After getting on set we had a rehearsal with the steady-cam operator named Cobra. I was immediately jealous of his bad ass nickname. At what age do you have to insist on being called 'Cobra' for it to actually stick? I've been trying to get my friends to call me 'Porkchop' for years, to no avail. But that's besides the point.
Anyways, we went through most of 'Statics' with Cobra, Jody, Henry and Aaron, and sort of mapped out the camera movements and then we went off to make-up to get ready to shoot when it reached sundown. And then just like she always does, the Sun went down, and the filming began.
I would be lying if I said that it was easy and painless, but we all could tell that it was looking awesome (lame vocabulary word, I know) and that made it easy to keep our energies up. It's amazing how adding a new variable to a dance that you have performed over and over for years, can miraculously make it utterly enjoyable again.
I don't know how many times we filmed the opening minute of 'Statics', but it didn't seem all that bad. After every take we were offered water and Advil, and we'd get a loving rub down with baby wipes (more on that later) since the floor has a good half inch of good old Red Hook dirt covering it. In a matter of seconds we would transform ourselves from cool looking youths to coal miners from West Virginia. My fingers are still wrapped in a black dirt that would make a manicurist cry.
I'm thinking tonight might be a little easier since I now know what it feels like to dance at 5 in the morning and I won't as shocked when my brain starts to play games with me and reality and dreaming begin to merge.
All in all, I imagine that Jerome Robbins is looking down on us with a gigantic smile. Grinning up a storm as he watches his ballet transformed in such a way and to see a bunch of dancers busting their asses on the hard concrete, over and over again.