Hey there adoring fans (Doug Smith)!
It’s time to let all of my fans out there know that I have come across a new job opportunity…
A. Argentinian Cardinal.
B. Mob wife of the MiddleWestSide.
C. Teaching dance to youths.
If you guessed C, you are correct (A and B are both just fantasy jobs that I create for myself while selling shots to 21 year old hoodlums)!
This new job opportunity situation all came about because my roommate John had been teaching kids to dance for like ever and had just booked a job that would take him out of the city for 4 months. Hold on…rewind…before we continue on with John’s story, you need a little background information about me: You see, I never really took a stab at teaching (stab is probably not the best term to use when speaking about teaching children… Let’s change that to “teaching has never really tickled my fancy”…wait no, that’s just as bad…in a gross way…Ok, how about “I never thought about becoming a dance teacher because) I was far too busy auditioning and performing as a professional dancer. Plus I always hated hearing that depressing advice: “Well, you could always teach,” which in my mind was the equivalent of saying: “You’re all washed up Sarah. Throw in the towel and get some use out of that diploma your mother and I are still paying for.” Now to be clear, my parents have never said that to me, nor has anyone else for that matter. It’s just one of those snarky little beliefs that I’ve had in my brain about teaching since I was a teenager. Which is completely silly because had I not had amazing teachers growing up, I wouldn’t be nearly as talented and successful as I am today (What? I AM talented and successful! What’s that? Yes, I did write a blog about only having 37 dollars to my name earlier this week. Success isn’t measured in money you d-bag! It’s measured in how many times you’ve been nominated for a Grammy in the category of Original Cast Recording,..which I have….one time…so basically I’m famous. Suck it.) I’ve taken a look at what I’ve been up to job wise since I “took a break” from musical theatre audition land, and thought that teaching a few classes here and there could be a good thing. It would definitely reduce the amount of time I spent working (and drinking) in bars. Ok, I’ll do it! Wait are you confused? I am, I wrote this blog in several nonsensical chunks before putting it together. And now, I’ve poured myself a glass of wine, so things could get messy. Let’s go back to where we left off with John…
Along with teaching tap, jazz, and ballet classes at a studio in Westchester, he was also the choreographer for a junior production of Tarzan. This is how it went down in our apartment after celebrating the news of his fabulous gig:
“I know,” he said to me from down the hall, “You could teach my classes and take over choreographing Tarzan!”
(notice the exclamation point).
“Sure,” I replied.
(notice lack of exclamation point).
I was sure that I could choreograph. I have always been a great choreographer. Proof: In college, I had choreographed and performed an interpretive dance solo to a monologue I wrote based on the mayoclinic.com website about correctly diagnosing hemorrhoids. It was a crowd favorite! Plus, I had been in Tarzan in Boston the summer before, so I was super familiar with the show and had already done my gorilla research (very important for Tarzan. Would you perform Cats without studying those kittens-playing-paddycake videos? The answer is NO. Just ask anyone that’s ever done Cats…that’s you Jessica Dillan!). So, choreography wasn’t the problem…it was the kids. Ok, let me re-phrase that. The kids weren’t necessarily problem. It was the I-haven’t-really-worked-with-kids-for-more-than-a-few-hours-in-my-entire-life that was the problem. Sure, I’ve subbed a class for a friend from time to time, or taught a weekend workshop, but at the end of the day, all I do is make the tikes laugh for a few hours and then move on with my life, never knowing or being responsible for any of them learning or growing beyond those few hours. But now, I have to care. I have to make sure they get better from week to week. And I do, I really do care. I just don’t know how kids work these days. I have no younger siblings, my cousins are all my age, and the only friends of mine that have offspring have babies, and all I know about babies is that I’m not supposed to shake them. I cannot for the life of me tell how old kids are anymore. And even if I find out how old they are, I have no idea what age’s know what things…
Here are some examples…
This is a picture of my roommate Abby’s adorable niece, Sadie.
Based on everything I know about children, Sadie is between 0 and 10 years old. She might know how to use the potty OR might know the square root of pi.
Here are 2 children I saw on the street today with their Mom (presumably).
I’m gonna say the one on the left is between 2 and 17, could be having trouble telling time OR is up to date on foreign policy. The little-er one may be mastering how to tie her shoes OR might be up to Chapter 7 in Fifty Shades of Grey .
After realizing it might be creepy (OR illegal) to photograph random children on the street, I went into Duane Reade for some more examples.
Here is a card I found of a little boy and a little girl looking all “old-timey” while having ironic dialogue bubbles coming out of their heads.
Let’s call them Dick and Jane.
Jane is either wetting her diaper, OR explaining how to make Dick’s bike more aerodynamic. Dick has either just discovered that he has a penis, OR is telling Jane to get back in the kitchen where she belongs (he was named Dick for a reason).
And PS you guys. How old is this Dora the Explorer gal anyway? Six? Quince? Taco?
Now here is a beautiful family that I found at TJ Max (along with a frame that I am considering buying for $12.99).
I think the little boy is between 9 and 19 and the little girl is between… wait…I’m going to go with 9 and 19 as well! They are twins. They both could know how to count to 100 OR the meaning of life. Hold up…those parents are looking between 25 and 40. That’s my age! Oh god, people my age have 19 year old spiritually-genius twins that can count to 100. I should just throw in the towel and call myself a spinster now. Ruby, it’s time we get some cats! I’ve got the perfect frame for our spinster family photo (if they take Discover).
Now that we’ve discovered that I am an idiot when it comes to children, I decided to take some time to get my s*it together and gather all of the hard core facts that I could find on kids…
Nailed it! I’m ready…
So children, after conducting hours of scientific research, I’ve concluded that if at the age of 12, Harry Potter can uncover the Chamber of Secrets and kill both a giant man-eating snake AND small soul-eating diary of a mass murderer, you all should be able to tendu from 5th position. And if Rue could stay alive through several days of the Hunger Games AND complete an elaborate ingenious plan to blow up the mountain of food hoarded by those d-bag kids from the mean districts, than you should be able to show me some double time steps! And for you other kids out there that are oddly large, small, slow, pimply, or clubfooted for your age, just take a look at our friends Neville Longbottom or even Peeta Mellark. Dancing may be the number one best thing on the planet, but Herbology and Cake Decorating run a close second.
PS: This is another card I found at Duane Reade. I like it even though I can’t tell if the kitten knows physics OR not…OR why it is drinking a martini…OR why it is an Easter Card?
PS: This is how you research Gorillas.
This is my buddy Vasthy and I in between Act I and II of performing Tarzan. The more you know (cue rainbow and shooting star).
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