The Gift

Good morning Readers, and welcome back to my life. Today I have a Christmas tale of sorts–or at least a tale about a Christmas tale.

Saturday I performed in a combination dance & theater production as a fundraiser for the charity/dance company my friend Dr. Tehmekah Macpherson has founded. The other project I’ve done with Dr. T was the “Why We Dance” theater/dance/film thing a year and a half ago. We had maybe 3 weeks of rehearsals, with script and dance number changes up until 4 days before the show. We had 7 experienced dancers and one talented lead actress. The whole thing was magical and wonderful, and when this the latest project of Dr. T came across my email, I jumped at the chance to relive it.

Saturday we performed “The Gift”. It was a modern parable, essentially. Turn the other cheek. Live peace and you shall receive it. All told in the form of a one-act play about a woman working in an NYC train station.

At least that was the intent.

Dr. T (left) and actors

This project was, in actuality, a study on how quickly a show could be thrown together. The script was written in a week. The lead actress came into town two days before the show. The cast list was finalized the day before the show. The dress rehearsal ended 15 minutes before the show started. Add on top of that an excess of participants new to dance and theater in general–

Chaos? Absolutely.

Dress rehearsal pic–hence my Night Vale shirt

I’m a believer the transient nature of theater, in the responsibility of the performer to focus on their individual role to the best of their ability, the need to roll with the punches in a stressful and dynamic atmosphere–but I am also impatient, exacting, and opinionated. I like being able to say “yes” a lot to directors who need something, but it became increasingly obvious that the show needed a strong performer to hold it together, and I couldn’t be that person with the role I’d been given.

Our crazy cast

It’s not all bad. I got to goof-off on-stage. I made a bunch of new friends. I learned some African dance. I had a duet of sorts with a lovely singer. All in all I’m grateful for the opportunity–though hopefully the next project will run more smoothly.

Photo Credit: Derek Corbett


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