42ND STREET: ODE TO A BAG LADY
When we first started rehearsals I was immediately intimidated, especially when she became my second partner in the Habit #. Sure I was having fun with my first partner in the dance, laughing at each other's foibles and chatting and such. But I had to became a serious professional in the presence of Kelley. She commands attention and detail and I had no choice but to proselytize myself before her while learning the dreaded Castle Turns. She tolerated my inexperience with those whirling dervishes with an occassional sigh. She allowed me to clumsily hold her even though her comfort would've been more at ease with perhaps one of the many other non-straight boys who aren't taken in by her wily ways. She even toughened her resolve as we were given the direction to dance peepee to peepee. She took it all in genuine stride. It's the reason I hold her in such high regard to this day.
And then... AND THEN! For the 42nd Street Ballet, she becomes the woeful but headstrong Bag Lady. Dancing her way through the Sexy Ladies and Nifty Fifties, cops and burglars, flower merchants and whores, Kelley finds her audience even while she's off the left shoulder and back two rows from the so-called real "star" of the show. Noone and I mean noone, sits on steps in the same way. She has become the true Pretty Lady of the show.
So there it is. I spill my guts and reveal the truth. Kelley is the benchmark for all other actors for me. Perhaps we should all strive to be Bag Ladies.
(Pssssst. I'm writing this under threat of bodily harm. But don't tell Kelley I told you so.)