A lot of people ask me what it's like to see yourself on Milwaukee Ballet’s billboards for The Nutcracker. It’s not as weird as you would think, probably because I’m used to seeing my friends in the Company up there anyways. If there was any show I’d want to be the poster girl for, I’m happy it’s The Nutcracker.
I’ve performed in The Nutcracker every year since I was eight, so you could say I’m familiar with it, and I still love it. Being that comfortable with the music and choreography allows me to enjoy myself more than doing new ballets, like Cinderella. Cinderella was special to me because playing the Spirit of the Hours (traditionally known as the Autumn Fairy) was my first classical featured role. But I was so nervous! I’m always happy when it's finally time to do The Nutcracker.
This is my first year playing Clara in Milwaukee Ballet’s version of The Nutcracker. I played her back home in California when I was younger, and my dad played Drosselmeyer, so you can say it's a bit of a family tradition for me. Except now my family is in the audience instead of backstage, which takes a bit of getting used to. Having them come see me is turning into a new holiday tradition though. I’m so excited to have them see me play Clara in a professional company. And what more fun can you have on stage than playing a playful little girl? It’s the ultimate.
The other thing I really like about The Nutcracker is in most cases it’s the first ballet little kids see. I have so many people come up to me and tell me that. They also tell me it’s the reason their little girl or little boy start dancing. That’s amazing to me.