You step into an acquaintance’s house for the first time, and discover that everything — from the furniture, to the books, to the art on the wall — is identical to your home. What happens next?
Jane opened the door, and there stood Vanessa, holding a small container. ‘I bought some cake!‘ she said, with a smile on her face. Jane grinned from ear to ear. ‘Fantastic, I was only thinking I should have baked something. This is perfect. I’ll put the kettle on. Come in, come in!’
You can choose any person from history to teach you any topic you want. Who’s your teacher, and what do they teach you?
Sarah woke up screaming, after being doused with a bucket of ice water. She flailed around blindly under the covers, her hair strewn across her face and in her mouth, only to fall out of bed, landing with a loud thud on the cold wet floorboards.
What giant step did you take where you hoped your leg wouldn’t break? Was it worth it, were you successful in walking on the moon, or did your leg break?
Please allow me to preface this by pointing out that I spent almost an hour writing this post yesterday, only for my auto-save to not work, resulting in me losing my entire post. Such a pain in the bum, so I’ll try and recreate it from memory again… Fingers crossed
I initially struggled when I thought about this, and spent a lot of time trying to come up with a scenario, but I thought that I would write about one of the dance auditions I went to when I was younger.
It was during my year of full-time dance, and I had never been to an audition for an overseas gig before. I’d only ever auditioned for dance schools and that was stressful enough. I didn’t really have much interest in the actual gig (which was for an overseas theme park), but I wanted to do it for the experience, and so I could determine what areas I needed to improve on for any future auditions that I might have.
So I turned up to this audition, not really knowing what it was going to be like and I walked up a few flights of stairs which opened up to this giant space – full of guys. Now for anybody in the commercial world of dance, you’ll know that all the guys are usually tall and good looking and quite well built.
…and I was pretty much the opposite. Well, except for the height.
When I walked in, it was, quite literally, one of those moments where everybody in the room completely stops, the music stops, and everybody stares at you. Although it was only a brief moment, it felt as though time had completely frozen. I walked around all the people sprawled out across the ground and found a small space in the corner, and started to stretch.
Everybody else was already sitting around in their little cliques, and most of them seemed to already know everybody else. Nobody paid me any attention – even when I tried to say hi to a couple of people, if they didn’t completely ignore me, they either brushed me off with a one-worded answer, or just advised me they didn’t want to be disturbed.
One woman came out and called all the girls into one studio for a vocal audition and the rest of us, the majority, were all guys who were ushered into the main studio. From there we were all split into smaller groups to make it easier for the judging panel to watch each of us a lot more closely.
I quickly realised that even when our group wasn’t performing, we were all standing around the studio watching the others, which really threw me. I had anticipated that everybody else would leave the studio , and we’d be called in group by group, but clearly, I was wrong.
First up was out jazz audition. We learnt a small routine which was actually quite fun, and when danced as a group, it looked incredible. I quickly realised that I wasn’t actually as bad as what I had initially thought. Watching some of the other guys trying to learn the chorey, quickly gave me an idea as to who was a threat, and who wasn’t.
When we started to perform in our groups, we also got to watch the others closely, and I was amazed that there was such a considerable number of these so-called dancers who couldn’t actually dance. I mean it was Jazz. Everybody needs to be able to cut it when it comes to jazz – or maybe I just have high expectations?!
So our group was somewhere in the middle, and everybody was watching everybody else like hawks. These bitches were hungry and we’re scoping out the competition, just like I was. I got up to dance and purposely stood in the back row so as not to come across as being an ‘attention seeker’. The music played and two of the guys in the front row made a massive fuck up, so they stopped us and made us start again.
The music started again and it was go-time. Just as quickly as we started, it was over. Almost got through it without making any mistakes, but I made one or two small mistakes, but nothing compared to some of the other guys. Compared to some of them, I was actually doing pretty well. At one point as I was dancing, I caught myself in the mirror as I nailed some complex move, and as I finished it, in my peripheral vision, I caught the eyes of one of the judges who, I thought, was watching me. And as I finished this particular move, she got a smile on her face, and then put her head down to write something… like she was secretly rooting for me, perhaps?
Everybody was then ushered out to the waiting room, where some people took the opportunity to have a bite of some food, and down some sports drinks. One of the people from the judging panel said that they were going to begin the callbacks, beginning with Ballet. Then, one by one they started calling out numbers of who they wanted to return.
It was nerve-wracking having to sit there and watch peoples reactions. Some were really humbled when their number was called. Others were more celebratory and flaunting of the fact. The ones who didn’t make it though either got really angry about it and stormed off in a huff, or they just accepted it for what it was. There were quite a few though who got really upset. I think they may have been the ones who were really hoping to get the job. Then whilst I’m sitting there watching everybody else’s reactions, I hear something, but I can’t quite work out what it is. Then I hear it again.
It’s me. My number. I’ve made it through the first round of callbacks!! I couldn’t quite believe it. For somebody who felt so intimidated at the beginning, it would appear as though that was slowly changing. However, I wasn’t necessarily going to get too excited just yet. It was time to get my ballet on.
We went back into the studio to learn a rather basic adage., and then split into new groups. Just like before with the Jazz audition, the ballet audition really gave some of us the perfect opportunity to show the others how it was done. I was really quite shocked that so many of these guys were so terrible at ballet. Here I was thinking that this was the foundation of all dance training – obviously just not theirs. There was only a few guys who really stood out, and even I was surprised at how well I managed with it. But I think I got lucky, because the other guys in my group were pretty bad, so they made me look even better. So I’m not sure if I stood out for actually being talented, or if it was because I was the best of the worst.
After we had finished, we were put back in the holding room, and they made the next round of announcements. Again, my number got called. ‘You have 5 minutes before you come back for your hip-hop audition’.
This was right up my alley. Suddenly, the number of guys had dramatically dropped. This was starting to get a bit real, and as much as I didn’t want to pay any attention to it, there was a tiny, tiny part of me thinking that there was a possibility, something might eventuate from all of this.
We went back in for our hip-hop audition, and surprisingly, the routine was short, but quite technical. I found it quite challenging. I went over it and over it and over it, but it just wasn’t sitting well with me. Suddenly the groups had changed order and my group was now second.
I only had a couple of minutes before I had to dance again, and I was really feeling nervous. I felt as though I had somehow managed to prove myself, and I couldnt mess it up now. The music started, and my group started dancing. When the music finished, I let out a giant sigh of relief, but it was quickly interrupted by the judging panel announcing that they wanted us to do again, but they wanted the front and back rows to swap. I was in the back row. I wonder if they want to watch me?? Oh, don’t be so stupid, why would they? SO the music began and I found myself back in the zone. In the corner of my eye I could see the same female judge watching me, then writing down some stuff on paper, and then talking to the judge next to her. And again, when I finished the routine, I caught her smiling. I tried not to think anything of it, but I couldn’t help myself.
As far as I knew, that was the end of the auditions process. I felt relieved, and was looking forward to getting out of this confined space full of stress and tension and hyper-emotional people. Just as I started to re-pack my bag, a lady walks out to us and says that there’s been a change in the audition, they were doing one last round of callbacks. Again, she started to read through the numbers, and only 4 guys got cut, the rest of us were all through again. I actually couldn’t believe that I’d made it this far. It was quite surprising, given that I hadn’t actually worked professionally in this industry, whereas most of the people here had, or still were.
We sat there looking a bit puzzled, as we didn’t really know why they were having a final cut? Maybe they wanted us to sing? Or do a reading? Nobody knew. The lady left briefly, and then returned to say, ‘I’ve just received confirmation that they would like to see you complete a Tap audition. We understand this is last minute, and understand you probably don’t have your tap shoes with you, but if you could, we’d love to see what you’ve got.’
Now, that’s what I call a **PLOT TWIST**
I instantly knew that I was out. I couldn’t tap to save myself. I can do a couple of basic steps, but other than that, I’ve got the skill of a monkey rollerskating on an oil slick. A couple of people cracked the shits, saying that this was ridiculous and unfair, and they stormed off. A couple of others brought their tap shoes with them ‘just in case’. I followed everybody back into the studio, and they made us line up across the studio side-by-side. Everybody was feeling nervous, because we didn’t know what to expect now. I looked at the lady who I’d made eyes with earlier, and she gave me a quick little wink – which, really, could have have meant anything, but she only did it to me, so I felt a tiny bit better.
They explained to us, that they wanted to see roughly 16-counts of some tap skill, to try and judge what level our expertise is. It could be anything we want, as long as it was between 16 and 32 counts.
Shit. Oh shit. Oh shit shit shit shit shit shit.
Knowing that tap was the absolute worst style for me was already bad enough, knowing that I was now going to be last (!!!) made everything even worse. They’re going to go through us one at a time, and all these guys are going to show off their fancy foot skills and then they’re all going to watch me completely ruin everything. Maybe I should just leave? There’s no way I’ll get anywhere now. It’s a guaranteed no. I’ve stil got a chance, perhaps I should just thank them for the opportunity and excuse myself.
I opted not to give in so easily. I’d spent so many hours here already, I may as well see it through until the end, and let’s face it, I had no intentions of actually getting a job out of this, I was only here for the experience, and I should make sure that I get the whole experience, regardless of how uncomfortable or awkward it gets. That’s what it’s like in this industry. It’s cut-throat and you just have to roll with the punches. No time for you to be self conscious and weak. We all watched each other as the tap-a-tap-a-tap-a progressed down the line. The whole time I kept taking bits and pieces from everybody else’s ‘routines’ to create my own little series of steps… and well, in theory it worked in my head.
However, when I had to actually perform it, it was a completely different story. Turns out, I had no fucking idea of what I was doing. I’d even managed to completely forget even the most basic of basic steps. It was just a complete disaster. I was so humiliated, but all I could do was laugh. There were a few concerned looks my way, but by this stage, I was kinda over it. I’d achieved everything I had come to do, and made it through to the final cut. The lady on the panel looked at me with a small grin and shook her head slightly. The guy in charge of the audition thanked everybody for staying, and for being so gracious and doing the tap audition, and that those who were successful would receive details via email later that evening.
We filed out of the studio into the holding area. People got changed; some called their friends / family; a couple of the guys walked off crying. I went into a toilet to change my clothes, put on some deodorant and wash my face. I let out a big sigh, picked up my bag and headed down the stairs. I got outside and was almost blinded by the blaring sunshine. I had almost forgotten what the weather was like because I’d been in fluoro lighting all day. I stood there on the steps of the building trying to work out what to do with myself for the rest of the afternoon. One thing that couldn’t be denied was that I was STARVING!! But having just stressed out and danced my arse off, I wanted to eat my feelings. The most important choice was whether I wanted to go buy half a dozen pastries, or if I wanted to get a tub of ice-cream and hire some dvd’s.
I was enjoying the sunshine, and whilst thinking of the pro’s and con’s of what I wanted, I grabbed my iPod and started untangling my supposed ‘tangle-free’ earphones, when I heard a group of people coming down the stairs. It was the judges from the panel. The lady that had smiled at me a few times noticed me and said goodbye to the others, before she started walking towards me.
‘You were quite an interesting one to watch today. You did a really good job’
‘None of us have seen you before, so you’re obviously one of the new kids on the block, so to speak’
‘Yeah, although I don’t think I have ‘The Right Stuff’ hehehe.’
‘*laughs* Good one. Listen, I’m glad that I bumped into you, I just wanted to say that I really enjoyed watching you today. You really did a great job. Although you were nervous, you danced with passion and authenticity. I don’t actually know anything about you, but a few of us couldn’t stop watching you… even when you weren’t dancing, we were still watching you..’
‘Oh god, why? I was probably picking my nose or something…’
‘Eww, no, you just, there was something about you. There’s a light within you that just makes people want to watch you dance. You need to perform. You need to continue on this path. It’s just so refreshing to see somebody different to the same people we see all the fucking time. It just gets boring, and we tune out, because we’ve seen them all before. They all look the same. Like clones. Except you, you look nothing like them. And you’re clearly talented. There were people with a fuck load more experience than you who got knocked out in the first round, and yet, you made it all the way. We just wanted to see more.’
‘Really?? I don’t know what to say to that’
‘Although your tap was fucking abysmal. One of, if not, the worst of the day! Which was suuuuch a fucking let down, because we were expecting some awesome tap routine from you, but we didn’t get it.’
‘Ha! yeah, well, tap certainly isn’t my favourite style. Actually, I really don’t like it. I have to do it as part of my course, but I’m terrible at it. My ankles don’t seem to want to let me do it. I just can’t get it. And well, I’ve only been doing tap this year for the first time EVER! When the other lady said we were going to do tap, I almost walked out because I knew that I would bomb out on it, but I wanted to be the person who didn’t just give up when it got too hard. At least I can say I completed the audition. I may have completely mucked it up, but at least I finished it, AND I made it to the final callback, which completely shocked the hell out of me, so for that, I must say a big thankyou to you and the rest of the panel.’
‘Yeah, you need to really work on your tap. It’s not a major audition component, but some auditions require solid tap skills. Not all of them do, but it’ll work in your favour if you can get them up to speed. It’s going to work in your favour if you do, trust me. You’ve already got that spark in you, like an x-factor, but if you can do a good, solid, clean, tap solo, you’ll be more of a threat. I’m glad that I got to meet you, you actually made my day.’
‘Seriously? now that’s something you don’t hear everyday!’
‘Hopefully we’ll get to see you again sometime soon. I’ve got your details, and so have some of the others, so if we see you on the audition list, we’ll happily make sure that you get an audition. BUT WORK ON YOUR TAP FOR FUCK’S SAKE!! GOD, THAT WAS SUCH A LET DOWN!!’
‘I’ll try, I can’t promise though. How about if I do audition next time, we just skip the tap altogether, and you just let me do a good job with everything else instead?!’
We both laughed and said goodbye before walking in opposite directions. I think that was one of the most humbling experiences I’ve ever had in terms of dancing. It felt a little weird to be honest. As a dancer, you rarely hear somebody praise you for your talent. Most of the time you just keep getting told that whatever you did could have been better. You get told about all the flaws and imperfections of your talent – you need to work on your turnout, you have bad feet, you’re not flexible enough, you didn’t jump high enough, you need to work on your spotting, your arms are too sloppy, you have ugly turns, your back is too swayed, you look like your trying too hard etc etc etc. That’s just something that you have to get yourself used to very quickly. You need to have a thick skin if you’re going to pursue something like dancing, because everybody will pick you apart for every little thing that isn’t 100 percent perfect. That’s just how it is. It’s not nice. It’s not fair. But that’s how we improve.
For somebody to then turn around and have that kind of positivity and praise for my talent is almost completely foreign, and something that I have always struggled to accept and deal with. I’ve always been quite humble with my dancing. I’m not denying that I’d be quietly confident about my talent, but I wouldn’t be the one displaying the ego telling people that I’m the best and everybody else can just suck it. But for somebody like her to say something like that to me, felt amazing. Audition judges are always seen to be quite hard, and extremely blunt in their feedback or comments, so for somebody to say that they loved watching me dance just blew my mind.
I was on cloud-nine for the rest of the afternoon, and I practically inhaled a tub of ice-cream when I got home and enjoyed every single spoonful!!
Do you believe that beauty is in the eye of the beholder? Or do you think there is a basic standard of beauty that everyone agrees upon?
**WARNING: Contains stereotypes and generalisations**
I vaguely remember watching a Comedy Debate a couple of years ago on this exact same topic… I guess it probably would have helped if I had been paying attention more, then I could have relayed the messages from both sides of the debate.
There are so many different ways in which I could address this, so let’s just see how this all unfolds, shall we? I think I’ll break it up into a few different sections.
Is there a basic standard of beauty that everyone agrees upon? Yes and no.
Let’s take this whole concept of beauty back to the most iconic of them all, Barbie.
Barbie has gone through quite a number of changes over the years, but looking at the image above, it’s quite obvious that she’s had a bit of work done. Poor old Babs was stuck with that 50’s-esque body type and some people felt that she needed a bit of a change. So off she went to hospital, had a few ribs removed and come out looking like a brand new bitch.
The problem with Barbie is that although she may be one of the most fashionable ladies in the history of, well, ever, the fact still remains that some view her as a negative role model for young women. Girls all over the world have looked up to Barbie and told themselves that one day, they too will be just like her – blonde and plastic-fantastic. And unfortunately, some make it their life’s mission. Everybody knows somebody like this – the blonde dyed hair, the fake breasts, fake lips, constantly covered in fake tan. And they no doubt have their own version of ‘Ken’ – the tall guy with rippling muscles everywhere that can barely string a sentence together.
This brings me to my first topic:
Beauty and Fitness
Now that it’s the era of the gym bunny – these Ken’s and Barbie’s probably spend their lives at the gym, toning up the rest of their body in the pursuit of what they consider ‘perfection’. But to some people, the ideal of ‘perfection’ doesn’t necessarily equate to ‘beautiful’. Have a look at these lovely ladies and all their, um, fakeness. Some might consider them to be beautiful. Others, however, might assume that they’re all dancing down at the local Oompa-Loompa strip club for when Willy Wonka’s minions feel like a boys night out and wanna blow a wad (of cash!).
Some of the Barbie’s probably also do something called ‘Bikini Modelling’ which is apparently, a thing now… but basically it’s just these gym bitches parading around in a couple of strips of material which is smothered in diamantes and sequins in order to attempt to cover their pikachu, whilst they parade around in those ‘glass’ hooker heels. to show off all the hard work they’ve put in at the gym – and probably all the food that they haven’t been eating in order to help ‘shred’ those last few pounds.
Oh, I totally forgot – they’re also the type of person who is probably so narcissistic that they feel the need to constantly take selfies and share them on every type of social media account they have… just so other ‘models’ can message them and say ‘OH MY GAWWWWD… OMG GAWD YOU LOOK SOOOOO HAWT…’ and then flick their hair and give a little duck-face.
Let’s face it, she looks like she’s a heartbeat away from pole-dancing lessons.
I’m in two minds about this. Yes, I think it’s great that you’re going to the gym and working on your body etc… but are you actually fit?? Yes, you might spend 3 days a week working on your legs, but can you actually run? I’ve seen far too many people at the gym who look ‘fit’, but are actually quite the opposite. And to be honest, I secretly enjoy it. I love nothing more than going to a high-intensity interval class and seeing some muscled up jock there as well, and then see him struggling during the first track of a 30-min class, only for him to give up by track 2 or 3. Now, I’m not exactly a beacon of health and fitness myself, I’m somewhere in the middle. It just goes to show you that yes, you can spend every spare moment you have, of everyday, in the gym targeting each and every muscle group on your body, so you too can get to a point where you can’t buy regular clothes and you have to walk around holding invisible briefcases, but when tubbly ol’ me goes into a class with you, you’re expected to be able to wipe the floor with the rest of us, because you look the way you do. Nobody is anticipating on seeing you, not even half-way through the class, collapsed on your bench wondering if you’re about to have a coronary.
Like I said earlier, we associate muscle with fitness, when really it’s just strength, not actual fitness. Next time you’re at the gym, just take a moment and look at the people who are in a group fitness class. Look at their body types. They may be sweating and grunting and have their ugly concentration face on, but do you consider them beautiful? Now go for a wander down to the free-weights area and check out the people there and their bodies. It’s okay, I’m giving you permission to perve. Do you consider this group more beautiful simply because of their dedication to muscle definition? If you just said yes, don’t you think that sounds a bit shallow?
And don’t get it twisted, this is NOT what I mean by ‘cardio’.
There’s also a couple of different types of bodies that people consider fit. For example, the ripped guy who’s trying to look like The Hulk… some view him as fit. The triathlete / runner / cyclist etc. Some view them as fit whilst others just think their skinny. Yet, those who are simply swimmers, are a different body type all together. ‘Fitness’ (and I use the term loosely) comes in all shapes and sizes, and all are considered beautiful to all different types of people. To these people, the athletes, their bodies are treated like machines. They are all about the biomechanics of how their body works, how it needs to perform and how they can improve that performance. It’s no longer considered a body, it’s a machine. And to be an athlete is something that requires pure dedication, which in turn, becomes a thing of beauty (especially if it’s on film and being shown in slo-mo… moreso if it’s a hot guy without his top on hehehe).
An ex-boyfriend of mine was once part of the Victorian Institute of Sport, and I remember him telling me stories about some of the people who live there, and how much dedication they put towards what they do. Specific sleeping, eating and training patterns that would seem ridiculous to the average person, but is considered normal to those at VIS. He would tell me stories about the punishing training they put themselves through; the pain that they have to experience almost constantly all in the belief that it might earn them a gold medal, or better, Olympic medal. You might seem them competing at a national or even international level doing something that they’ve dedicated their lives to. Completely tortured themselves in the process, and there’s no denying that that’s not something truly beautiful.
I don’t think I could possibly continue writing any more if I didn’t at least address the most obvious topic – Ballet.
Ballet, I think would have to be regarded as the most beautiful form of dance in the history of the world. It’s so elegant and graceful, and let’s be honest, those skinny bitches know how to fly around on that stage and make it look so effortless. I remember when I was younger reading an article about fitness and sport, and there was a study done between all different types of athletes. Sprinters, runners, swimmers, footy players, soccer players, basketball players etc and a male ballet dancer. They were put through a series of drills to measure endurance, cardiovascular activity, Co2 etc, and who came out on top?? The ballet dancer. That article then went on to talk about how dance in general should be considered a sport, because dancers are a type of athlete… well, that, and dance is beautiful. Art in motion. Emotive.
They’re also a bit obsessive. The hardcore ones have either inhaled a bit too much hairspray over the years, and had their hair-buns pulled a bit too tight, because they are all striving for the same thing – perfection. The problem is, that like most sports, the pursuit of perfection is never easy. It’s long and it’s painful, but the result is beauty.
HOWEVER, this type of beauty does come at a cost. Especially for ballerinas. What is the cost?
How beautiful do you think ballet is now? Does it change your views at all? The phrase ‘pain is beauty‘ is no truer than right now. The ballerina, let’s face it, will go through the gates of hell in order to achieve ‘perfection’, but unfortunately, their concept of perfection may be rather different to yours or mine. These ladies, literally, torture themselves all in the name of dance, art, grace and beauty. Yes, the end result can be simply breathtaking, however, there is a trade off. That image above, is the trade off.
So everytime you see a ballerina doing this:
…I want you to remind yourself of this:
In this instance beauty certainly is in the eye of the beholder, because we don’t see underneath. We don’t see the mangled feet, or the bloodied pointe shoes. We don’t see the bruising, or the contorted joints. We don’t see the tears and the pain. We just see the elegance floating on the stage in tulle.
Beauty and Image
That is Rick Genest a.k.a. Zombie Boy. He is covered from head to toe and everywhere in between with tattoos. Most of it is all anatomical – bones, organs, veins etc. Most people would look at him and feel uncomfortable, or even scared, simply because of his tattoos. But that doesn’t change the fact that he’s still a human being like the rest of us, he just looks a little different. Why should he be judged on what’s on the outside, rather than what’s on the inside?
Some people would consider him ugly, yet others consider him living art, and yet he’s achieved quite a lot. He’s been featured in Theirry Mugler’s fashion shows, he’s done makeup campaigns, he’s even in the Born This Way video for Lady Gaga.
People wonder why others go to such extremes with tattoos – in today’s society, it’s quite common place to see people with ‘sleeves’, or tattoos on various parts of their bodies, and even that in itself has people divided, and I for one have seen some really ugly tattoos and some that are truly beautiful works of art. I might not necessarily agree that it needed to be tattooed, but it’s still a form of art, and art is considered to be beautiful, right?
I came across the following video when doing some research on Mr Genest, and came across a video campaign he did for DermablendPro, which is truly remarkable:
After seeing him covered in tattoos, and then seeing him with ‘normal’ looking skin, it’s quite a dramatic change, and almost makes you question why a person would do that to their body.
Personally, I think it’s fascinating, and I believe that he is a walking, breathing work of art. The amount of work that has gone into those tattoos, the detail, not to mention the cost and the pain, it’s all in the name of his image. And like the saying goes, ‘pain is beauty’ – or does that now only apply to corset’s and stiletto’s?
Beauty and Fashion
This brings us to the next topic – beauty and fashion. Hands up those of you who always dreamt about being a supermodel. Yeah, me too. I would sometimes dream that if I were born a girl, I’d grow up to become a Glamazon as well. Tall. Toned. Legs for days. I’d have an incredible body, and I’d use it to make a fortune.
As a kid who grew up in the 80’s and 90’s, it was the time of the true supermodel legends – Linda Evangelista, Claudia Schiffer, Cindy Crawford, Christy Turlington, Naomi Campbell, Helena Christensen, Eva, Herzigova. Gorgeous women who drove men wild with lust and drove women wild with jealousy. They were everywhere you turned – commercials, magazine covers, interviews, billboards on the sides of buildings etc. The world was obsessed with them and couldn’t get enough of them. They were the epitome of beauty. Ladies went to the extreme of drawing on a mole that looked like Cindy Crawford’s.
Imitation is the highest form of flattery, dahhhlings.
But then something happened, over the years the modelling industry took a turn for the worse and started to give off the image that only emaciated young girls could be models, and for quite some time, some designers would only use these types of girls in their runway shows. That was considered beautiful. Some skeletal bag of bones who looks like she’s been wrapped in couture and sent down the runway in a pair of stilts. Sorry, no. Not in the slightest. (Sidenote: if you’re looking for a laugh, do search for videos of models falling down. Guaranteed to make you feel better!)
Now, let’s fast forward to 2013 / 2014 and shine a spotlight on Carmen Carrera. Carmen is the first transgender model. I had never heard of Carmen before, until I saw her walk in the Marco Marco show.
Check out the full show:
When it comes to the modelling industry, it can easily be summed up in one word:
However, have you ever really looked at a fashion show, and studied the models, rather than the clothes? The models seems to all look the same, especially the male models. They all just seem to be clones of each other – they have the exact same body type, the exact same chiseled jaw, and the same blank expression that tells us there really isn’t much going on upstairs. I put them in the same category as all the other hot guys – you can stand there and look beautiful, but please, for the love of god, don’t say anything.
The other issue I have with the modeling industry is that even now, even after it’s cleaned up its act a bit and now actually wants people, rather than bags of bones in Manolo’s, it’s still giving people, primarily young women, this unhealthy view that in order to be accepted, you need to look like a model. You can’t achieve anything unless you skinny. You can’t be in the media. You can’t fit in with the cool kids at school. Boy’s won’t talk to you etc.
What a bunch of crap!
This, however takes me to my next topic:
Beauty and Weight
Women who are overweight, have always been made to feel bad about themselves, mainly due to mainstream media. It’s plastered with skinny bitches, and they’re always shown to be having fun – they’re on the beach with their (skinny) girlfriends, splashing in the water in their bikini’s and then get approached by a group of guys (ie: gay male models); or their on jewellery commercials, getting earrings, and bracelets from their male-model boyfriend / fiance / husband (again, gay!). Their the ones at fast food restaurants, stuffing their faces with a burger or fried chicken, and having a great time.
…but where are the plus-sized girls?
Why is it that even now, even in 2014, plus-size is still something that isn’t being accepted by the media. Despite the campaigns by various groups to have more ‘bigger’ girls in mainstream media, it just doesn’t happen. What kind of message is this sending to women? As a gay man, to me this says ‘you’ll never be this happy unless your skinny. You’ll never get these kinda of diamonds, or meet a man this attractive, unless your skinny. You’ll never enjoy fried food like this, unless your ski-…’ actually, I think that if you’re a bigger girl, you’re more likely going to enjoy that fried chicken soooo much more than some skinny bitch.
In my search for images of plus-sized models, I came across this little gem:
Who says that bigger women aren’t beautiful, or can’t be beautiful. Can you sit there and look at a plus-sized model and say she doesn’t look beautiful? The key word being model. She’s a model. It’s no longer a word for anorexic bitches on stilts. It’s expanded. It’s diversified. However, there needs to be more light shone on plus sized models to give them the attention, and the recognition they deserve.
I sit here and look at society and think that it must be really tough for anybody who’s a size 12 or bigger, because fashion in it’s purest form is targeted only to those who seem to not like eating, or prefer the taste of their fingers after each meal. What kind of fucked up message does that send to women? No wonder the ‘dieting’ section of supermarkets and health food stores etc is rapidly expanding. It’s like society’s way of giving the skinny bitches an All-Access Pass to life, whilst letting all the bigger girls wait in line behind the velvet rope. How is that fair? It’s high-school all over again. Where the skinny bitches are the cheerleaders fucking the quaterback of the football team, and the bigger girls are hanging out together eating their feelings. And why do they have so many feelings? Because of the skinny bitches being such haters.
Just look at her, curves in all the right places. She is BEAUTIFUL!! And anybody who thinks otherwise, can get themselves well and truly fucked.
Now, having said that, I have to address something. Being somebody who works in the health and fitness industry, there is something to be said for bigger girls feeling sorry for themselves. They too have the ability to lose weight, but it requires effort. It requires changes to diet, it requires exercise, it requires persistence and dedication, and not many big girls have that drive. They would like it to happen, but they want the results without the effort. Unfortunately it doesn’t work like that.
In my experience, I’ve had a number of bigger girls cross my path and I just love the fact that they’ve decided to get active and do something about their weight.
Now, before you start hating on me, I completely understand that everybody has their issues. You might struggle with your weight, it could be a thyroid problem, it could be a genetic condition, but you can’t just sit back, give up and accept it. Well, unless you’re truly happy with how you look and how it makes you feel. If you’re happy to own your size, then good for you. I’m talking about the other ones, the ones who are bigger and unhappy and just lazy. The only one you have to blame is yourself. Yes, I know that you feel like crap because of whatever reason, and yes, I COMPLETELY understand how eating that entire cake is going to make you feel better (trust me, I do it too!) but at the end of the day, it’s not doing you any good.
I only look at this from a health perspective and nothing more. It’s not healthy to be overweight, and any medical professional will tell you this. The problem however, is that what is considered to be a ‘healthy’ weight range, is still considered to be overweight. And that’s wrong. Have you ever checked your Body Mass Index (BMI)? It’s a calculation of your weight and your height and gives you a result. If you want, you can check it out here. I just put mine in, and because I’m 1kg out of the range, I’m considered overweight. For me, that’s somewhat upsetting, but at the same time I just brush it. My weight is always up and down, so I don’t really focus on it. If I’m happy, I’m happy. I know there’s room for improvement, but I’m too lazy to put in even more time at the gym for my own gains. i’m too busy working full time and teaching my classes.
For me, when I teach a class, I love the feeling that it gives me when a bigger person can come to me and thank me… thank me for a class, thank me for putting a smile on their face, thank me for helping them ignore life for an hour, just so they can sweat and dance and have some fun. I love that. I love it because it’s reassurance that I’m doing something right. We don’t often get real feedback like that, but when we do, we treasure it. I’m not there for the social aspect. I’m not there to see friends (it’s nice though). I’m there to positively change people’s lives, and make a big enough impact on them so they’ll want to come back again and again.
The one pet peeve I have about the gym are the posers. Those people who come to the gym, and stand there and stare at their own reflections in the mirror the whole time. Yes, I understand that when using weights you need a mirror to check your technique, but heaven forbid that those last couple of squats you did put a few hairs out of place.
You just just get the fuck out. Right now.
Or the people who do classes, and are always in the front row, doing the same thing. They probably have terrible teqnique, so sense of direction or timing etc, but they just stare at themselves the entire time, completely oblivious to what’s happening in the class around them. OR, they’re the people who go in full-makeup, but don’t want to sweat.
Sorry bitches, if you’re coming to my class, you’re here to work. Please don’t turn up and waste my time if you’re not prepared to actually do something. If you wanna go put yourself on parade for everybody to look at, go be a beauty queen.
Beauty and Events – Eg. Pageants
Beauty pageants. Ugh. Just the concept of a beauty pageant is so ridiculous to me. Basically, it’s a competition only for the pretty, skinny bitches. But it’s a competition to see who’s the prettiest! It’s nothing more than a glorified popularity contest. The only difference is, that these bitches get a cash prize, and the opportunity to parade themselves around the world, telling the world ‘Look at me, I’m the prettiest bitch in the WHOLE WORLD (Miss Universe)”… and then they can go off and blow every guy who says their pretty. I loathe these things. Miss America, Miss USA, Miss World, Miss Universe…
However, without them, we wouldn’t have things like Miss Congeniality, and train-wreck TV shows such as Toddlers and Tiara’s, and of course, Honey Boo Boo.
As much as HBB is one of those shows you just hate to watch, it’s like a secret indulgence. Like when you drive past a car accident, and you just want to stop and have a look, but you know that you shouldn’t – this is how I feel about HBB – you shouldn’t watch it, but it’s so bad, it’s good.
For those of you who don’t know, HBB is a pudgy little girl who does ‘Kiddie Pageants’. Which, are pretty much one of the worst things for a girl to get involved in – well, unless you’re anorexic and your overbearing parents (usually the mother) have tens-of-thousands of dollars to just throw away on costumes and glitter (OMG the glitter!) in some vain attempt at getting you to win the local popularity beauty pageant.
What I love about HBB is that she’s not the skinniest, she’s not really that talented, nor that intelligent, and she sometimes refers to herself in the third-person, and she doesn’t really give a shit. That certainly doesn’t stop her from entering these ridiculous competitions, and in a way, I actually kind of admire her for doing so, because it says to the other tubby kids out there ‘hey, if I can do it, then you can do it too!’ I’m not saying that it’s necessarily easy for her to enter these, but she enjoys herself, and hell, she’s got her own ridiculous TV show out of it.
This is what I like – the overweight people with the fuck you attitude. The ones who aren’t afraid to put themselves out there, even if it’s going to open them up for ridicule.
There needs to be more of this. If the world is going to insist on continually promoting these skinny-bitch pageants, then why can’t full-figured women enter them as well. What has happened to our society where we only want to promote and focus on the pretty thin girls. Like I said before, just because you’re pretty, doesn’t make you smart. Anybody can parade around in some hooker heels and a bikini (See – Bikini Models), but that doesn’t necessarily mean you can string a sentence together.
Beauty and Intelligence
Well, wasn’t that just a lovely little segue? Paying so much attention to the media, I am of the general view that pretty people are only that – pretty. Pretty certainly doesn’t mean intelligent. As is the case with the youtube clip above, you could be trying to win the vote for the prettiest girl in all the land, and you might not necessarily be able to construct a sentence, but men don’t care about that. As long as you stay thin and pretty, and don’t talk, they’re happy. Oh and as long as you blow them on command and make them a sandwich afterwards, everything will be great.
Hmmm… anybody else suddenly feel like we’ve travelled back to the 50’s??
I am fortunate enough to know a number of people who have both brains and beauty, because, well, generally the two don’t go hand in hand. Well, that’s not entirely true. They do go hand-in-hand, it’s just that it’s actually quite rare – like unicorns.
But I think in society nowadays if somebody is quite good looking, there’s almost a pre-conceived notion that they’re a bit simple. I know that whenever I have somebody who’s really good looking comes up to me and actually deliver a proper sentence, and manages to do so without a grunt, or a hair twirl, or a pout, I almost die of shock. And don’t even get me started on the use of ‘LOL-speak’ – i’ll end up in a table-flipping rage. Seriously, USE A PROPER WORD FOR A CHANGE!! WHY IS IT SO FUCKING HARD… soz, i mean uze props wrdz 4 a chng. Y s it so fckn hrd?
Just. Kill. Me. Now.
I’m not saying that pretty people can’t be smart, I just think that my personal experience is that pretty and smart people are quite rare. They’re an endangered species. We need to get them all together and start a breeding program for them, so they can multiply and we can release them back into our dysfunctional society. I also think that there are a number of smart-pretty people who are just dumb. They do dumb shit. They ask dumb questions. The stuff that makes you wonder how they manage to make it through the day without killing themselves, or killing others. I think these people are everywhere. You can be academic and book smart, but still not have any concept of common sense. I would like to give them the benefit of the doubt and just assume that they’re actually idiot savants, because if they’re not, then they’re just dumb, and that’s so much more disappointing.
There was this one woman whom I used to work with. She was attractive, highly intelligent, was doing her Masters in Law… but she’d ask me the most stupid questions. But she had been working at the same place for a number of years, and still had to ask things. Where did we keep the pens? How do I send a fax? Can I email a book? (Okay, so the last one is actually true! It reminds of the scene in Mean Girls when the guy leans in and says “Last year, she asked me how to spell ‘Orange'”) so it is actually possible to be quite intelligent, but still so dumb at the same time. Needless to say, we didn’t necessarily see eye-to-eye very often. I had my moments where I would point out stupid stuff she said, immediately after she had just asked it… then it was ‘on’!!
Beauty and Self Esteem
Thanks Xtina. You’re one of the people who has always been scrutinised because of your fluctuating weight. One minute you’re skinny and then suddenly you’ve ballooned to twice your size. But you know what, even overweight Xtina is still beautiful, regardless of how slammed she is in the media. And it doesn’t affect her ability to sing either, because that girls has some pipes on her. And really, why should anybody give a fuck about your weight, when you can sing like that. This is another reason why I love Adele. She’s a bigger girl, and she’s got an incredible vocal talent as well. Her’s is in a much lower register than Christina’s, but it’s still beautiful and incredible.
Ahhh, Dem Lovato. So pretty, and yet such a mess. From punching a dancer, to self-harm, drug addiction, rehab… you sound like you need to be hanging out with Lindsay @ Rehab. You can braid each others hair and talk about boys… and who can get you the best coke. Demi, to me, seems like another one of the manufactured Disney bitches who, yes, looks pretty, but has been built up into a superstar without actually having that much talent. Oh, so you say she’s been in a successful TV show, and sold millions of records? Yes, well that would be because of the Disney brain washing machine + gullible youth of today = overnight success + millions of dollars. Hell, they could market a lump of shit, and everybody would want to buy it – it’s the age we live in. Teens and tweens going batshit cray-cray over some overrated ‘celebrity’ and having this overwhelming urge to own anything and everything with their face on it.
Just like Pokemon: you gotta buy it all!!
So, if you look at the above for long enough, you might start to think that Demi seems a bit forced in what she’s saying. Yes, girls, you ARE beautiful, but only because my agent tells to say so. I personally think that you’re all peasants and you’re beneath me. If anybody should be doing something about self-esteem issues, it SHOULD be her. She’s one of these girls who’s got problems, but is also int he public spotlight, and that shouldn’t be deterring people from whatever shit they’re going through, if anything, they should be owning it and shining a light on it, and telling the rest of the world, ‘well, hang on a sec, actually, I kinda feel like shit for this reason and that reason’.
Whatever happened to people actually helping people??
But this is about beauty and self esteem. And the first thing that springs to mind is high-school. High-school is such a cruel place for anybody who doesn’t fit a specific mould of what teenagers are supposedly meant to be. But because everybody is so different, AND because society has become so multi-cultural, it opens itself up like a gaping wound, just waiting to have salt and lemon juices smeared all over it.
Enter the topic of bullying. Who remembers the fat kids in school being picked on? Yep, I certainly do. I was friends with them. Did any of you actually stick up for them when they were being bullied? Can’t say I did, and I feel shitty for not standing up. Back then, I was also the one being bullied. I got bullied for being a dancer. I got bullied for being smart. I got bullied for having a big nose. I got bullied because of my name (!!). But worst of all, I got bullied for being gay. For being flamboyant. But it wasn’t just from the boys, it was from the girls as well. The girls who I actually expected to at least be some kind of ally, and yet they turned on me without a second thought.
It’s hard growing up in the country, surrounded by dickheads.
And as a result, I turned out like this:
I felt sorry for anybody who was different. Just like in Romy and Michelle’s High School Reunion, our school also had an A-Group. They were all the popular kids, with wealth parents who bought them everything (Read: divorced), who were all good-looking, great physiques, and really bad attitudes. Basically, they were a bunch of cunts who took far too much pleasure in destroying other people’s spirits.
And the worst part of it now, is that this type of bullying is no longer confined to the playground. It’s online. It’s cyberbullying. It’s fucking sad. If you’ve never been bullied, then you truly have no concept of how horrible people can be to one another. Yes, sticks and stones my break my bones, but your nasty words will destroy my spirit. And the problem is that people aren’t willing to talk about the problem; parent’s aren’t prepared to take it seriously; schools don’t want to get involved; and at the centre of it all is some kid who’s full of so much pain they don’t know how to handle it, and are more likely to suffer in silence and do shit like self-harm (Hi there, Demi Lovato!) or worse, take their own life.
Nobody, NOBODY SHOULD EVER BE MADE TO FEEL LIKE THAT. To tell somebody you don’t like them, or their not worthy of being around you because they’re different in some way, is one of the worst things you can ever say to somebody. You might laugh it off, but these kids have real emotions. You’re just simply a horrible, nasty person with a blackened soul. If anything, YOU’RE not the one worthy of their company. Yes, you may have your clique of skinny bitches, with your platinum-blonde hair, super-jock boyfriend and drive a convertible, but you have no substance. You go out of your way to knock people down in order to make yourself feel better, but where does it get you?
You might not like somebody because they’re overweight. Or because they’re cross-eyed. Or they’re disabled. Or they’re not as financially secure as you. Or because they’re a different race. Or because they don’t speak English very well… but who cares. Hating on them is not going to achieve anything. You don’t have to like everybody, that’s totally fine, but you don’t have to go out of your way to make sure they know that you dislike them. All you need to do is accept that they’re different, and move on. The least you can do is acknowledge them as a human being, and respect them for who they are, where they are and what they have. Maybe, just maybe, you could go out of your way to try and have a conversation with them? It’s not going to kill you, and who knows, you might even find that you have something in common with each other.
So much time and effort is spent on people trying to bring people down, even as adults, but let’s face it, it’s still just bullying. It’s still high-school, except we’re all just older. Some people haven’t learnt lessons, they’re just older bitches. Some people will never change.
But regardless of who you are, where you are, every single person is beautiful. Some have beauty both outside and in. Some others… just outside. All you need to do is acknowledge it, and take a small step to make your world, and somebody else’s world, a little bit better.
And if I’ve just wasted all this time writing this damn post, then at least I’ve shared it with the world, and left you with one last image for the day:
Remember your first crush? Think about that very first object of your affection. Oh, the sweaty palms. The swoony feeling in your stomach. Tell us the story of your first crush. What was it about this person that made your heart pound? Was the love requited? Change the names to protect the guilty or innocent if you must! No judgement here. Happy Valentine’s Day!
Oh, god which one do I write about? First girl crush, or first boy crush??
Describe the one decision in your life where you wish you could get a “do-over.” Tell us about the decision, and why you’d choose to take a different path this time around.
how on earth am I supposed to pick just one event in my life, when so much of my life I wish I could do-over??
I think ultimately, if I could, then I would get into dancing at a younger age, and begin with Jazz and Ballet… then when I get to year 10, I’d want to leave school to go live interstate and dance full-time.
When I was in high-school I actually reached a point where I began looking into tuition fees for performing arts high-schools in Sydney, and even full-time dance schools and their junior school programme…
…needless to say, nothing ever eventuated from it. Oh how I wish I could’ve gone to a performing arts school, or even better, a proper dance school.
That would have been the pinnacle decision in my life that would have changed everything. Once I made that choice, then everything else in my life would end up being completely different. The friends I have, the experiences I’ve had, the places I’ve lived, the boys I’ve dated, the happiness, the sadness, the fun, the pain – it would all be so completely different. I probably wouldn’t even be living in Melbourne. I would have completely different jobs. I might only have one job, rather than two. I probably would have traveled all over the world dancing, and being paid to do something that truly resonates within me down to the core.
But, until somebody can actually invent time-travel, we can’t spend our lives living in the past, hanging onto regrets, because it achieves nothing and gets you nowhere. Perhaps I make all the mistakes in this life, so that when I come back in my next life, I can do it all the way I should have done things in the first place.
Tell us about a time you took the less travelled path.
So, it’s taken me almost a week to write this post. Everytime I come back to it, I try to think of a possible response to this, and I really struggle.
I read some of other blogs and what they had to say, and I can’t really relate to them because I haven’t experienced it personally.
So, what the hell can I write about? I’ve had a pretty normal, average life. I haven’t really faced any major adversity, nor have I had to deal with major decisions.
But then I came back to it today, and thought some more about it. And although it’s slightly relevant, I’d say that my road less travelled was moving out of home.
I was 19. I’d been living in a country town with my mum and my brother. I didn’t get my act together soon enough after year 12 to audition for dance schools, so I had to quickly work out what I was doing for the following year. I enrolled into a TAFE course studying I.T., and soon enough that fell by the wayside in order for me to completely immerse myself in musical theatre and even more dance tuition. I just wanted something to fill my days.
Later that year I made the decision that I couldn’t stay in this town any longer. I refused to turn into most of the other people that were in my social circle. I had to get out. I’d already discovered my independent nature, and knew that if I stayed for another year, it would break me and I’d never leave.
I spent my focus on working towards my dance school auditions in both Sydney and Melbourne, which meant a couple of trips to both places. It was during these auditions, I very quickly came to the realisation, that although I was a very talented dancer back home, I was NOTHING compared to these city dancers.
I did masterclasses and round after round of callbacks. Dancing and styles that I’d never seen before, but were apparently normal here in the big city. I felt so sheltered and terrified, and yet, my eyes felt like they had dilated to the size of dinner plates, because I’d now got a taste for real dancing, and sweet fucking jesus, I WANTED MORE!!!
However, my first auditions were in Sydney for a couple of schools. I thought I was so prepared. It just turned out to be quite a fucking failure. During one of the callbacks, I was standing at the back of the studio looking at all these dancers, and I realised that I had absolutely no chance of making it here. If I really wanted to have a shot, I’d have to spend the next twelve months here just taking classes every single week to really learn how to dance the way they wanted me to.
It made me realise that all the training I’d done, all the work I’d put into my solo pieces, and all my technique sessions, and the countless hours and pain, and exhaustion, and sweat, and blisters counted for absolutely fucking NOTHING.
Having this realisation isn’t a great feeling. Having this realisation during your audition most certtainly is one of the worst things a performer can ever experience. I ended up standing down the back, dancing through a routine, crying my eyes out, wondering why I had even bothered staying.
It’s hard to concentrate on your triple-chaine-triple-pirouette combo when you have tears flying off your face whilst you’re trying to spot your turns. There were tears flying in every direction and I could seem them all getting airborne, as if everything was happening in slow motion. I finished my combo, and the panel thanked us all and left the room.
A minute or so later, one of them came back in and walked right up to me, ‘Come with me!’
She lead me out of the studio, with EVERYBODY staring at me. I had no idea what was going on.
‘I don’t know what’s wrong with you, but you need to get your shit together. If you don’t want to be here, then stop wasting your time and our time, and pack your stuff and leave. If you can’t handle the pressure then leave. If you’re going to spend the rest of the afternoon crying, leave.’
‘I’m so sorry. I really am. I just, I don’t know what’s wrong with me. This is really overwhelming from me. I’m from the country, and I’ve never done…’
‘Yes, we can tell. Your technique is poor, and you lack proper training. You said you’ve been dancing for years, but you’ve been wasting your time. You’ll achieve nothing if you don’t expose yourself to the REAL world of dance. This is it. This is what it’s like. If you can’t handle that, then so be it. But you’re obviously here today for a reason. And if we didn’t think that you had serious potential, then you wouldn’t still be here’
‘But, but I…’
‘Look, I’m not supposed to be saying anything, but we’re all watching you. I was once like you, a country kid in the big city, feeling majorly overwhelmed because I’d had no exposure. I get you. I was you. I see something in you. They see something in you. Even the rest of the people on that floor are watching you – we see their snide little comments, and how they talk behind your back. But I’m telling you, if you don’t fucking pull it together, you won’t make it. Here or anywhere else. Do you understand?’
‘No ‘buts’. Go wash your face, you look fucking terrible. Change your top, and get back in there. You’ve got three-and-a-half minutes before we re-commence. If you aren’t ready then you need to leave now.’
I ran off to get another top, and ran into the bathroom.
And had one of those moments…
And I went back into the studio for the next dance round. I walked in and looked at everybody on the panel and they all smiled at me. I took a sip of water and wiped my face. I stood up and turned around to look at all the other people in the studio and they were all looking at me.
I made it through the next round, and then got knocked out of the following callback. The judges all said that I had great potential and that I had an ‘X Factor’ when I danced – they couldn’t keep their eyes off me. Whether they were just blowing smoke up my arse, I’m not sure, but each of them said that they would love to see me in the future in their classes, which was great.
I felt good at what had happened. I realised that I wasn’t ready for dance school at all, and I really needed to work my arse off.
I got back to my hotel room…
Knowing that I had another audition the next day, I really didn’t know whether to put myself through such an emotionally exhausting day again… but it was experience. I wanted to just pull out and go home and never speak of it again, but I’d come too far, paid too much money and worked too hard to not do the audition.
The next day, I was introduced to contemporary. I had never danced that style. When we found out that the focus of the dance audition was ballet and contemporary, I was ready to throw in the towel there and then, but I forced myself to stay instead.
I learnt a lot that day. A lot about myself. I learnt that no matter how prepared you think you are, it’s not enough. No matter how good you think you are, there are always going to be people better than you. It was a very blunt reality check, but I was okay with it.
A couple of weeks later I was in Melbourne for a dance school audition. In the weeks leading up to it, I’d gone back to sydney two weekends in a row to spend all my time doing classes at various places. I needed exposure. I needed experience.
When I got to my Melbourne audition, I was feeling even worse than I was in Sydney. From the moment I saw the building when I was walking towards it, I had butterflies in my stomach.
I made it through to the final call-back round.
There was such a difference between the Sydney dancers and the Melbourne dancers. It was strange. I actually felt quite confident in my Melbourne audition. But the judging panel were a bunch of steel-faced bitches.
And once it was all over, that was it. The last of us dancers slowly packed up our stuff, said it was nice to meet each other and we left. It was an anti-climax, and then my stupid brain kicked in on the way back to the hotel.
It was a very long wait for my letters to arrive in the mail. Not surprisingly, I got two rejection letters from the two Sydney schools. I then got an rejection letter from the school in Melbourne.
Shit just got real.
My dreams of dancing full-time had just gone down the toilet, and I was faced with the unsettling reality of staying where I was for anothertwelve months.
So I started looking into what I could do for the next year. Maybe I just move interstate and get a job so I can pay for dance training? Do I move to Sydney or Melbourne? I can’t stay here another year. If I don’t leave now, I never will.
A couple of weeks later I get a letter in the mail. I was a letter of offer. The school in Melbourne had somebody decline their offer – I was next on the list.
I did it. Granted, it happened by default, but it HAPPENED!! I was going to dance school. I was moving out of home. I was going to be leaving everything I know to travel to the big city and throw myself in the deep end.
That was 11 years ago, and I haven’t looked back.
However, most of my social circle from high school are still back home. Grossly overweight, either still living at home, or living with somebody they settled with. Some of them have a kid, some have two or three and it makes me sad.
It makes me sad because they just settled for what life gave them. They had no drive to actually go out and do something with their lives. They didn’t go to uni. They didn’t leave. They just became stuck into a life they settled for. There wasn’t any ambition to achieve something more. I sometimes felt sorry for them, but it’s what they chose for themselves.
I, on the other hand, got out. I wanted to explore life, and it lead me to Melbourne. And I absolutely love it.
Unexpectedly, you lose your job. (Or a loved one. Or something or someone important to you.) What do you do next?
I’ve actually already had this experience before.
But, perhaps we should talk about the first time.
It was the year I moved to Melbourne. I had moved down here to study dance full time. Previously I felt like the big fish in a very, very, small pond. When I went to dance school, I was actually more like the very, very small, slightly retarded fish in a giant fucking ocean.
But soon enough, I found my feet and came out of my shell and worked my arse off and no longer felt like the small retarded fish any more.
Then I got injured.
I injured my spine in a pas de deuxclass, and without going into detail was told I had to stop dancing, or I’d end up with severe spinal issues for life, and possibly end up in a wheelchair.
So I had a couple of weeks off, and spent most of that time pretty much like this:
wondering what the fuck I was going to do with my life. All I have done is dance. All I know is dance. I didn’t go to uni because I wanted to dance. I hadn’t had a job, because DANCE! And now, all I had was a giant fucking question mark following me around 24hrs a day!
I spent the rest of the term working at the school. I sewed costumes, and supervised rehearsals for the end of year concert and when I wasn’t doing that, I worked downstairs in the office instead. Then one day, on my day off, I get a voicemail from them telling me that I didn’t need to come in tomorrow, they’d given my shift to another staff member. And that they wouldn’t be giving me any more shifts. They refused to give me any explanation as to why, and then stopped returning my calls.
I had just gotten fired.
Via a voicemail.
ON MY FUCKING BIRTHDAY!!
However, when I left them a voicemail expressing my severe disappointment in their management and how unprofessionally they had conducted themselves, I began to make references to unfair dismissal and legal action. Funnily enough, they called me straight back and explained that due to my birthday, I would be entitled to a pay rise as well as other entitlements, and they financially couldn’t afford to keep me on as a casual. I then told them exactly what I thought about them and their school and their dodgy business practices and that they should be more cautious in how they conduct business, and manage their finances, because multiple goverment authorities could easily have them shut down…
…and we’d hate for that to happen, wouldn’t we!!
Surprisingly, I ended up getting my last pay, and a ‘bonus’, and a glowing letter or recommendation for future employers.