Hey there adoring fans (Penelope Gonzalez)!
I’m a dancer. I’ve been using this word “dancer” to describe my career ever since my first paid gig at the age of 16, Christmas Around the World. We each received a grand total of $60 for 2 months of rehearsal and 2 weeks of shows performed before tens of twenties of people, choreographed by my jazz teacher and performed on a community college stage. Although when you break it down we only earned .0000002 cents per hour, and I may or may not have danced a holiday jig around a windmill in wooden shoes, I didn’t care. I was a professional “dancer” and that was my word.
See! Here I am as a Professional Dancer…
So here I am now figuring out what the next word is. A new word. Not that I’ve completely given up dancing, but I want something new. An exciting career. Something I can profess as my job title during a conversation with a stranger after relaying my name and location of birth. I usually tell people that I’m “in transition” but then that always takes a lot of explaining which of course I’m totally willing to do as I am an over-sharer, but it takes a long time and there are only so many subway stops on the train before either myself or the stranger that just asked me what I do for a living has to get off and go to work, or to TJ Maxx, or to the crack den already. Aside from long winded explanations of what “in transition” could mean to a fellow subway transient, I’ve started to wonder about other side affects of the whole “in transition” thing. Like, what if I’m using it as a crutch? You know? I’ve been talking to people a lot about what I’m going through, and everyone is totally understanding and rather interested in my journey. It’s also kind of the basis of my blog, and I get tons of feedback from people I’ve never met praising me for sharing. What if all of this great feedback is lulling me into just staying “in transition” forever because the reality of just having a job is less interesting? Like those people that lost a million pounds on The Biggest Loser. They worked so hard throwing Mack trucks and climbing ancient Aztec-ian castles (I haven’t watched the show in a long time, so this is what I can only assume they’ve been doing to stand up to other weight loss competition shows over the years) all the while receiving oodles of praise for losing so much weight at an un-Godly pace. But what happens next? When they are now just ordinary sized people? How do I not become Sarah: The Ordianary Sized Loser?
I brought this idea up to my friend Rebecca, and she told me that the possibility of my staying “in transition” forever would never happen because she and the rest of the people that care about me would kick my ass if I didn’t get a move on after a while, but agreed that Sarah: The Ordinary Sized Loser was a sitcom that I most definitely had to write. I figured before Rebecca and all those other caring people come for their ass kicking, I should start taking some more steps to get “out of transition” and into a career and life that I want. In a book that I’m reading (You’re a Badass: how to stop doubting your greatness and start living a awesome life) the author suggests you to take a look back at your life and remember an experience in time where you were totally in your element. You should especially look at times when your were younger and couldn’t care less about having to pay bills, who will win the electoral race for mayor, or which Donny Dickwater is giving everyone in Manhattan HPV. As I was taking a stroll through memory lane, I found a great example of being completely in my element…
The Mr. Howard High School Pageant:
When I was a senior in high school, I was asked to run The Mr. Howard High School Pageant. Mr. HHS was a reverse beauty pageant of sorts with the school’s Junior and Senior boys competing for the ultimate title of Mr. Howard High School. Aside from bragging rights, the winner won free trip to the Prom including tickets, tuxedo, limo, and dinner (basically everything a teenage boy would take to prom minus a drunken girl from the rival high school’s virginity). I said yes, and spent a month pouring everything I had into the production. I choreographed an opening number to Men in Tights, got the boys to actually dance and sing all of it including a crowd pleasing kick line finale. I spent 12 hours splicing music for the swimsuit competition (and by splicing I mean using my boom box with side by side cassette tapes to put all 15 contestant’s 30 second selections onto one cohesive cassette…which would take a total of 11 seconds to do now…). I got gussied up and sweet talked every limo, tuxedo, and carnation salesman in town into donating their goods. I grabbed the funniest girl in my class, to write a script and co-host the entire event which brought in so many audience members that the ticket sales went through the roof. I didn’t sleep for 2 weeks working all night long on this show, and I loved it! I’m getting excited thinking about it right now, 12 years later. The minute those boys walked onstage wearing green tights that I convinced the vice principal to include in the budget, and t-shirts that I had burned my fingers ironing on Mr. HHS 2001 logos brought me such pride and mother sucking joy that I wished I wasn’t graduating so I could do the show a zillion more times.
So what does this say about me? I like putting on shows. I’m good at taking a bunch of ideas and working them into one. I like to entertain people. I’m a good director. I have an eye for the big picture. I’m not afraid of hard work. I’m a pro at smooth talking limo salesmen. Now what to do?
To be continued…