Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Baryshnikov (or My Left Foot)

This story is a good one on how NOT being present in your life will have you MISS the GOOD.
 Ive been telling it in my Pilates classes all this week. Then my friend in NYC sent me a short clip of the man himself dancing....Oh so beautiful. So let us return to yesteryear...when Im a chain smoking model/actress/dancer 2nd ad in the big Apple.
  Here I am in 1997, working in the industry (TV and FILM) but still dancing and auditioning. Still taking class as much as I could til I sprained my left ankle on set and continued to work/walk on it that very day. I was a foolish brat who never gave her body a break. You can imagine I didn't take class for a good two months with a severe re-sprain like that...but of course I finally wander back in.
My body looks ok, but my left foot looks like shit. It won't point at all. I stick it out and it looks like a club.. Hopefully a few classes will stretch those tendons out.
If you don't know the obsession with dancers and feet, they are a BIG DEAL. Basically, if you've got good feet, you're in....its ALL ABOUT THE FEET.
Im standing in my usual spot in studio 2 in the corner along 72nd street facing east when you know who walks in.
He took class at Steps often, and was very professional and courteous at all times. (Unlike some who sailed in on SATIN RUGS and expected to be treated as though they were ABOVE the rest of us).
He walks in and stands directly next to me at the barre. Holy Shit on high, Ive been waiting to take class with this guy my whole stupid life, but TODAY?! TODAY my foot looks like shit, and he is standing in front of me facing east which means reverse....is MY LEFT FOOT...NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO.
Suddenly it wasn't about standing next to the greatest dancer of all time and watching him, but my self obsession and my brain made it about how IM NOT GOING TO LOOK RIGHT TO HIM...wtf?
As if he was interested or could care about another dancers feet in front of him...He is too busy working...not me.. Im too busy freaking out. SO for almost an hour, with Misha standing less than a foot and half in front of me (or behind me)...I could have watched HIS FEET!  I could have smiled briefly, maybe made eye contact for just a moment...that would have been great, HUH? But BOO HOO on me, Im too wrapped up in MYSELF.  SO I did not look at his amazing butt,  nor watch his feet. Nor even get a slight whif of his sweat..cuz I wasn't there. For 45 minutes of what could have been the BEST class of MY ENTIRE LIFE.....I WAS NOT THERE FOLKS. I was so busy thinking about my left foot, that I missed the whole class.

After barre, I left and cried in the dressing room for about an hour...so disappointed in myself and my inability to enjoy life. Always focusing on what was shit and not what was amazing.
I was amazing. I was gorgeous back then, and I bet you ten to one that if I had smiled at him..he would have smiled back! I probably could have even made a little joke and gotten giggle out of him, but NO. I decided to turn the whole thing around and make it crap. 45 minutes of crap.

SO what is our lesson, Boys and girls?
Wake UP... its your life and if your not in it, its passing you by!!
Let me be your cautionary tale.. start living now and get into the moments..cuz thats your life...cuz that was a whole boat load of moments that I trashed FOR NO REASON....
Your life is not your appearance.  Its not your clothes or shoes, or even body.  Its YOU.
 I have lived in that so called "perfect body", but I didn't know what it felt like cuz I felt like shit most of the time. This was  just when I started stunt work, too... My life was so good. But I was shit in my life.
Change how you see the world and yourself.. slow down and try to be present and experience things as they are, not how you were taught they are supposed to be.
I somehow thought that when I took class with Baryshnikov, I would be so good as to IMPRESS HIM?  How delusional, self obsessed and grandiose could I be? Its not what it looks like but how it feels.

I feel pretty good about myself these days. But I have regrets and this one is up there.
Live now, be a child, put down the device and look around. The world is a big beautiful messy fantastic place...You only have to feel it.

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