Oh, my! I seem to have created quite a stir with my last post. I’ve had an influx of readers since I speculated on who might be the one leaving Billy Elliot, the Musical, which recently opened on Broadway. I admitted I was getting my information from Movmnt Magazine, and in the comments to my last post I’ve even (upon request) quoted the magazine saying that “rumors” were floating around Broadway that one of the boys would soon be let go. However, an anonymous source that commented on that post has said that all the boys are assured six months of work and that Kiril isn’t leaving. I’m not sure who this source is (that’s why he/she is anonymous, obviously), so I also don’t know where this information comes from or how accurate it is. So, if someone wants to step forward with real information and credentials (or something) to back up that information, obviously the readers of this blog would love to hear what he or she has to say.
On a totally different topic, I finally managed to get a hold of Nick Lazzarini, the winner of the first season of Fox’s So You Think You Can Dance. (Gotta love Facebook…) And he happened to be home for Christmas and said he’d be happy to grant me a face-to-face interview for my book on how to mentor boys who want to become professional dancers. So, I met with him today. (Interestingly, Julian has danced in some of the same studios as did Nick — Dance Attack and Studio 10. Nick also danced with Mark Foehringer while he was still teaching and directing at Western Ballet in Mountain View, and Mark now teaches Julian ballet at TDC.)
What a lovely man! He was so forthcoming and pleasant and offered nice stories and tips for the boys who might want to follow in his footsteps. Actually, he encouraged boys not to follow in anyone else’s footsteps but rather to find their own path and take their own journey in the dance world.
On the subject of grades and school, since that’s been a hot topic here lately, I’ll mention that Nick was working and performing and was primarily home schooled for the first year of high school. He then chose to continue this track and get his GED, because it relieved the pressure that school placed upon him. This also gave him the freedom to focus on dance and to go to LA and NY for dance classes and such. He actually graduated at the age of 16.
I told him Julian liked the social aspect of school and didn’t want to give that up despite his dislike of studying and homework, and he reiterated what almost everyone I’ve interviewed to date has said: His best friends all came from the dance world and continue to be from the dance world.
He did say that he was a bit sorry he didn’t go on to study dance at the conservatory level but rather began working right away. Of course, conservatories don’t offer academics…but they do offer another path for those boys who aren’t enamored with school.
Julian’s high school does offer an alternative track where you can come in on Monday and get all your work for the week and then hand it in on Friday. Julian doesn’t want to do this. He likes being with the other kids. And I’m not going to home school him, that’s for sure. I’m not cut out for that job. (I dont’ have the patience – or the knowledge! So, I guess he’ll have to deal with the pressures of midterms and finals and tests in general unless he gets too fed up – or gets offered a great part – and has to make another choice. That said, for those boys who don’t want to handle the pressures of school and are satisfied with the social time the get at the dance studio, opting for an alternative route of study in high school or middle school can be a saving grace, I’m told. Nick wouldn’t have done it any other way. The “Billys” are all tutored and I bet many of them have been home schooled before as well (I’m guessing), as have many or most child actors and actresses.
Nick told me so much more, but I have to keep some things for the book, which I will hopefully be proposing to an agent in the New Year.