Stories Part 3

Most people who meet me are shocked to find out that I am a figure skater. Sadly, I feel like I should say I was a figure skater. I stopped skating when I was 6 months pregnant and have only skated once since having Riley. It’s hard to get back in the swing of things and in my desperate efforts to lose the remaining baby weight, I’ve had to forego skating for things like the 30-Day Shred and running that just seems to burn calories faster. (Don’t get me wrong, skating is a great workout! Seriously, few things work your muscles better; I just need to burn, burn, burn calories, ASAP.) 

Anywho, this story takes place in oh…maybe, 2000? 2001? It’s sad that I can’t even remember. I had been skating since I was 13. Had done countless competitions, still skated 3 times a week, while going to college and working, and even just started teaching group skating lessons to cute little kids who could barely stand up on the ice. 

I had always wanted to audition for Disney on Ice. I really didn’t know if I’d have the guts to do it (and I REALLY didn’t think I’d have the guts to travel the country on tour), but more than anything, I just wanted to see if I could do it.

So when the latest Disney on Ice tour came through town, I got in touch with Feld Entertainment, who runs the show. They said they’d be happy to audition me. So I got the info, picked out a cute outfit, worked on some “showy” type things for the audition, and headed down to the U.S. Cellular Arena. I came to the side door and there were a bunch of sinewy skaters standing outside, in their skates, smoking. One of the male skaters showed me to the locker room where I could change and lace up my skates. Then I met the woman who would be auditioning me. She must have been the show director or something, I don’t know. Nerves took over and I could hardly hear what anyone was saying.

I followed her to the ice and quickly realized that this would not be a closed audition. The other skaters in the show were practicing on the ice at the time. So while I was auditioning, I had all the other skaters eyeballing me, and I had to try to watch out for them while concentrating on what I was doing. Not fun. 

The director had a clipboard of skating elements she wanted to see from me. One by one, we marked them off the list, right and left t-stops, mazurkas, split jumps, axel (which I fell on – whoops) and a bunch of other stuff, and then she asked if I wanted to show her anything else. 

Knowing that I had a really good flying camel, I asked to show her that and she seemed impressed. I caught a glimpse of what was printed at the top of the clipboard. Plain as day, and brutal as can be, it said: “Circle one: Hire, Re-audition, Lose Weight.” The only thing I could think of was, “PLEASE don’t circle lose weight.” Not sure I could handle that, even if it was the truth.

While she talked a bit with someone else, I was able to nervously mingle with some of the skaters in the show. I met one 17-year old girl who had just joined the tour within the last month. She quickly told me stories about how fun it is to tour and how much I’d like it. 

Then she says, “We all have a lot of fun. After shows, sometimes we go out to bars and stuff. It’s really not unusual to get drunk and sleep with a few of the cast members.” Um…excuse me? Isn’t this Disney on Ice? Don’t you guys dress up as Ariel, Donald and Minnie and frolic on the ice for a bunch of little kids? And backstage are drunken orgies? Need I remind you that this is a girl who had only been with the tour a very short amount of time. Suddenly I wasn’t sure I wanted to be part of this. I  jokingly replied to her, “Sounds like Walt Disney would roll over in his grave if he knew, huh?” “Oh yeah, definitely,” she laughed.

The director came back and told me she’d like me to work on a number of things, contact them, and have a second audition. I never called them. Again, I just wanted to see if I could do it. Unbeknownst to me, my mom had gotten off work early and snuck into the arena to see me audition and later practice some moves with the cast, which was very cool. It’s just another thing I can add to my list of things I’ve done that other people haven’t. Not too bad.


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