For the rest of November, every day, the Brelby Buzz will be bringing you the second installment of the November Blogathon. Thirty days, thirty original posts from Brelby’s Company Members and collaborative artists of Season 8. Each post will revolve around a word that artist considers to be integral to what art and Brelby means to them.
By Jeremy Cruz
I’m often asked before a performance if I get nervous and the answer is always “No.” Each performer has their own way of preparing for what they’re doing and it always fascinates me to hear what it is, like singers swallowing honey or olive oil before a big recital and actors who talk to a wall before going on stage. Personally, I have an altar ego that some of you will think I stole from Beyond BUT I started it long before Sasha Fierce existed. Before every performance I whisper to myself, “You… Are… FIERCE!” and it may be a little cliche but it works and that’s all that matters. There’s a feeling I get as soon as I step on stage that transforms me and I’m happy to let it take over.
For the majority of my theatre career I have always been “the dancer” and to me, that was always a great label. Dancing is something I love to do and nothing compares to being on stage, feeling those emotions run through my body. But, like most of us, I have more to offer the world than just one thing. I strive to be a triple threat, but with my own unique flair. As much as acting terrifies me, I love doing it, and I also want to dip into other creative areas such as photography, and continue to work on my skills as a Stage Manager.
Being apart of the production Oh! the Humanity! was what lit the fire of my path working with Brelby. As an ensemble member of the cast I tried to offer anything and everything I could on this World Premier. It was by no means a dance show, but I was able to incorporate tap into it with some scene changes. I don’t even remember how it happened but Shelby, who co-directed the show and choreographed all the numbers, rolled with it. That she took that chance has always stuck with me. That was my first show with Brelby, and I was given those few moments in the show to shine, to steal the spotlight even just for a second. That experience alone made me want to come back to Brelby for more. I got a chance to be Ronette, or Ronnie rather, in Little Shop of Horrors where my fierceness had a chance to resurface itself. Finding a place that will give me a chance to let loose and let out the big personality I have deep down inside has been a treat.
Brian and Shelby also agreed to do a tap/hip hop number I choreographed for one of the Cabaret Show Downs and it was pretty epic! Afterwards, we got to talking and decided to let me teach some dance classes here at the studio. We decided to start with Musical Theatre Dance and Tap; the essentials for every theatre person that wants to be in Musical Theatre. I taught the first ever Dance Intensive where my students learned choreography from A Chorus Line and performed it at the 2nd Annual Miscast Concert. Especially when I’m teaching I try to impart my same mentality towards performing on my students; I hope I show them what it means to be fierce.
So here I am, not only the dancer, but the actor, the Stage Manager, the teacher. And that’s a wonderful thing. I hope to continue to be the dancer for as long as my body lets me. I hope to do more Intensives here at Brelby and definitely more shows in lots of different roles. Who knows what’s to come but we gotta keep doing what we love. Whatever makes you happy. Whatever makes you feel fierce. That’s what it’s all about.