Falling It’s a feature, not a bug. Unfortunately.
I went to see the New York City Ballet perform some of Balanchine’s Black & White ballets a few weeks ago, and Amar Ramasar, my favorite man in tights, wobbled. It was a slow, controlled moment, and for just a second, it almost all hit the floor. He just smiled. What can you do?
It reminded me of the first time my daughter saw The Nutcracker. The Sugar Plum Fairy flew out of the wings at warp speed and pirouetted onto her ass. We were sitting close enough to see her Cavalier (Ramasar again) cock an “are you OK?” eyebrow at her and one instant later she was smiling and spinning on her toes. My then 4-year-old daughter was enormously impressed. For days she reported to all, “The Sugar Plum Fairy danced so hard she fell on her BUTT!”
She knew that the ballerina is not supposed to fall. She knew it was a mistake. But she recognized how completely badass it is to dance that hard.
That's the goal: go out hard enough to hit that edge between brilliance and catastrophe. It's hard not to hedge. It's hard not to care too much what people think, when after all you are doing this for an audience. It's hard to bounce back up on your toes with a smile when you've gone too far. Again.
I'm in rewrites. First drafts are great for whipping out of the wings. Rewrites are where I question, and question, and if I'm not careful, hedge.