Teddy Got Gout! (ATRM, Ep. 107)

Walking into the theater lobby after the premiere show was truly incredible. Seeing the love and support from so many friends and family, along with some of the most talented artists from our dance community was overwhelming. The response was so positive, more than we could have ever imagined. One of the best moments of my career thus far! Having gone through all we did up to that point to simply pull the show off, we honestly didn't know what to expect, so receiving a standing ovation after the first act, we were over the moon! It just amped us up for the second act that much more! We were running on sheer adrenaline and excitement!

Having both the Shaping Sound premiere and my other project Misery Loves Company both fall at the same time was out of my control and obviously not something I would have wanted or planned. Of course it was challenging, stressful, and yes it did cause me to be an hour late to that ONE rehearsal… but truth be told, I was working around the clock doing my best to give Shaping Sound top priority. I only worked on Misery when we were not working on the premiere, most of which was in the middle of the night when everyone else was sleeping or early morning hours before rehearsals. So being late to that one rehearsal really didn't need to be such a big issue or something to freak out about. They each have had their times where they too have been delayed due to other work related obligations. It's part of what we ALL deal with in this business. It's just all a matter of how you handle it. I was totally confident in my ability to finish my piece and make sure the dancers were performance-ready. I was disappointed to know the boys doubted that. Hopefully now they see they can count on me to ALWAYS come through for them. Shaping Sound was my main focus, and it proved to me that I CAN handle multiple jobs at once, and the pressure that comes along with being a dancer, choreographer, producer, all at the same time.

I feel like I’ve grown a lot as a choreographer this year. I worked on Shaping Sound, Misery Loves Company, my pieces on Dancing with the Stars, the joint number that I was nominated for an Emmy for, a Kelly Clarkson performance, and more. As a result, I'm far more confident and I am loving the artistic process that I'm experiencing right now. I wake up excited everyday ready to create!

When Kyle decided to quit Misery Loves Company as my lead character, I was disappointed of course. He was what I needed to fill that role. But I understood and supported his decision. We all have such crazy schedules so it happens, and we all have to be understanding and not take it personally. That's when everyone talked me into taking on the role myself. It was originally written for me, but I had stepped away feeling like it would be too much to manage being choreographer, co-producer, and lead dancer. After some convincing I decided to do it. That is until I woke up one night with excruciating and unbearable pain in my foot. It blew up and I could barely walk. I didn't remember hurting it during rehearsals so I couldn't imagine what was wrong. Later that day I was diagnosed with Gout, a form of arthritis caused by a buildup of uric acid in the blood causing extreme inflammation of the joints which runs in my family. Needless to say, it just added another level of stress to my already full plate, but fortunately I was able to rely on my best childhood friend, Mike Keefe, to jump into the lead role. As expected, he came through and gave a stellar performance. I was so proud of him and the rest of the cast and crew for helping me and another childhood friend (producer/director) Jonathon Arpino complete our dream. When all was said and done, it was worth the hours, the stress, and the enduring the pain of Gout!

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