffles off to buffalo. Not that I want her floors ruined. I just think it is a worthy sacrifice for such a noble cause. And a ukulele. I want him to play the ukulele with his pudgy fingers that can’t quite figure out how to put the baby cheerios into his mouth with any precision as yet.

And art. I want baby art to paste onto the cast house fridge! Handprints and squiggles for everyone!!!!!! I’ve been told I can’t buy the tap shoes till he’s mastered walking. No ukulele till he’s three. But I actually managed to convince her to let my buy the baby organic crayons and paint. The sofa and walls may be doomed, but by George, this Aunt is going to get her fridge art. Score one for Aunt Megan!!!

 

Tipping and Tap Shoes September 20, 2014

Filed under: Hi-Ho the Glamorous Life — meganorussell @ 10:00 am
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

For the past year, I’ve been saying I wanted to do a show with sequins and tap shoes, and by George have I found one. After seven days of rehearsal, we are about to leap into tech week for Crazy for You, a wonderful show with mistaken identities, Gershwin music, and above all, showgirls.

I’ve done a few shows before where I’ve been a “showgirl.” The Producers is a great example. But I’ve never done a show like this. I have head dresses and a backpack. And no, I don’t mean a school bag. I mean a giant costume piece so large it has to be attached to me by shoulder straps. It’s all very… Vegas.

I’ve always been moderately tempted to go to Vegas and try to be a showgirl. It is, after all, on my bucket list to do a show with pasties. (more…)