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About Me:

My name is Olivia and I am a senior at Butler University. I spend most of my time in Lilly Hall as a BFA Dance Performance major. When not in rehearsal or ballet class, I write papers for my English Literature second major. In my super-abundant, never-lacking, this-is-highly-sarcastic spare time, I attempt to cook in my apartment kitchen, watch Youtube videos of ballet, knit sweaters that never seem to come to an end, and read books both silly and serious. If I could take any class at Butler just for kicks, I'd go for DiffyQ.

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Posts Tagged “auditions”

The End of the Year and Beyond…

I just realized I have not posted since Sunday — where has the week gone? We graduate so soon, yet so much lies between me and a diploma. Namely:

  • Coppélia production and performance
  • dance and academic finals
  • Senior English Essay — workshopped and now awaiting revisions
  • two or three final projects in other classes
  • A French class, which I might be taking as an independent study

This summer is wide open. I hope I’ll finish that French class so I can actually graduate in August (though I’ll still walk in Commencement). I might have a guesting job in Illinois, and of course I wouldn’t want to miss the beach with my family! Then… I start dancing with Tulsa Ballet II at the end of July! :)

I tweeted about this a while ago:

And when I opened Butler’s student newspaper yesterday, I saw I made the back page, where the Collegian staff quotes some Butler-related tweets seen in the last week. I’m famous!

Spring Break Photo Montage

My spring break in photos:

My friend’s grandmother’s cat in Columbus, OH. This cat was the softest, friendliest animal you could hope to meet.

Huuuuuge plane from Dallas to Tulsa. Forty minutes in the air, and I’m in an airplane larger than the one I rode when I went from Dulles to Ireland. It was rather fun.

Courtyard Marriot hotel in downtown Tulsa — I love the vaguely Asian wallpaper. (I’m linking to them because they were extremely nice, not because they put me up to it.)

Touring Tulsa on foot the night before an audition.

Touring Tulsa on foot the afternoon after an audition. The weather was gorgeous, both in Tulsa, at home, and now back at Butler.

Fancy Crowne Plaza in which United Airlines stuck me after my flight was cancelled and I was stranded in O’Hare airport on my way home.

What I did when I finally arrived home: Hung out with my family and Marcel the Shell.

Spring Break: The Audition Tour

Spring Break. Lounging on the beach, in the hammock, by the pool, in a tree. All valid and envy-worthy activities.

I shall be traveling the country, looking for a job. Besides visiting BalletMet, Tulsa Ballet, and Cincinnati Ballet, I’ll be rewriting my BSI paper, getting a haircut… and seeing my family! I know lots of other senior dance majors will be doing the audition tour as well.

It’s weird to think this will be my last spring break ever. Though I might complain about being busy all the time, I still have academic calendar breaks. These disappear once I graduate and abruptly begin my tenure as a grown up. I guess I should enjoy the perks of not-quite-adulthood while they last. What has happened to the time?

I’m excited about graduating; I find myself more and more wanting to join what I call “the real world.” At the same time, I know that my grandfather at least thinks college is as good as it gets. I’m sure he’s right. I’m very spoiled here, living with all my friends in a very nice housing unit, doing what I love in a safe environment, etc, etc. Still, I want to hold onto that excitement; if I grow too nostalgic, I think graduating could quickly turn into a dreaded date. I want to look forward to graduating, so I’ll focus on the positive.

Anyway. That last paragraph got away from me. What are you doing for spring break? Butler’s Alternative Spring Break sounds extremely cool, and I just learned that my priest is going to Hawaii.

Spring Break 2011: My family rides the jitney -- I can only hope my three days at home this year are as epic.

Off to Kansas City! (i.e. Off to Missouri)

I think it is the most bizarre thing that Kansas City is partly in Missouri.

I’m in the airport, waiting to take off for an audition at Kansas City Ballet. This is the farthest I’ve ever traveled for an audition; so far they’ve all been in Chicago or Louisville. I’ve been anxious about the traveling more than the audition itself — last night I dreamed that I couldn’t get from the hotel to the ballet in time and I missed the registration slot by two minutes and they wouldn’t let me audition and gave me a written test instead. That was my dream.

I suppose this will be good practice for spring break, when I’ll be running around all sorts of places. Auditioning plus Coppélia will make for a busy spring!

(And it is spring now — I didn’t have to wear my huge winter ski jacket at all this winter, and I am extremely happy.)

What did NOT happen. (Photo is from my freshman winter.)

Why I’m not blogging much/a note on knitting

How, how, how am I already behind after having a full day to catch up? Next week I have all my normal homework due, plus I have to:

  • teach the center of a ballet class in my Teaching Analysis class (requires a lot of prep)
  • workshop the introduction to my BSI paper (which I am completely rewriting — sob! — which means this introduction is currently experiencing existence problems)
  • do a group project in French class (group projects take longer than solo projects, since you have to arrange meeting times, etc)
  • do a research project for my Theory and Philosophy of Dance class. The topic remains completely unspecified, which means this won’t be stressful, but I still have to do it.

Also, I’m going to Kansas City this Saturday to audition for Kansas City Ballet. (Just learned they’re doing A Midsummer Night’s Dream next season! Ah! I love.)

A side note:

I might just have finished this during the Super Bowl:

Better photo to come...

And perhaps will start this (I usually only knitting while traveling, since I can’t concentrate on most homework in airports):

Make Up Your Mind Racerback Tank from Julie Crawford

Louisville is much closer to Butler than Chicago is

And the above fact made my Sunday so much more pleasant. Two hours in the car in light traffic during the day seems like nothing compared to three hours in the car in crazy traffic at night. In the fog.

I auditioned for Louisville Ballet this past Sunday. This was my first real, ballet company audition, since the ones I did previously turned out to be more school-based. It actually went better than I expected. I was nervous until we started dancing, probably because we arrived early and had a fairly long time to warm up (though the hall was so crowded, there wasn’t overmuch space).

The artistic director gave a little speech before barre began, introducing everyone and basically telling us not to freak, which was nice of him. I enjoyed the class itself, taught by the ballet master. I even made a friend: I helped her with a barre combination, and she complimented my leotard. I love dancer camaraderie.

Barre was rather crowded — there were loads of people in the audition, but they broke the center work into smaller groups. I didn’t expect there would be so much standing around, but the studio was warm and sunny, and there were about a million people from Butler at the audition, so I enjoyed watching everyone dance. I do wish we had switched lines in for the center work, but the audition was otherwise much as I expected.

The consensus? Maybe finding a job won’t be as stressful as I’ve made it out to be. After all, the application process simply consists of doing what I love to do. Even my audition video, the making of which seemed one of the most arduous pieces of the pie, is coming together. Wish us all luck!

Headshot, courtesy of the incredible Dale Dong.

The Final Steps

Of this particular dance, of course… We did our first full run-through of Por Vos Muero today! Butler Ballet will be performing a shortened version of the work, which I think a school in Europe also performed?? I’m not exactly sure and should probably find out the truth before spreading rumors on the internet, but anyway…

I had whiplash the day after I and two others got the choreography for the three girls dance after our large group dance. Also, a huge bruise in my armpit from trying to get a certain lift over and over. The choreography is very intricate, so I just have to continue to review the steps over and over until they are engrained in my muscles.

This process has been so much fun. It’s probably one of my favorite pieces I’ve had the opportunity to learn. I only hope that I will be able to find a place in the professional dance world where I can dance wonderful choreography like this. Dreams… Everything seems to lead back to audition season, doesn’t it?

Clowes Memorial Hall

The First Audition

It was a long drive home from Chicago through the blinding mist, odd lightening flashes, and occasional splatterings of rain. This Sunday marked the first of what I intend to be many auditions. Yes — the job search begins.

I went to the Hubbard Street Dance Chicago audition with a carful of other Butler students… and ran into about eight others, as well as two alums. I made some friends, did some ballet, learned some rep. It was fun.

The drive back, however, was slightly terrifying since the fog became so thick on the road, and sections of the highway back do not have reflectors in the lane divisions. Thank the heavens, we had a pro driver and made it back safely. After midnight.

Getting up for French was not fun this morning… I can think this semester will be awfully busy! Who else has travel stories coming from or going to auditions? Please share!

Looking for a Job

This winter break has been characterized, colored, and otherwise influenced by the one large event looming in my life: audition season.

Dance jobs are not like normal jobs. Companies hold large “cattle call” auditions from January-May, and you might not be notified until the late spring (and beyond) of any job offers. They are unstable and do not pay well. Contracts generally run between 25-40 weeks of the year — dancers must seek other work (often guesting so as to stay in shape) during the summer layoff.

I really want a dancing job.

As a graduating senior, I will travel to auditions (mostly in Chicago, but likely some as far as San Francisco)  every weekend, probably on Sundays. As soon as I’ve finished editing performance video, I’ll send my resumé/photos/DVD to other companies not offering auditions close to me or requesting materials.

Oh, yeah, I’ll take twenty credit-hours, complete my senior English essay, work with visiting repetiteur Kevin Irving to learn Nacho Duato’s Por Vos Muero, and bake at least one loaf of bread. (My sister gave me a World Breads cookbook for Christmas. I can’t let her down.)

Dance Photos

I’ve been trying not to think too too much about dance auditions this coming spring, since the whole process seems quite daunting. But I’ve finally gotten my dance photos taken which will go in my resumé. A fellow dance major was kind enough to take me to his home in Cleveland and help with the four-hour photo session. If that isn’t friendship, I don’t know what is!

The process wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be, although I was surprisingly sore afterwards. I did not realize that taking a photo of, say, a brisé, would require me to brisé fifty times in a row without stopping. The photographer was brilliant, talented, and exceedingly patient, as was his apprentice/assistant. As was the friend who stayed the entire time to help.

Intimidating at first glance...

I took my headshot first because I tried some with my hair down (pre-bun). That took longer than I thought it would, and I felt pretty awkward sitting on a chair smiling for ages and ages. The dance photos were more as expected. Seeing pictures of oneself can be helpfully revealing. I did not realize my arm was practically vertical in what I termed “the ninja jump.” Whoops. Body awareness.

Anyhow, I can’t wait to see the pictures. I hope from these I can pick a few really strong ones to give out with my resumé come spring… and the audition season. Much as I’m dreading auditioning (nerves, nerves) (also, I despise scheduling, and auditioning is more scheduling than anything else, at least at this point), I feel anxious for the process to begin. Let’s find a job!

Wish me luck. (And congratulations to Steph with her wonderful news!)