When it comes to enjoying artistic endeavors, I prefer to by-pass those things. I like my artists up close and personal. Unscripted. Uncostumed. Unlit.
I got lucky many years ago when I worked at the New England Conservatory of Music. Most of the professors at the school were also members of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. An elite group of musicians, indeed.
But I knew them as just regular people who walked into the school every day. Just like the rest of us. They always stopped by the registrar’s office where I worked and chatted with us. I attended their rehearsals every Thursday during my lunch hour and saw them at work. No lights, no cameras. Just a group of very talented people working together to make beautiful music.
Just recently, our son and daughter-in-law hosted the Hilton Head Dance Theater for a small event at our old house on the May River. Prior to the performance, the young dancers mingled among the party-goers. We watched them giggle and laugh and talk with their friends. We saw them in their shorts and t-shirts. No make-up. No glitzy costumes.
Then, transformed into ballerinas, they emerged from the kitchen and onto the grassy lawn. No stage door for them. No fancy backdrop. Just a beautiful, cloudless, afternoon of Ballet on the May.
The audience was gathered on the porch, wine glasses in hand. Cell-phone cameras quietly capturing the beauty of the afternoon. Proud parents. Happy ballet enthusiasts.
Just exactly the way I like it.