Before the world got derailed by fascism, 2017, for me was gonna be –not about change so much as pushing myself to the finish line. Pushing self out of the proverbial comfort zone. Inside me I know there’s a woman who gets an offer for her well-researched and well-written non-fiction book. There’s a woman whose band reforms and gets gigs. There’s a woman who gets paid to speak and to write. And above all there’s a secret woman.
There’s a woman who loves to dance.
That woman however, feels incredibly awkward doing so. For starters I’m old and fat. Okay. I’m 47 and a size 18. Chicana mother of two. NO WRINKLES, BABY! Take that as you will but there ain’t a whole lotta dancers out there in that demographic. Truth is I dance quite a bit in my office on the hard wood floor with no less zeal than I did as a seventh grader going to see Flashdance for the 12th time.
But in public is another matter.
My local theatre is doing Cabaret this season. When I was a kid that was my favorite musical (well Chorus Line too and Pippin. Okay don’t judge my parents it was the 70s). I eagerly went to auditions. I can belt out a tune like no one’s business. But I get there and realize um. Sally is like 19. Fraulein Schneider is like 65+ and well I live in a small town that wasn’t going to Victor/Victoria the Emcee. That left the Kit Kat Girls.
I auditioned for Schneider but I’d already played an old lady in other shows and you know it’s the one non dance part and there were actual real old ladies going out for it. I went out for the EMCEE but they went with a guy who had played it somewhere else and already had the part down. I didn’t bother with Sally–who you know is a bit of an asshole and in these Trump times , I don’t know. It just didn’t appeal. I settled into thinking I’d be in the audience for this one.
But I got cast as a Kit Kat Girl. Which means dancing. Which means singing. Which means shorts on stage. Shorts.
I don’t even own shorts. I don’t wear them. I’ve never understood American culture’s obsession with dressing like one is cleaning the house on a Saturday morning. But I’ll also have a corset (which I don’t mind wearing at all and fishnets. Still this might be the one time in my life that a diet and exercise are totally in the works because goddamn it I’m that vain . If I am in shorts then well I’m gonna look at least as good as the 20 and 30 somethings strutting around next to me. Also? DANCING. These thunder thighs aim to be the toast of the kick line.
Coupled with this I snagged a role in a horror film by Wretched Productions which will require singing! (Yay totally confident about my singing) but also acting and lots of movement and there’s the whole camera adds 10 pounds thing. 20 pounds?
All this to say. I never really mind how I look. Sometimes I get frustrated at clothing options or getting winded. But usually I’m in full body acceptance mode. But I realize I need to step up my game to be the best Kit Kat Girl I can be–that is someone who moves smoothly, sexily (I so have that down already), and can dance and sing at the same time with ease. So I’m looking to drop 20 and strengthen my arms, thighs, and belly. I’m announcing it here to help me. I love that I finally have a goal with this. I wanna be the Kit Kat Girl who can do more complicated moves–not the chick with the half busted knee.
This morning I got up at 4:45 to get to an exercise class that started at 5:30. I made it through. I still feel good and its almost 10–though I have a feeling my legs will feel it in the morning. Hope I can keep it up. We have dance rehearsals 3 nights a week right now.
So this Kit Kat Girl? She confesses…she needs support. She confesses she’s confused and conflicted by her need to get in shape and her adherence to being accepting of who she is. Maybe we can sort it all out later.
Oh and thanks to the theatre and director who have faith in me that I can pull off this role in one of my favorite shows!