Thursday, May 21, 2015

NBC, it's NBD

(NB: NBD = No Big Deal)

Today I tapped for the Red Nose Day USA Danceathon with Nick Cannon livestreamed on!

Let me explain some of those terms:

Red Nose Day - they finally cottoned on to what a good idea that is over here
Danceathon - extended period of dancing in order solicit donations and sponsors, this was a 24-hour one for the host
Nick Cannon - American personality, has been a rapper, actor?, married to Mariah Carey and TV presenter - I think now he mostly presents America's Got Talent.
NBC - the biggest US tv network (I think) (it's where all the better American programs are anyway)

Here's what happened:
A week and a half ago, the head of dance at AMDA Michele Hart Haviland sent me a message asking if I'd like to tap for a Red Nose Day thing for NBC, they were looking for strong tappers, Oren Korenblum is choreographing.  Of course I immediately said yes and thank you for thinking of me.
I never even had Michele as a teacher so big gratitude to her faith in me.  I know Oren, he's an AMDA alum and prolific choreographer so I signed on without a second thought.

We had some rehearsals - technically there were three but I could only be at 1.5 because, hey five jobs over here.
Oren had a few numbers going into this thing.  The one I was a part of was to Fascinating Rhythm from Nice Work If You Can Get It, Gershwin all the way.
I danced with Oren himself, plus

Karli Dinardo, recently finished starring in US tour of Flashdance, she's kind of a big deal.  This is my...fourth time dancing with her! Dance workshop 2nd semester, dance workshop 3rd semester and Foreign Exchange concert in Jan 2014.

Stephanie Parker, third time dancing with her, dance workshop at AMDA 2nd and 3rd semesters.

Alicia Kee, one of the first people I met at AMDA and my second time dancing with her directly though I was in dance workshop with her my second semester just not the same number.  The first time was when we were both dancers and vocalists for a performance of Lady Marmalade, in my first semester of AMDA!

So, lucky me I got to reunite with these three awesome ladies who I've enjoyed dancing with in the past so much.

Very little rehearsal with the crew meant that I spent the last week feeling frantic and trying to rehearse in my subway seat every morning and evening with headphones in.  I also had to hunt down, with four days notice, neutral colour tap heels (as opposed to black) and a royal blue dress, both kindly provided to me by one Lauren Downie and one Rayna Hirt, another lovely tap dancing lady who let me borrow her LaDucas - these are some of the best dance shoes in the World, this is what the Rockettes wear, Rayna just handed me hers without thinking about it.  True generosity.

We have a number, we have a dress, we have some shoes.  Now all we need is to do the thing!
I arrived at the NBC experience store where it was all going down.  Rockefeller Centre, a big famous building in midtown, is home to NBC and it comprises all the TV studios, Radio City Music Hall, the Rainbow Room, Top of the Rock and the Experience Store.  I was given my clearance for entering the building and a lanyard

When I went to enter the building the security guy asked 'are you an entertainer?' and I had to think about it for a moment.  Duuuuuhhhh

Upstairs in the holding space we did our final getting ready stuff, we all warmed up a little, we hung out and we took pictures!

Getting ready with Karli and Cheyenne

The almighty Lizz Furtado, head of production at AMDA, she's been my boss on several occasions and fully embraces my complete lack of grace and finesse.  She and Stefani Miller my other AMDA boss were on hand to cheer, represent, make us laugh and in Stefani's case crash the stage while Nick Cannon was talking to the camera.  Outstanding work.

Steph and I getting in a final run
Of course my girl Downie was on hand to support as was fellow Scot John Dempsey and my favourite tap buddy of all Carlos

My face in this picture...oops, not too cool
Before the cameras rolled

Look who showed up.  I caught Lauren's eye when this happened and laughed a lot.
I'm in the back right behind Karli.  This was after the numbers were over and Nick Cannon returned to the stage to do his dancing bit and encourage people to donate.  So we ended up all trying to hip hip in our tap heels and dresses...err.....not easy

The Blue Girl Group, pre-performance
The whole thing was a blast, I was only there about two hours in total.  Also we went on after the cast of Stomp which is pretty much gold, as far as I'm concerned.

AND we were provided with pizza and doughnuts.  I scarfed down a slice and two jam doughnuts, because I am a dancer and must be well nourished.

Then I went to babysit like nothing happened! 

I had fun, I have a great resume credit and I have a huge weight lifted from my shoulders because although I was just in one number I am not known for taking things in a relaxed manner so I've been obsessing over that one number all week and it's been stressing me out! I can tell because my skin has suddenly become really dry around my eyes! Bah.  I just celebrated with Indian food and a beer and I'm getting to bed soon because it never stops so, work at 9am tomorrow.  

Also my roommate David got a new bike and he's letting me have his old bike so now I guess I have a bike!  

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