The audience doesn't know the half of it!

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I feel sorry for the audience at big shows. Sure, they get to sit in comfy seats and get the best views of all the razzle dazzle, but they don't know the inside jokes that develop during rehearsal, the hustle and bustle of keeping performers and props where they need to be, the last-minute adjustments due to mistakes or malfunctions, or the goofy things we all do while waiting in the wings. The audience is missing out!

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Fancy Free Cloggers finished our year with the Murphy Theatre's Cartoon Christmas shows last weekend! Months of rehearsal come to an end with four performances over a single weekend. The experience of performing with the rest of the cast in this gorgeous building (The Murphy turns 100 next year!) makes the long drives and hard work worth it!

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Taking practice from the studio to the stage is always a challenge. It's the first time we see the set, and changes are inevitable. Entrances/exits must be planned quickly, and spacing is adjusted to fill the stage. It's best to find more than one landmark to guide each lineup so it will still look good when the lights are blinding.

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Woe to the dancer who isn't organized in the dressing room! With quick costume changes, every piece of the next outfit must be laid out in advance. Each person stakes claim on a space, and touching or moving anyone's stuff is a crime of the highest order.

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Thanks to our dressing room location, FFC got to participate in the director's pre-show pep talk this year! Mere minutes before curtains open, Timothy shares info about the crowd, reminds us of any changes, and speaks a few words of inspiration to bring out the best in every cast member. Everyone joins hands and the pep talk closes with a prayer for all - audience, cast, and crew.

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Costumes that look great can be a nightmare to wear, especially if vision and mobility are limited. Many jokes were made to help dancers fight claustrophobia during the toy routine!

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A guaranteed laugh moment is a comfort for performers. Jim got his laugh every single time he entered as the little boy for our first routine!

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You just have to roll with unexpected laugh moments. I experienced a wig mishap during one performance. The audience cracked up as my teammates and I did a little improv to salvage the situation, but the best laughs happened behind the scenes with fellow cast members. They've all been there, done that, and will certainly be there again!

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We love it when friends and family attend our shows! Jim's family surprised him on Saturday evening.

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The clogging family came out in full force! Many of our dancers, past and present, found their way to the Murphy Theatre to catch a performance this weekend. We appreciate every single one of you.

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The Murphy Choir loves Scooter! This replica of a teammate's beloved cat appeared in a few clogging performances this year. She is quite the diva...

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The cast and crew really do have all the fun, even though we only see the full show on dvd after the fact.

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When the show run is over, and the relaxing bubble bath drained, the memories live on.  A favorite from this year has to be the cloggers and violins dancing in the wings while little girls from Turn Out Dance Academy performed "All The Single Ladies" - the Chipettes version.

Wishing all my fellow performers a Sparkle Holly Jolly Twinkle Jingly Razzle Dazzle Glitter Glisten Shiny Happy Festive Tinseled Joyful Christmas!

Who do YOU think has more fun - the cast and crew or the audience?