I don't envy many people, except, musical theater performers.
I started my “career” on stage, my very first performance was in front of a live audience at the age of four, or was it five? Regardless of my age, I was bitten, and smitten by the lights, the excitement, and Lord knows, the applause. From that first night I knew where I wanted to be; on stage, in front of a crowd. I spent most of my childhood in dance classes. Preparing for the next time I would get up on stage and have people clap, and appreciate my hard work. I did all the training I could, and when I was finally taking all the styles of dance that my studio offered, and there wasn’t another type of dance I could learn in order to maximize my time out on stage on performance nights, I added duets and solos to my repertoire. I had tried acro, and twirling, but it quickly became clear that I was afraid to tumble, so acrobatics were out, and I sucked at catching a baton so that was out too. I was happily mediocre at ballet and jazz, but my forte was tap; I was very good at moving my feet as fast as my mouth. So this my friends was my time to shine, solo. And man oh man did I ever.
At fourteen I changed dance schools, I wanted more of a challenge, and this new school was more hip, the teacher was in her early twenties compared to my current teacher who was heading into her sixties. Who still lived with her mom, and slept on a canopy bed with pink sheets. But I digress. The real point is I was in the mood for a change. I was so used to being the big fish in a small pond, that I honestly had no idea how not good I was until I arrived at the new school and was surrounded by many talented, more advanced dancers than myself. I had officially jumped from being that big fish in a small average pond, into an ocean of uber talented bigger fish, in a much bigger pond. My days of dancing in the front line, and being a soloist were over. I had to fight to even make it to the second line, and stay there. Much of that might have had more to do with the fact that with more complex choreography it became clear, rather quickly that my brain couldn’t retain it. Which meant I was always that teeny tiny little bit behind. It wouldn’t have been noticeable to an audience member, but it was noticeable to the teacher/owner of the studio, and that’s all that mattered. Knowing this about myself caused me to work even harder, I was determined to rise to the top again. In the mean time, lucky for me I was very good at singing along to records, and this new school incorporated a chunk of various famous Broadway plays into their annual recitals, and this my friends, was were I truly shined.
Sashaying across the stage as Victoria, the white cat from the hit play Cats. Singing my heart out as Audrey from Little Shop of Horrors, or playing Nancy from Oliver. These were my favourite moments in my life; combining all the things I loved so much together. I was in heaven. I dreamed of being a Broadway star, and seeing my name in lights. The bad news, I couldn’t sing alone. I was hopeless at carrying at tune with just a piano as my accompaniment, so every musical I ever auditioned for, I couldn’t make it past the first round of singing auditions; I didn’t even get the chance to go to the dancing auditions. And so, my dream of being on stage never materialized. Which is why I have such mad respect for any and all musical theater performers. I love going to the theater to see musicals. I would go to a different one every night if I could. It is truly my happy place. Hell I’ll even go see them more than once if I love them enough. Such was the case with Bat Out of Hell. I went to the opening night, and after telling my best friend, who is also coo-coo for musical theatre that she really should go, we bought four tickets and went again, with them.
As somebody who knows what it takes to pull a stage performance together, I’m in complete and utter awe of stage performers, and truth be told, envy for any artists who are able to not only make a living with this art form, but praise as well. I’m telling you, if you love the music of Meat Loaf, and if you’re a fan of musical theater, then you must get tickets to Bat Out of Hell. If you’re not in Toronto, then wait for it to come to where you are, and then go see it. You will not be disappointed, the performers in this show are out of this world talented. Take it from a wanna be musical theater star, I know what I’m talking about, run to the theater to see this show!!