Tuesday, January 22, 2008

How to make bad days better?

ok- so as performers, we all have good and bad days.......

yesterday wasn't my best ever- full of the flu, feeling low (you know- those days when you question the whole point of being) and it had been raining all day (I know that means nothing to those in UK, and my sympathies to you, but for me here I hate it even more than i did at home!!!!) anyway- I went to work, to find out that they have taken me off the rota for next 3 days (not good for the self esteem - even though it wasn't against me but you know how you take these things when you are low anyway!) and generally feel horrible- and then discover in the audience friends who are dancers (ie peer pressure to perform well).


well- i survived it- but only really danced well on first 2 songs I did (I felt) and those were only cos I was damned if these dancers were going to see me dance badly!!! After, when I spoke to them, they said no i hadn't looked like I had a cold on stage (which just goes to show I can act quite well when i have to) but then NO COMMENT re my dancing! Why is that? Did they hate it so much they couldn't bare to tell me te truth or lie to me, or did they think I was so wonderful but I knew that anyway so they didn't need to tell me? Grrr- I hate not knowing. I know I was brought up being told- 'if you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all' but surely there must have been SOMETHING nice about my show- even if it was just my costumes?!!!!!

so- please - audience......... if you see a dancer perform, even if you don't like it, PLEASE dig deep to find SOMETHING good. Don't lie- not asking anyone to do that.... but don't act like they havn't done anything either- thats just not nice. Art is only art if it creates a response in its audeince- If I feel my dance has made no impact whatsoever there is nothing more demoralising!!!!!

Anyway- you can tell from the whole tone of this blog that I am still full of the cold, it is still raining and cold, and I am stil in a feeling sorry for myself mood!!!!!

So- How to perform when you feel like that?

- Pretend everything is good- the more you smile the more you feel like smiling. ACT!

- choose your favourite music and costumes- if everything around you is good then it will all be much better. Nice perfume helps too!

- Remind yourself that this is work- and you are getting paid to entertain- its not an exercise in making you feel good- you have a duty to your audence! (Thankfully I only have to fall back on this attitude very seldom- and even then, after a few mins of dance, the music usually lifts my mood!)

- Call on friends- thank god I have people around me who love me and admire what i do- at times like last night I have a wee moan to them and they remind me that I am good and to pick my chin up!

- This is advice for others that I don't take myself (but maybe should think about) If you choreograph your dance then even if you feel rubbish at least the technique will carry you through. Usually the other things above are enough to get me out my funk but last night I almost wished for a choreography to help me through!

- Waterproof mascara- for changing room before and after! sometimes the act only lasts as long as the performance does!

- Music- I said it before but for me it really is the most important. Last night my 1st 2 dances were strong- but I felt myself crumble on the 3 rd because it was one I don't dance to very often and don't feel so confident in. I should have chosen something different! Of course- I am my own worst critic and i am kinda hoping that what I felt as crumbling the audience just saw as not quite as enthusiastic as the others! The musicians said 'it all looked good- but did I have a cold?'- so thats all they noticed!

- oh, and another tip given to me by Caroline (dancer from Australia who has worked here for years) When it all gets too much- remember there are people out there who would pratically kill to get the opportunity to do what you are doing- even for a day. Dancing on the Nile, living 'the Dream'- dont forget it!!!!

If anyone has other tips for pulling yourself together emotionally or physically when you have to, I'd love to hear them!!

(and yes- have already tried the glass of wine and the bar of chocolate!)

oh well- as Karen sang- 'rainy days and mondays...........................'

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