You know it's a good performance when, mid-song, the audience is cheering and screaming so loudly you can't even hear the music, and you just have to go with your gut intuition and pray that you're on time with the music. Tonight's performance went, needless to say, wonderfully. Each couple got to perform a solo that they choreographed with their partner, and Monster and I decided to completely re-choreograph our solo three days before the performance. We stuck in a difficult aerial that kept failing, as we didn't have the right technique (learning aerials from Youtube rather than from people who can explain things to you isn't always the brightest idea), and although I was supposed to jump and be swung up onto Monster's shoulder, instead I ended up at his chest, where I--and my spirits--would crash and fall. At the end of our two hours I was frustrated and pessimistic. But we kept trying, and failing, and picking ourselves up and ignoring the bruises and trying harder, jumping higher. Our persistence paid off. On the day of the performance, we changed things around a little bit--I tried a different way of jumping, Monster tried a different handhold--and it worked. Not perfectly, at first, but it still worked, and I found myself soaring, elatedly, to Monster's shoulder, where he would then lower me in a backflip.
I was super jittery all night until our midnight performance, but still excited to perform. I watched our dance group perform one song with all its new members, and felt a crazy wave of nostalgia. But soon enough, it was my turn again to watch while the dance floor cleared and everyone sat down, to watch those bright lights turn on just for us, to feel the adrenaline grip my gut. I had many friends in the audience, and what a rush hearing them cheer for me! And when Monster and I went into the middle of the stage to perform our solo, the moment came for our aerial, and I jumped as hard and as high as I could, fearless, and found myself soaring safely towards his shoulder, and I heard the crowd screaming so loudly I could no longer hear the music when I landed back on the ground, and the happiness I felt was the happiness of every cliche. There are simply no words. I love performing, I loved it, and I will always love it. But tonight, it was time to fold my dress--my trademark dress, for the last four years--up for the very last time before returning it to the group, slip out the red ribbon that the girls always wear when performing, and get used to being in the audience rather than on stage. It won't be easy, by any means, but life will get better. I'm sure of it.
I'm trying to think of a tagline for my security badge for when I start work. I'm sure these taglines, which will be written in small print beneath my name, won't even be looked at twice. But right now, I'm treating it as if the company's CEO and all my co-workers will make harsh judgments on my personality and the worth of my soul if my tagline isn't witty enough. Some ideas: What do you call an Italian with a rubber toe? Roberto! Monster's favorite: why do atoms have mass? They aren't even Catholic! You love us; admit it.