Saturday, March 19, 2005

tryouts and opening night


Since it was requested, I will attempt to explain the whole tryouts fiasco. I suppose it really was a fiasco in the end.

I got there on Wednesday night feeling pretty confident, thinking that they would almost certainly take me (seeing as I've been stunting with them for a month and they've been impressed with what I can do), but not acting (or feeling!) particularly cocky about it.

I knew there were a few things, namely jumps, motions, and the actual cheering, that I'd never really had occasion to do before, since I'm not on an actual cheer team. But the coach knew that, so I figured I could just show them I could stunt well and pick up the other stuff as best I could. That and I figured how hard can throwing your arms in the air and yelling stuff like "beat those Rams! Give me a red and gold!" really be?

The first day was discouraging. We did a lot of cheering, dancing, and chanting, and the coach kept saying horribly inane things like: "when people go to a football game and are watching the cheerleaders, they don't want to see athletes. So I will expect you all to look your best and be wearing makeup at all times." I felt briefly nauseous when she said that. I was worried the next comment might be that we all had to carry purses.

It should be noted to my credit that I kicked ass at the conditioning, on both days. On the first day only one girl was ahead of me in the run, and I beat her by a long stretch of gym in lunge sets. The second day I put some caffeine in my system and kicked everyone's ass. Push-ups and sit-ups were a royal piece of cake after capoeira. I am not trying to be egotistical, but when I finished the run a full lap ahead of everyone else I was thinking "how can they not want me on their team? I rule!"

The actual dancing and cheering itself was, well, inane. I enjoyed the dance because there was music (that Shocore song 'Bonecracker' that I totally love) and an eight-count and I pick that kind of thing up with (relative) ease. It wasn't perfect, but it was okay, and it was much better by Day 2. The cheering and chanting was awful, as in I hated doing it, and so did my brain. This was also better on Day 2. I didn't hate it anymore, but it was still hard to make my body do what my brain wanted it to.

My jumps sucked. I know my jumps suck, but so do the jumps of this other girl who's already on the team. Plus, the coach knew this, and she knew I was working on them and that they were improving. Apparently she doesn't much value a strong work ethic in her team members.

I came home at the end of the first day feeling kind of unsure as to whether I still wanted to be on the team. We only did about 15 minutes of stunting, TOTAL, in five hours of tryouts, and I didn't really get to show off because they stuck me in double-base (two girls on the bottom), third (pick girl up and put her on top of the stunt), and spotting. Meh.

I convinced myself to stick with it and do the second day, and if it still felt like it wasn't my style, I could just opt out. The second day, perhaps unfortunately, was much better than the first. Unfortunately because I got my hopes up a bit, and then had them brutally crushed the next morning when I discovered that of the 18 girls who tried out, only 8 made the team, and I was definitely not among them.

I mainly enjoyed the second day because I got to know the other girls a bit better, and really liked many of them. One of the older girls (they ranged in age from 17-21, but there were only three 21 year olds, myself included) was this street-smart wisecracker who read my palm, smoked constantly, and asked the coach a lot of provocative questions. I liked her a lot. Then there was a girl from the burbs who worked as both an honest-to-goodness stripper AND a paramedic! I thought that was the greatest combination ever. She regaled us with stories of pole-dancing and patching up bullet wounds, and I had the greatest respect for what were clearly two occupations she had chosen of her own volition and not been forced to take out of necessity. There was one girl from the All-Star team who was tiny and moved like a little blond bunny rabbit. She had a lot of piercings and a high tolerance for pain. She was a whole bucket of contradictions.

Bottom line was that these girls were not wussy. They were not perky little uncomplicated bundles of fun, they were real, interesting human beings who I would have liked to get to know a lot better.

Anyway, it was not to be. And the thing is, any team that rejects an athlete who's in (by the team's own standards!) excellent physical shape, who is a competent stunter, a good spotter, self-motivated, and has a good attitude and a willingness to try new things and work hard (on my own time!) to perfect their skills is not a team with which I wish to be associated in any way.

I'd much rather just continue stunting in my free time, because I am after all a stunter, and not a cheerleader. I've never cheered and I see it as primarily a means to an end (namely stunting!) anyway. I would rather sign up for some more capoeira classes, go biking and rollerblading in the summer, play some tennis, do the Grouse Grind a few times, and take a vacation or two than wallow at three-hour football games all summer and fall.

So, onwards.

Our opening night of Firefly was pretty much an unmitigated success. My pieces felt pretty strong, I didn't have any major (or really any minor) fuck-ups, hit all my cues, remembered all my lines, and generally delivered them the way I wanted them to sound. My entire family came out to watch, plus the Boy and a few other people I knew, and they all had positive things to say about it.

The only people who stepped out before my AIDS monologue were some veiled Muslim women who I guess didn't want to hear anything about sexual violence, despite the fact that it's clearly a very real problem that needs to be addressed rather than simply ignored for modesty's sake. The Grade 7 class never showed up, so they didn't have to get up and leave. I think that on the whole, the monologue went pretty well. The only strange/unexpected element was that I nearly burst into tears as I walked offstage. I actually had to fight back sobs. Had there been someone there to hug me as I came off the stage, I would have just bawled. I can't really explain why. Something to do with complete and utter emotional exhaustion.

I'm going to a clinic tomorrow to prepare for this insane athletic competition at our school called Storm the Wall. It basically involves a lot of swimming and running and biking before scaling a 12-foot wall. I signed up at the last minute, because it's a rite of passage before you graduate, and because this is the first time in my university career that I feel anywhere near being in good enough shape to do it.

I'm also supposed to speak tomorrow afternoon to some students who are going on exchange to Switzerland in the fall. I'm really looking forward to it. I don't have time to do it really, but I'm always thrilled to help people who are in the same position I was last year.

I have a 4,000 word essay due on Tuesday. I haven't started. I am the champion, my friend. And I'll keep on fighting till the end.

Damn, I love Queen.

There's this adorable guy in our cast who's so gay that he did his own eyeliner for the play tonight. I was impressed. I can't even apply eyeliner properly. Too bad the cute ones are always gay.

If anyone wants to view/order a video version of our play, I'll get the details for you.

Wish the breaking of my legs on closing night!



by Nome at 1:09 AM
1 mews

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