Warriors Put on Their Work Face...
Indy living and training full time in California has been a lesson to us all. She has the benefit of a warm, loving, host family and the best coaches in the world. Sarma and Larry Rosenberg, both legends among the ballet community, turned their passion into a not for profit business after retiring. Anaheim Ballet is akin to every "leave the sweat on the floor" training ground elite athletes seek. Sarma, Larry, and their three gorgeous, adult children are the heart of AB as teachers, public servants and community outreach activists. Their "More Than Dance" program brings their art to underprivileged children in the greater Southern California area. Evan, their son, put Anaheim Ballet on the map with his YouTube features. As cosmic connectivity would happen, Indy was a viewer of those videos and drawn to Anaheim Ballet. It was this studio to which the two of us traveled for her first EVER intensive audition. When Indy was accepted to AB, more than four years ago, Warrior, the girls and I jumped up and down screaming, pumping our fists in the air like we had won the lottery. In retrospect, we had.
Indy spent the summer soaking up all AB had to offer. She came home, the summer before her dad passed, a more polished ballerina...it was only after Warrior died Sarma lent the karmic warrior wink...long ago, her own little boy had been the greatest Ultimate Warrior fan ever. When Evan needed the power of UW as a boy Indy's dad had shown up on TV. While Indy attended AB they had never told us so Indy could shine in her own right.
Are you starting to see why I let my baby go train with these warriors of dance? They shake the ropes of stage curtains and bleed intensity the way Indy's daddy did. Sarma and Larry have reciprocated Warrior's unknown gift by championing his daughter. Karma, to the good and to the bad, is fair... and ULTIMATELY, beautiful.
It was Larry who inspired this week's blog. Larry shared a story with me upon reviewing some ballet feedback Indiana received. This esteemed member of the ballet community had commented to Larry on Indy's eager face-- "a face you want to work with...". Larry put this sentence into context as he described another dancer, long ago, who received the opposite review.
Larry told of a gorgeous dancer, given the same opportunity as Indy. He painted the picture of a physically perfect, textbook ballerina derailed by a dour face and above it all attitude. Her ballet physique was perfection, her physical face exquisite, but her working face held arrogance and conceit so this young woman was dismissed.
Wow!!! What a clothesline! What a powerful story to give illustration to the importance of a working face! I loved the visual of painting on our warrior working face the way Warrior did his mask!
Enthusiasm, effervescence, and eagerness are necessary brushstrokes. Putting our best face forward on the daily, in whatever arena we do battle, is a recipe for more opportunity and the doorway to success and ULTIMATE VICTORY!
I thought of the opportunities squandered by those who show up to work with a "know it all" face. These faces are tinted by hubris and arrogance. Those are not a faces bosses want to promote or the world holds in great esteem.
I was recalling the story Larry shared with Mattie. Days later, when we were driving home from school, she mentioned how much it had resonated with her. She said in an exhale, "I'm so glad Larry told you the story about a 'working face'. I've thought of it these past days and realized people are always watching. I recognized when I go for auditions it isn't just the monologues I give, my 'working face' starts when I'm waiting to be seen. It's not being on my phone, it's reviewing my assignment..I will take what Larry said into all the work I do.".
I mean HELL YES!!
My husband was often misunderstood because he wore his working face so seriously. I picked up a copy of Kamala's book after being told of a lovely story written about Warrior. Kamala recounts, in heartwarming detail, the ways my husband had been good to him. He speaks in his own words of Warrior's "working face" and how glad he felt UW had taken his rightful place in the HOF before he passed. He wrote something that made my heart wistful and soft...saying he doesn't know why Warrior did for him what he did.
I know the answer. My husband did what he did for Kamala because he saw Kamala's OWN warrior like "Work Face" and he admired it. He did what he did because no matter the money he earned, the fame with which he was blessed, or the heights he scaled, behind the face paint, the work face, he remained a humble, Indiana native, raised by a single mom who busted her hump to put food on the table. Warrior saw in Kamala what he valued in himself and so he gave what he could.
Mr. Kamala, I am grateful for the beautiful words you wrote in his memory. I am delighted by the celebration and illustration of the father of my children..the man behind the mask. The true Warrior.
I believe in focus, grit, and drive. I believe all of life is an audition and it starts every day you wake. I believe in synchronicity and serendipity. I believe in teachers and in teaching...I believe be it winged eyeliner or face paint the most important face we apply is our working one...ALWAYS!!!