Throwback Thursday: Puppet edition #tbt

RB as Pinocchio. (Yes, that is a donkey tail.)

Every ballet dancer dreams of being cast as the lead role in a ballet. I was no different, silently and not-so-patiently waiting for my big part. Sure I’d done lead roles in The Nutcracker and other various rep works, but I wanted to be the title character.

As I mentioned in a previous #tbt post, my dream role was “Cinderella”, which I did not get. So when I did finally get the lead, what was it? “Princess Aurora” in The Sleeping Beauty? No. “Swanilda” in CoppĂ©lia? Nope. “Snow White” in (duh) Snow White? Nuh uh.

For my big part, I got to be a boy. Scratch that…a wooden boy. I was cast to be the lead in my director’s new version of Pinocchio complete with fake rubber (phallic) nose. No pretty, pretty princess or grand pas for me, instead I got to have puppet arms, do flips, turn into a donkey and pretend to get drunk with the “Lost Boys” on stage. Maybe not a dream come true, but for as much as I bitched about that darn nose – I still can’t stand the smell of spirit gum – I had a role created on/for me. And once I realized I didn’t have to be ballerina perfect, that I could trip, fall, mess up…whatever and still be in character AND crack up the audience, well, I have to admit, I had a freakin’ blast!

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