Yesterday was a GREAT day for me.
I went over my quickstep routine moves all night in my head and awake knowing that I was going to get every part right and smile the whole way and improve a few details. My partner Karina likes to go through the entire routine 10 times in one day as a final preparation to doing it onstage. The day before she had put me through it 5 times and there were lots of things that needed working on.
That day before, Friday, I brought some Keds-like sneakers that I’d gotten from the tailor for this dance. Karina was very disturbed that they were plain black sneakers that had the Keds style, but were not real Keds as she had requested. She sent a photo of some red Keds with the white bottom stripe to the head costume guy, Randalph so I should get those shoes today.
Worse yet, Karine had told me that she was getting dark grey and light grey plaid pants for a Buddy Holly geek-like feel. When I went to the tailor for a fitting, they were white and pink and purple or something. I thought it very interesting but that’s Karina’s department. At one point on Friday or yesterday (it gets blurred) Karina asked about my grey pants and I told her they were sort of brown. She at first thought I was joking but then Julie showed a photo she’d snapped with her blackberry. Karina got on the phone, and like the Russian she is, took control over the costume guy to get that corrected. I’ll have my new costume later today.
While at the tailor the other day (Wednesday?) I saw Ty Murray, Jewel’s rodeo champion husband. He didn’t look extremely happy like myself and Julie overheard him taking a call from Jewel and saying something like he just wanted to get home. But his costume, on that skinny body, sure looked sharp.
Well, on Friday I tried the soft sneakers and at a point near the end of my routine, where the energy peaks, I couldn’t jump myself through all sorts of calisthenics. The energy absorption of these super comfortable padded shoes was too much for my toes to overcome with my weight. I had to go back to my normal dance shoes to get through the routine. When I get the real Keds today, I hope that they work for me.
One thing is that when we do the whole routine, both Karina and myself can wind up sore and out of breath, as though it was the greatest minute exertion of energy possible, totally depleted. As the day progresses I need longer and longer rests to have a body that can get through what seems like a short dance. But I can do my best when I’ve had a long rest, and that’s the case before the dress rehearsal and the real live routine, so I will definitely have the strength then.
The 5 run-throughs on Friday didn’t go as well as I’d hoped but Karina appeared comfortable, knowing where I’ll be based on where I am. It was hard and I had troubles with a few standard spots, but we had 2 more days before going live. I’d awoken Friday a bit worried about it. So Friday night I thought while awake and dreaming through my routine, over and over, matching each step, each foot, to a beat in the music.
I awoke yesterday full of smiles. I knew that I’d gotten through the point of my head having to focus hard on the order of things. My muscle memory would get through it. That would enable me to be happy and enjoy the dance and smile. In this dance, you have to be a bit more rigid and there’s precious little time to look at the audience, but we have some fun parts worked in.
The practice went well. I couldn’t do 10 perfect run-throughs. Three times, in a jumping part near cthe end, the heavy microphone on my swim trunks started pulling them down, under my shirt. Each of those times the chance of my pants falling in front of a video camera took my entire focus and even if my pants wouldn’t likely fall off, I either forgot the coming steps or I just stopped to avoid embarrassment.
We did make it through 10 times. Maybe as few as 8 times and 4 halves, but by the end of that session, we didn’t care about the exact count. We had many runs good enough, but we still had 2 hours of practice on the real DWTS stage later in the evening.
During our practice on the real stage, there was one time that my swim trunks started falling on their own, without even a microphone. Maybe my body, like my hips, are rearranging themselves. Karina and I worked on the part of our routine where I have constantly had the most trouble, and we really got it right. I just had to listen to the beats of the music and match my steps to them. This part was difficult for me to get right so I was always too worried in it, but now I’m trying to shake all the worries and enjoy it. Maks was at our practice last night and he watched me and saw my foot errors. We then had Julie shoot us with a camcorder and it became obvious. Karina spoke to me about not getting ahead of the beat and about not spacing 2 steps out into 2 beats when they should have been quick and on one beat for both, at the start of this part that had been giving me trouble.
After a few trials I lit up with a smile and we knew that I’d gotten something learned.
Our last run through last night was our most perfect one ever. Every single part where I’d sometimes had difficulties before but instantly corrected (or not corrected) want correctly. I even had time to totally see them as a person outside of me would, and be totally ready for what comes next, rather than worry or totally forget it. There’s one part where we are going forward fast across the whole stage, toward the main audience, and then, like hitting a barrier, we halt on 2 beats and then run backwards as if something is pulling us by the tail, attached to our butts, From then on, the next 15 seconds are “more than the average energy” as Bullwinkle might say.
I was elated but found that it took much more than the normal amount of time to change shoes to my cast and a tennie, to put on pants and a sweater, and Segway home. I got home aching all over. I sat down and did a bit of Saturday night computer work and then Janet arrived. I had to go down an elevator to meet her, as we still haven’t gotten around to getting her a set of keys for the weekends, when she comes. I found that I was getting delirious from the energy expenditure of yesterday and I could barely walk at all, even in my socks. I have never looked so funny or so in pain in my life. It took me about 5 minutes just to maneuver my body into the bathtub. I don’t take baths normally, and anyone who knows me knows that it would take a great occasion or emergency to get me into a bath, but I needed it badly. I also need a massage but it was late and I needed a bed even more, so that massage didn’t happen. Maybe today (Sunday) some time.
I hoped that sleep was the best medicine, but this morning I’m only half restored. My body still aches in so many places.
Oh, I forgot to mention that my fractured foot is a big success. It didn’t stop me once during the last 2 days of heavy practice and other aches for overwhelm that foot now. The walking cast and being careful have paid off. They hurt is not gone but I only rarely are even aware of it now. And I went 4 days without aspirin or any other pain relief. Last night my body was so “beat up” that I took an Aleve and today it’s still so beat up that I’ll take another. Yes, there is even great pain in my shoulders just to type this. I’m sure that this is true for all the other celebrity stars, even Melissa with her ‘dancing’ background. We all speak to each other of our sore bodies. Even Karina, like after yesterday, speak of soreness.
Karina and Maks are trying to put together a TV show based around a couple starting a dance studio, with scenes like in Cheers. They don’t want to do stupid corny things like the show being about them as a couple. It’s a battle to keep high integrity in this business. I would go to the ends of the earth to help them in any way I could, they have been such good friends and good people to know.
OK, I’m lucky that I don’t have to be on stage for blocking. That’s where we go through our routine and the camera crew decides where the cameras will be at each point and things like the lighting too. Then we have some hours of practice but I’m not sure I want to do much. There’s a point you can take your body past that damages it.
Oh, one last thing before I leave for the CBS studio 46. I watched Steve O dance last night on stage. He does very well and his dance is good and enjoyable. His partner Lacy came up to kick him in…in…in…the nuts at the last beat of the music. I thought she’d gotten mad about something but Steve O wants her to kick him as hard as she can. Then he showed a few us us there an internet clip of him, fully naked, being kicked there. It was a bit disgusting for most people to even watch. Many of us told him not to include this crude piece but he says his fans will love it. Today I intend to speak to him as a friend. A lot of religious and conservative people like to have camps and groups. If you are not in our group, we don’t care about you. Steve O playing for his Jackass fans is fine but he wouldn’t lose one vote or bit of support from his fans if he skipped this vulgar display. And he is recovering from drugs and whatever and smiles so nicely that he could take the more liberal and progressive view of appealing to all types of people.
gotta go now…more later
– tv is wake zone