Ah and then it is back to work for another week of performances for crazy, seemingly obsessed Japanese fans. OK, so this is my life at present. You finish doing a show or two as the case may be, and you are post performance tired, know you have another show (or 2) tomorrow and you just want to go home and get into a bath and get this bloody white make-up off your tired body. But before you get beyond the theatre stage door, you have to face the conglomerate of fans who must have spent their entire life savings on coming to see Swan Lake...every night! Now most of the guys have got their devoted group of fans who have them as their favourite swan. And of course they are all really waiting for the lead swan to appear after mostly everyone has left. So in groups, as dancers, you get together and try to keep talking amongst yourselves and casually chatting, perhaps pretending not to notice all the expectant faces staring at you. And you can actually get past them all like this; guilty as you might feel because they have been waiting a good 20 minutes already. But if you dare to look up, or catch someone’s eye, you are caught like a fish in a net! Sometimes you can’t help but wave a little at one or two who just seem to be jumping out of their skin because a swan has just walked past them. They are like little kids as they smile expectantly at you. And I remember doing the same thing to people who I thought were fabulously wonderful and special. It’s kind of childishly innocent.
But then there are the die hard fans. The ones who call out your name and call you over and take photo after photo of you with them, their friend, your friend, and anyone else who happens to walk past! The ones who will literally run after you down the street if you have managed to walk past them without them getting the chance to say hello! There is the constant signing of programs, photos, t-shirts. It really is very humbling. I mean, we are just dancers! And only corps at that! But they love it! It can be hard work some nights. I think there are one or two photos of me scowling as I have got into a lift and not appreciating the fact that this Japanese woman is holding open the lift to take photos of me as I leave the theatre. Or turning up to breakfast in a hotel on tour and there is one of the really obsessed fans smiling and beaming good mornings at you and trying to hug you and kiss you as you get your bacon and eggs! Oh well.
I will admit that I have a soft spot for one or two of them! I have a couple of fans who are very sweet to me and bring me gifts and flowers and little packets of biscuits (do they want a fatter swan?) which is very cute. And then you get the odd person who meekly approaches you on her own, and offers you a single rose and tells you in very broken english how much she enjoys your dancing and how powerful you are. How your big swan is so “big and very dynamic” and your Italian escort is exciting when he gets slapped by the princess! How can you not feel so humbled by such honesty and affection. Especially when you see them shaking with excitement and their eyes wide with happiness and emotion. I have always said that if you reach one person in the audience for each performance then you have done your job, so this is just the reality of that occurrence and isn’t it great that art can still do that to someone! YAY! So it is a beautiful thing!
So there it is thus far. Not missing home at all (sorry guys, but with so much distraction, Tooting Broadway holds little hold) but am starting to want to do normal things like listen to that bizarre music track off some obscure CD. Although a home cooked meal in front of the tele would be fun too! Ah well, that shall come soon. Hope the emails aren’t too long but hey, you don’t have to read it all! Love to you all and thinking of how lovely it would be to catch up and share experiences. Having Tammy here made me realise how special it is to catch up with good friends. Time will come!