Welcome to Barre None, my new video blog exclusively on Huffington Post. I'm Sara Mearns and I hope to be your tour guide into the world of classical ballet. You might ask yourself, "Why a video blog that goes behind the scenes of a classical ballet dancer's daily life?" Because what you see on the stage does not begin to capture what ballet or our lives are all about. You see the performance, but what you don't see -- the rehearsals, the costume designs, the frazzled nerves, the learning of a new ballet, the constant travels around the world, the injuries and the oftentimes long, painful road to recovery that lead us to wonder if this is the injury that can end a career -- it's all a part of what we do and who we are.
I'm only one dancer, but I hope that by giving you a window into my life as a principal ballerina at New York City Ballet, a door will be opened to more interest, curiosity, and enthusiasm for this artform that I, and so many others, love and work so hard for. So come on in, pull up a seat, and join me every Friday. You'll have a great time. I promise. Barre None.
Depths of An Artist
After watching my final edit of this week's video, I saw the evolution of what can happen in one's life in just one week. When I was in it and experiencing it all, it didn't seem so abnormal or extraordinary. But seeing how I am able to travel all over the country and the world and observe things people only see in photographs, it is, in my opinion, extraordinary. This is all because of the job I am so lucky to have, being a performing artist, a ballerina with New York City Ballet. I am the first one to say how blessed and lucky I am to be a part of this crazy beautiful life and I don't take one second of it for granted. Having been a part of this life for 10 years now, I have paved a way out of the drama and confusion that often comes with the territory and try only to see the joy it brings me. But even with that positive perspective, the challenges of being an artist, a performing one at that, never gets easier.
The word artist is defined as someone who expresses themselves through a medium, someone who uses imagination, skill, and talent to create works that can be judged to have an aesthetic value. This includes visual and conceptual artists, musicians, singers, writers, and performing artists. As you saw at the end of my video, I had hit a low point in my week and quite frankly, it was hard for me to even smile. Amongst all the beauty and glory my job and life entail, personal emotions and situations still arise that are not so happy. The most difficult part of my job is not letting whatever is going on with me personally to show on stage. The audience should never know about the other 22 hours of my day. That's not why they come to see you. That is not why I am there performing. I am there to put life into a vision someone had and to tell their story. For those two hours in the day, my story is not important. Challenges can work to your advantage or disadvantage. It may be a way to escape, transport and immerse yourself into another moment or world that allows you to catch your breath. You can also allow the choreography to help you work through whatever is going on emotionally or spiritually in your personal life but at the end of the day, it will be a push no matter what and hopefully you can become stronger from it.
The other night, before I stepped on stage, I thought about how grateful I am to be here, in pointe shoes and a beautiful gown when for eight months last year, I didn't have either. That's what got me through. I went back to what the most important thing in life is for me and all the other stuff faded away. The show must go on and you must find a way, as is the duty of a performing artist, to give the audience a reason to be there and a memory to take home with them. A memory that will last forever and in looking back on the week I had, I definitely have memories that will last forever.
Check out last week's video blog here.
You can find Sara Mearns on twitter here: @nycbstar2b.