lifebeyondexaggeration

What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Stranger

The Famous Fall September 24, 2016

Filed under: Tales of Humanity's Imperfections — meganorussell @ 10:30 am
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Once upon a time, a long time ago, when I was an intern at a New York City dance studio, I took a tap class with the guy who played the Billy Elliot in that amazing movie. For those of you who haven’t seen the move, go watch it. Right now. Seriously, this blog will still be here when you’re done crying over the credits.

He wasn’t the teacher or anything like that; he was just a student. A very silent student in the back row. The teacher knew him and greeted him subtly without ever saying his name. But me being the Billy Elliot obsessed person that I am recognized him instantly. I stood near him – cause you know, obsession – and tap danced while *hopefully* not staring at him too obviously. (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…)