“Ice in the basin, la, la, la
Cracks in the plaster, la, la, la
Mice in the hallway, la, la, la
Hi, ho, the glamorous life”
This song sprung up on shuffle whilst I was busy cooking dinner the other night. The very same day a good friend of mine commented how “You’re work must be so glamorous”. if only she could see me as I write this….huddled as near to a heater as my North Face jacket will let me before I catch alight in a dirty bleak north London rehearsal room. Believe me it’s just about as far from glamorous as one could imagine and honestly I wouldn’t have it any other way.
A million miles away from the glistening West End opening night a group of actors, creatives, musicians, stage management are working away perfecting our show, Mrs Henderson Presents, readying it for its London premiere. Rehearsals are my favourite time. It’s where all the nitty gritty work is done, routines changed and lines learnt and, above al,l the main reason why I became a choreographer – the magic of creation. Nothing is more thrilling than entering the rehearsal room at 10 with a blank canvas and by 6 a number has been born! As a dancer you become a machine, repeating the same choreography 8 times a week. I have no idea how I managed it for all those years now I think about it. I am a creative being and not being able to create and invent became frustrating. It was hugely empowering back in 2006 when I made the decision to hang up my tap shoes. I remember leaving the stage door of the Palladium where I was performing in Scrooge (that is a whole other blog in itself) for the final time thinking I will never do that again and instead of feeling sad it felt hugely uplifting.
So here I am – ten years down the line from that fateful night and still loving every minute of my new career.
However a word of advice for those wannabes expecting a life of glamour, alas that only happens in the movies, instead you will have to learn to relish the thrill of finding the best naff cafe local to the rehearsal room (who can resist a bargain busting lunch to refuel you for the afternoon dance rehearsal), the cold echoing chambers of a dowdy rehearsal room and the gossiping tea breaks huddled by the rickety tea urn. The glamorous life indeed.