Late in September 2014, while Calgary was under a pile of wet tree-breaking snow, I received a message from the Alberta Ballet requesting that I be in in their popular holiday production of The Nutcracker for a night during its run.
My first thought was, "Will I have to interact with the human sized rats? I'm not sure if I'm comfortable with the nightmares that would follow for the rest of my life," followed by,"Do they think I can dance? Because I definitely have the grace of a rhino."
I didn't get answers to those questions, but said yes anyways. All I knew was I had to wear a costume and that other people, including the Mayor, had done it in the past. This was reassuring - because, as amazing as Nenshi is, I think he and I would get about the same grade in ballet class.
Months went by and then it was the week of the big day.
Finally it was the day of the performance. I was instructed to arrive two hours before the show and to put on 'heavy street make-up' before arriving. I had no idea what 'heavy street make-up' was, and since I already had reason to believe that they were wanting me to play the part of the prostitute, I interpreted 'street' to mean 'street corner'. Basically, I wore red lipstick and was like - I AM SO EDGY!
Once we finally got on stage behind the second curtain we were given instructions about where to stand and what to do for the whole 20 minutes we were going to be on stage. I was a little nervous at this point because the last glass of wine I had was 2 hours prior and it wore off after bobby-pin 89 went into my hair.
Someone started to make an announcement on the stage. It was almost time! The person talked about cellphones and sponsors and then he told the audience to look for the walk-on guests in the performance...then announced our names. The horror! I want the story, but I don't need every person in the sold out show looking for me on stage.
I didn't fall or knock anyone over. It was basically a Christmas miracle!
We headed back to the dressing room and celebrated our success by giving back our costumes and putting on our normal people clothes. We headed up to the lobby just in time for intermission and a much needed glass of wine.
And that folks, was the time I was a ballerina. Sorry I did fall, it would have made for a much more entertaining ending.