Do those thighs look familiar? Yeah, that's me. 1997, Winchester, MA, being held hostage backstage by my mother, who had a peculiar fascination with forcing me to be in the Nutcracker ballet. Was I happy about it? No. At age four, I was strictly a backyard football and basketball player who refused to participate unless I was on the skins side of shirts versus skins. But like any athlete, I put my head down, bit the bullet, and crushed my role as the sugarplum fairy. Seriously, after my performance, I'm surprised that any other sugarplum fairies still exist. They should have retired the jersey.
Fast forward ten years to my mom harassing me in September to go to the Nutcracker with her at Christmas. She knew that she had to get an early start on me to prepare me mentally. Ever since the time she pulled me out of my basketball shorts and thrust me into the confines of Winchester Ballet like a caged animal, I hadn’t been the same.
Ballet really didn't go well for me at that age, because as you all probably gather, tomboys and ballet don't typically mix. Want to know what's worse than a tomboy forced into ballet? A tomboy with severe ADHD forced into ballet. I was an absolute nutcase in that place. You don't usually remember much from when you were four years old, but I specifically remember ruining the lives of every person who worked at the studio. You name it, I did it. Ripped my tutu, hung upside down on the bars, made fart noises during plié. I made a particularly juicy noise one week, forcing the teacher to phone my mother and say, "I think she's better suited for gymnastics."
I decided to go to the Nutcracker this year for two reasons. As an athlete, I get wrapped up into the world of sports and it’s always great to expand your horizons and see other types of really talented people.
Also, my mother is amazing despite her flip outs and my constant need to bleep out her bad words in my videos. I wanted to do something to make her happy because she deserves it. Here's a review of my time at The Nutcracker, breaking it down into the strong, the weak, and the CHIC.
1) The men in the white tights. MY OH MY. The legs and butt on these guys defy the laws of humanity. The sides of their glutes were so chiseled that you could lay them on their sides and eat a bowl of cereal out of the divot.
2) The bathroom lines. Obviously at a ballet every single person stampedes to the bathroom at intermission. Saying the efficiency was world class would be a disservice. Every door was labeled with a number. They had an elderly woman emcee the whole operation, so she would constantly call out which number was open. 7, 31, 19, 3 etc. and she was RUTHLESS. You wanna lolygag, chit-chat, check your Instagram in line, NOPE. Not in her bathroom. If a stall was left vacant for more than 15 seconds, she'd go "12 is open, 13's been open. What's wrong with 13? Why is no one in 13? If there's something I need to know, bring it to my attention." You tell em' girl. Five Stars.
1) Since when are there no words in plays? Is that a thing? My mom says otherwise, but I KNOW I was talking as the sugarplum fairy in the 1997 Winchester "peanut-aged" version. That's probably why my performance will go down in history- I was such a good sugarplum fairy they changed the whole play and had me do monologues. I'll literally fight her to the death on that one.
In the beginning, there were people dancing around and gesturing towards one another for about ten minutes. I was utterly bamboozled. I literally thought there was a problem with their microphones and they were doing that thing actors do when they improvise to avoid disaster. I whispered to my mom, "When are they gonna start talking? What's going on?" and she put her hand over her mouth and started DYING laughing. Whatever. At the Patriots game on Monday, I'm going up to ten random people and asking, "Does The Nutcracker have talking?" I GUARANTEE more than six of them say yes.
1) The opera house and the decor inside were absolutely incredible. The snow. The tree. The ornaments. I want to sneak in and have my family's Christmas there. I did something really creepy and picked a small branch off the huge Christmas tree, put it in my pocket, and was smelling it on the car ride home. Do you ever just have an urge to do something mischievous and weird? It was so pretty I couldn't help it.
2) The dancers. Even though I'm not a dancer, it was obvious that they were the cream of the crop. They were hot. They were synchronized. Just twirl after twirl of beauty, chiseled legs, and perfectly locked ankles. UGH. The ankles. If I could lock my ankle like them, I could officially do away with the weird hook on my left footed finishing that's been haunting me since high school.