Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Afterthoughts on Strictly Come Dancing

What a week this has been, with literally hundreds of people getting in touch one way or another about me leaving Strictly and wanting to know if I am alright. At first I thought it was odd and then I realised that the vast majority of them were not in show business and maybe don't understand how it works, or at least how it works for me.

I am in show business not only because I love it, but also because I had been in a 9 to 5 job for years and really wanted a change, preferably to do the job I always wanted to do, entertain using magic and comedy as my vehicles.

Since I made that decision, aged 30, I have never regretted it. I love the variety that this job gives me, the constantly changing hours, venues, places and people. Since being tied into a regular TV series I have enjoyed being able to take on a wide variety of jobs within the entertainment business BUT only take on the ones that appeal to me, or appeal to my sense of curiosity.

Along the way an agent asked me if I would like to do Strictly Come Dancing. I have never danced for two reasons: I don't really understand why people do it because I don't understand or listen to music. Some people find that strange, but I could quite happily live my life without any music at all. I much prefer practical stuff. The other reason is that I have always felt very self conscious on the dance floor, on the rare occasions that I have been dragged up there, because I have never known what to do or how to do it.

So, I said yes, not realising that Strictly Come Dancing has very little to do with Ballroom Dancing, and a lot to do with Show Dancing. Oops. My mistake. Still, going into it without any delusions of grandeur meant I simply expected to drop out early. No pain there then.

Along the way I found great difficulty with remembering the complicated sequences of steps and body language. 4 or 5 hours of every day spent dancing, dare I say this, was becoming boring 'cos I like constant change. I was surprised that I didn't ache more. No pain there either.

When I was told what we were going to do in the last week I was involved I knew straight away we had little chance of staying in the show. I was told it was to be made funny, but I felt, rightly, that the judges would be seeking more 'correct' dancing. Strange how two of them are deliberately rude, not constructive, and they are really setting themselves up as objects of ridicule. Thankfully such remarks do not hurt me at all, they are so predictable.

I understand that when you are voted off you are supposed to be downcast or sad. In all honesty I was SO glad to be 'freed' from the routine daily grind. It was nice to be with the cast and staff of the show, of course, but show business is a series of seasons and shows which end and you say 'goodbye' constantly, no regrets.

So to all those who worried about me, thank you for caring, but I am so happy and glad to be back where I belong. Monday I did the Comedy Store in Manchester and I had SUCH a good time, with my kind of audience. Loved it.

Have fun.

6 comments:

Julian Bray MCIPR said...

Hmmm and you well married to a dancer who loves music. Will have to muse on that! You'll have to keep the exercise regime up though, seems daft to undo all the exercise ...Best to Debbie...
Cheers Ian Ray

Masterless Magician said...

A very elegant explanation of show business. I think some people assume that just because you can move on easily to a new venue and new co-performers that you must be distant and cold to them when you are with them. but if you have a proper understanding with the business then you can be firm friends with the people you perform with, but still move on without sadness.

A Magic Life said...

Julian is right, Debbie loves music and somewhere in the house we have a kitchen where she plays it all the time. Her dancing however, is not of the ballroom type, other than mooching around with me.
Masterless has it right as well. Show biz throws up instant, and then long time, friendships, but you hardly ever meet up with each other. It's a great life.

Pete Biro said...

If you had fun and got some exercise, that's enough... some of my Brit friends commented how they enjoyed you on the show.

So... What's next? Tell Debbie Diz White had nothing but praise for her on the radio interview... and her book sold out here last night in a Hollywood book signing.

highpriestess said...

Has Debbie ever considered doing Strictly? I think she would be a hugely popular contestant.

A Magic Life said...

I have written this before but just to finally set the record straight, Debbie is a great dancer if you are talking ballet, or indeed any of the tap or other stage dancing. Deb is a great choreographer BUT she knows VERY little, if anything, about ballroom dancing. She even went for a lesson on rumba to see if she could help me, but I am beyond help! :)