Posts Tagged ‘Barbie’

My oldest daughter, Jolie, is in North Star Ballet’s annual Nutcracker performance this year.  Jolie has been looking forward to being in the Nutcracker since she was very little and watched the “big” girls perform, patiently waiting until she would turn 8 and could audition.   She has been cast as a “little mouse”- as opposed to a “big” mouse (whatever that means).

One of the perks of being a Nutcracker parent, other than keeping our little mouse happy, healthy, rested, and on-time to her rehearsals, is to volunteer our time to help set up, be stage-hands, etc.  Janie and I have both volunteered, Janie as a “little mouse mom” during one performance, me as haul-in (moving the equipment/props to the auditorium) labor and a stage hand for the dress rehearsal and a performance.

So, starting yesterday I began my volunteer time as a Nutcracker Dad (a moniker I’m thinking of holding on to for when the girls start dating).  This is part 1 of a 5 part series, each detailing a day (or volunteer event) in the life of a Nutcracker Dad.  Part 1 is an introduction to me, and my Nutcracker knowledge, Part 2: Haul-in Day, Part 3: Dress Rehearsal Stage-Hand, part 4: Performance Stage-Hand, and finally Part 5: Audience.

Now, time for a couple confessions:

I have never seen the Nutcracker.

Somehow, every year for the performance I have managed to be sick, working, or unfit to be around.  Around this time of year I enter into a semi-uncontrolled rage, characterized by rants on overconsumption and consumerism, fueled by paranoia, set ablaze by the stacks of fire starter (ads) that arrive in the paper and mail each day, lasting sometime until after the New Year when the post-holiday precipice of mid-winter depression claims me.

As I said, unfit to be around.

Anyways, my knowledge of the story is limited to Barbie’s Nutcracker movie, a children’s book telling the Nutcracker story, and a CD of Tchaikovsky’s music.  About the movie, nobody is so perfect they shouldn’t have to set through it at least once.  I’ve endured it many times, each for some forgotten sin (I hope I enjoyed them) or one yet to come (I hope to enjoy them).  I have no doubt that there is a separate level of hell reserved for nonstop showings of the Barbie movies, complete with a big screen, gallon sized drinks, no popcorn, and no bathrooms.

The book is ok, a simplified storyline for quick bedtime reading.  The music is beautiful.  Other than that, I’m pretty much a Nutcracker novice.

My second confession is that I have never been on a stage, or involved in a stage production.  I don’t know a thing about the stage other than it is flat, has curtains, and is often expensive to go to.  Those who know me understand I have enough personal inhibition to sabotage any private conversation, much less be involved in a group event.  Thus a lifelong aversion to the stage and anything associated with it.  (I profess stage design has some interest, it combines the design of practicing architecture without the realities of providing for permanent construction.)  So, my ignorance of the stage is somewhat worse than my knowledge of the Nutcracker (i.e. next to nothing).

Last, before I conclude part 1 I’ll apologize for anyone who may be offended by these posts.  I’m writing them from the viewpoint of a novice in the “Nutcracker” social structure.  They are meant to humorous (I hope) observations from an outsider.  I have the utmost respect for everyone involved with the production; they volunteer an incredible amount of time and effort to seeing that the Nutcracker gets performed each year for the residents of Fairbanks and do a wonderful job.  Thank you.


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