Thursday, 21 April 2011

Ask Jilly the Architeuthis

Today, Jilly answers the cries of a dance troupe who are being put in the shade by one of their members.

Dear Jilly

Thanks in advance for reading this.

We are four dancers and for the last few months we have been performing with one of our friends as a group of five. At first it was fun and we enjoyed the collaborative process. But our fifth dancer is very definitely eyeing up a career as a Solo Performer and her diva-ish insistence on doing everything herself (costumes, music selection, venue bookings, etc etc) means that we barely get a creative look-in. If we are lucky we will each get a turn – a few seconds per show – at the front of the stage leading the troupe, but this doesn’t happen very often and is happening less and less.

The four of us are planning a mutiny against Solo Performer and asking her to leave, but none of us are brave enough to do it because we all socialise with each other outside of dancing and don’t want to ruin our friendship. On the other hand, we are sick and tired of being made to feel like drab hens shuffling along behind a strutting peacock.

What should we do?

Always the Bridesmaids

Dear Bridesmaids

Sounds to me like your Sex and the City clique has got a Carrie in its midst! The question is are the rest of you Samanthas, Charlottes, or the other one? If you’re all “Charlottes” then you’re probably happy continuing as a nice inclusive group of four where everyone gets a turn and plays nice. Over a few cocktails let your friend know that you’ve noticed her solo ambitions and would like to support her. Suggest becoming her “backing dancers” or offer her help in finding haflas/gigs where you perform on different parts of the bill.

That way you still have the fun of going to these things together, doing your makeup backstage and having the post-performance natters together, but with none of the bitterness that goes with feeling like you’re in Blondie but you’re not Debbie Harry. Plus it might actually lead to you and her getting separate work and recognition.

If all of you are like that other one, the lawyer with short hair who was grumpy all the time, then your careers as dancers are likely to be similarly forgettable so don’t fret too much.

If you’re all “Samanthas” it’s a bit trickier. If that’s the case I suggest using my cousin Humboldt’s trick of luring your friend into a harbour where she may be injured by a boat propeller or similar. Then the four of you can turn on her in a feeding frenzy until only her mantle remains. Good luck!


Jilly x

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