Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about ‘work’ and what defines it. Many people believe that in order to have an actual job, one must work a nine to five. While I have the utmost respect for anyone in this kind of situation, I do not believe it is the only way to be working. As a performer, I’ve heard from many people that what I do is not a ‘real’ job. Although everyone is entitled to his or her own opinion, I will not back down on what I truly believe. Yes I am fortunate enough to do what I love and get paid, although this should never discredit my or any performer’s work.
Although I have discussing this idea with a few of my peers, a good friend of mine, Larissa, made me think to really speak on it. She mentioned that in our industry specifically, certain dancers get more respect than others. Just because someone has booked a better-known gig than another, doesn’t mean his or her work is any better than the rest. Dancers move the soul, and everything we do has value. From Disneyland, to dancing for a major artist, improvising in a small room full of your peers, or in a small company: it’s all in and of the same. She’s right. Someone is always being affected by what we do. People are watching us dance. They come to see us perform to escape, and get a way to feel something separate from their ordinary lives.
[ Mickey and the Magical Map Live – photo taken by a lovely audience member ]
Not that long ago, the main choreographer (Mike) who created our show at Disneyland reminded us just how important our job is here. He went back in history reviewing the importance of Walt Disney and his influence on the world. Walt aimed to create a place where everyone, young and old, could escape to. A place where ‘dreams come true’ and magic happens all year round. The sparkle in kid’s eyes that we ourselves can create is simply, priceless. People from all around the world know all about Disney. No matter where you go, someone has been to or at least heard about this place. It’s where many kids dream of going their entire lives. How special is that?
Then I think about all of the special moments I get to experience in Fantasyland in and during our show. The cast, as I will say time and time again, is amazing. What incredible people I get to work with every day. From dressing room fun, to on stage warm ups, rehearsals, contingencies and LIVING on stage five times a day! It is all quite wonderful. Even when things get crazy, I will always enjoy my time here.
[ Map Makers in rehearsal – ready to perform! ]
It’s always the little things. The expression I see on kids faces, will always warm my soul. The moments in the audience where I interact with small children are everything to me. A small high five or sharing my ‘pearl ball’ and a long tight grasp, can make my day a whole lot brighter. If only I could understand what’s going on inside that small body of theirs. Understanding just what they might be experiencing and thinking. When a happy boy with special needs grabs onto both of my hands and dances with me, I melt. To the constant fans who are always in the audience supporting, you are amazing. When I see that old man in the wheel chair and he waves and blows me a kiss, I die. Then the little girl down the row twirls, points and grins from ear to ear. It is all so special to me and I will never forget just how it makes me feel. What I do can be so incredible influential in such a small way, and I always must remember that.
Disneyland has always been such a marvelous place, although I never thought it would mean this much. Working here is amazing. Knowing all of the secrets and just how everything works is so cool. It is all such a privilege and I love that I get to share it with a few of the best. Not to mention, Austin and I have started a few special moments of our own at the park. Maybe I’ll tell you, maybe I won’t 😉 Oh and in case you’re wondering who Austin is, he’s the boyfriend (crazy I know) ❤ Have a great Sunday y’all!
[ Disney day in the park was pretty Magical ❤ ]