The Matinee

Showcase 2012 - Matinee performanceMany of our dancers stayed in New York City at after their premier performance and cast party on Saturday night. Some stayed in midtown hotels, as we did, others stayed with friends or family. Fortunately, our call on Sunday wasn't until 2pm so there wouldn't be a rush in the morning to get to the theater for our matinee performance.


Anna and I woke up around 11am and checked out of our hotel by noon. We went to breakfast (brunch) at Route 66 across the street from the Ailey Citigroup Theater. This would ensure that we would not have a problem arriving to the theater in time. I have to say, I truly enjoyed this part of the journey. There's nothing quite like knowing that you are a performer in a New York City show while eating brunch a block away from the theater at which people will be watching you dance in 2 hours. It's one of those scenarios for which people from all over the world flock to New York just to audition.


At 2pm, everyone was back in the "green room". Our cast wasn't nearly as nervous or anxious as they had been the day before. Everyone seemed comfortable...almost too comfortable. Some of our cast members had gone to brunch as we had, others had woken up early to go to a museum. Others settled down on the floor to get a little extra rest before the day began to accelerate.

The Matinee Performance

At 3pm, the matinee performance began. The energy in the "green room" was much more subdued from the night before. As an experienced performer, I knew that our cast would have to be more motivated to perform. There is a saying, "You are only as good as your last performance". I could see that almost all of our cast was in a confident, complacent place. They felt that their performance was so good on Saturday that it would be easy to replicate it. Nothing could be further from the truth. Many matinee performances are lackluster because performers get too complacent - that's where the big mistakes happen, the careless mistakes.

Showcase 2012 - Mantinee Final poseI also knew that matinee audiences can be less excitable. Perhaps it's the sunlight that makes audience members feel sleepy when they go into a dark theater, perhaps it's the time of day (nap time) that makes them yawn before the show has begun, or maybe it's just the idea that performers won't give it there all for a day-time show. Whatever the reason, I knew that our cast would have to get the adrenaline back in their system before performing. It would have to be stronger, tighter, and higher in energy.

About 30 minutes before we loaded into the wings, Anna and I prompted the our West Coast Swing and Hustle cast to give a simple run of their routine in the "green room". They quickly realized how off and rusty they felt. But that was all they needed to get the nerves back again. They were warming up like professionals again.

By the time we loaded in the wings, we were ready to go! Even so, our entry and first 60 seconds of our matinee performance was a little under-energy, but once we got to the chorus of the song everything changed. The audience woke up, our cast absorbed that energy and fed it back to the audience fully cooked. Another success!

One more to go

Showcase 2012 - Sponsor pictureAh, the life of a performer. It's a great feeling to finish a matinee in style only to know that you're well warmed up for a spectacular closing evening performance. We had to get through a pizza party (we're gonna need more pizza) and a full cast photo for one of the performance's sponsors (175 people on stage), and cast pictures (line up, picture, leave). Then, only then, would we be ready for closing night!