Saturday, October 31, 2015


As a kid I loved to play dress-up and pretend to be various characters. Halloween is a great time for kids to do that!

Probably that was one reason why I enjoyed participating in Marin Junior Theater.

As an adult I haven't gotten to perform often, but I still have an active imagination and enjoy pretending. Maybe that's why I'm a writer.

In my last post I promised to tell about my experience performing with the Joffrey Ballet.

That happened over twenty years ago. Someone from my church in San Francisco told me they were looking for supernumeraries, which what people in the ballet world call extras.

I'd had less than a year of ballet lessons back in in first grade, but that didn't matter. They just needed people in a crowd to sway to the music and turn around once or twice, so I was accepted.

The rest of the supers, as we were referred to, and cast members with small parts got to hang out together during rehearsals.

The ballet was Petrushka, which is set in Russia in the winter. For performances I was dressed up as a fat man with lots of padding, a heavy coat, and a wig and fake beard. I could barely move at all!

The show was in the old San Francisco Opera House and the complicated underground rooms, which audiences never see, reminded me of the Phantom of the Opera.

Every evening the makeup people would put on my beard, etc., then I'd walk through the room where the orchestra was rehearsing to the place where I'd get my costume. The orchestra people always laughed when they saw me in my street clothes and beard.

I forget how many performances we had, but there were quite a few and the audiences were huge.

I'll never forget the fun of performing with the Joffrey Ballet.

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