Guest writer: Soloist Sharon Teague(Read Ms. Teague’s bio…)
Just recently, I was backstage waiting for the Waltz of the Flowers from The Nutcracker to come to its climactic end. My mind was playing like a movie of memories from years past. Suddenly, I remembered when I was a Houston Ballet Academy student and what I used to do in preparation for my role as a rat.
I would wear my huge glasses (that were more than ugly) and duct tape them around my head. Then I would put the rat head on and proceed to perform the battle scene with my secret spectacles securely in place. This lasted a good 12 or 13 shows until one night I was wrestling with a soldier and the glasses broke and fell somewhere on the stage, never to be seen again. I was terrified and relieved all at once. Relieved the hideous things were gone, terrified as to how I was going to manipulate myself around on stage for the next show. Fortunately, I had some good friends who dragged me, pushed me, and yelled at me until the very end (and no, I was not the infamous rat who fell into the orchestra pit…amazingly!).
The final notes of the Waltz of the Flowers played and I was smiling because of the funny recollection, but also because I was about to have a dream come true. I hugged my Prince, principal Connor Walsh, wished him “merde” and thanked him for his work. Then I took the stage as the opening night Sugar Plum Fairy. I had come a long way from a blind rat to a Sugar Plum who could see.
Ms. Teague in the role of Sugar Plum Fairy from Houston Ballet’s The Nutcracker. Photo by Amitava Sarkar.