During the hectic holiday season, people in the service industry work longer hours: courier drivers, retail workers, and airline staff – but we don’t think about the performers who also put in extra hours entertaining us. Curious, I approached a few of them about how they get through the holidays without strain. Five-part series all this week.
3/5A Christopher Gerty
Corps de Ballet, The National Ballet of Canada
Q: The holidays can be a lot of fun for the fans who love to be entertained – but it’s a lot of fatigue for the performers. What is the hardest thing about performing over the holidays? Be honest.
A: The Nutcracker is such a wonderful show with the most incredible score. The most challenging thing is probably the sheer amount of performances that we do, especially as The Nutcracker takes place during the time of year when many people get sick in the height of cold and flu season. Inevitability someone is under the weather, but we solider through together and still have a lot of fun performing.
Q: What is the best thing about performing over the holidays?
A: I’d say my favourite part is walking past the theatre toward the stage door and seeing all the children with their families excited to see the performance. It’s really gratifying seeing big smiles on the faces of the children who are about to see you onstage.
Q: How do you de-stress during the month of December?
A: I try to spend as much time as possible with my dog. Every spare moment I get I spend with her and coming home to an excited and loving pup after a long day at work is always a blessing. I try and use my days off to take her to new places, even deep into the winter!
Q: What do you look forward to most when you’re done the last holiday performance?
A: Having the time to catch up on things I haven’t had time for over the performance season, giving my body a break but also exploring with my dog and friends. Having time to work on little side projects.
Later today, Aaron Schwebel, Concertmaster of the National Ballet of Canada.
Previous Q+A: Joseph Johnson, cellist. http://bit.ly/2jegvsL
Noel Edison, Artistic Director and Conductor: http://bit.ly/2BB725C