Friday, December 31, 2010

Post 59

So I know... I'm crazy.
But I just really like odd numbers and I'd like to end 2010 on 59 not 58.
Odd? Why yes I am! Thank you!

And well, this video is pretty amazing.
My dear sweet brother Barret went back to NYC today and I miss him already. And last night we created a memory that I'll never forget.

So we watched the movie, Coco Chanel and Igor Stravinsky - a cinematically stunning french film about?     ha ha... I'll let you guess... Needless to say it was inspirational visually and musically- which brings me to the purpose behind this post.

In the film they use one of Stravinsky's Five Easy Pieces for Piano four hands as part of their soundtrack. And my brother and I, being Stravinsky enthusiasts, decided to try our four hands at it. Easy pieces? Unfortunately not so for me... my two hands found it a bit troublesome. And being the perfectionist that I am, I made my brother play it over and over again till we got it right (which never actually happened...). We decided to record it on his computer, but his computer also served as our sheet music (he found it on the internet) leaving us with a very funny video. So below is the end result of the 5 or 6 different attempts at the Andante of the Five Easy Pieces. Barret, being Mr. Funny Man, decided to speed it up and, well it had us in stitches all night. I hope you get a laugh out of it as well.
At any rate, just getting to sit down and play with my brother was the best gift of all! A memory I'll cherish forever.

So Happy New Years Eve. I hope your year has been full of as many wonderful memories as this one!

Five Easy Pieces - I. Andante from Barret Anspach on Vimeo.

Thursday, December 30, 2010


26 – Blessings, Lessons and Occurrences of 2010.

1. Jesus Christ. My Lord. My Savior. My Strength and Shield. My VERY GREAT REWARD. My all.
2. Learned the hard lesson of confidence through dancing the Fairy of Wit in The Sleeping Beauty
3. Began this blog, and through it met a new friend, Janet Richardson, who blesses my socks off!
4. Danced 2 shows of Vespers – a mighty prayer woman am I… on and off stage!
5. Dr. Patrick Donovan. The best naturopath who makes me laugh and takes great care of me.
6. Bible Study Fellowship. The most faithful leaders, challenging lessons, enriching groups and Spirit-led lectures. Need I say more?
7. John (the Gospel) – for helping me understand the depth and enormity of God’s love.
8. Opened my heart more fully to receiving and feeling God’s love for me. Thank you Captivating!
9. Kjirsten Davies. This woman’s poured herself and Christ’s love into me – the best mentor a girl could EVER ask for.
10. Came down with stomach flu the Monday of opening week for our All Balanchine Rep (missing dress rehearsal), but miraculously recovered to dance Serenade, Square Dance and The 4 Temperaments by the Saturday matinee show.
11. Packed up our family home of 23 years (almost single-handedly) in two weeks, while my parents remodeled our current home.
12. Saw my baby brother Barret graduate from Juilliard with a MM in Composition. I’m so proud!
13. Performed in the main Opera House at the Kennedy Center in Benjamin Millipied’s 3 Movements for Ballet Across America II and had my brother there to watch.
14. Danced one of the four “Russian Girls” in Serenade at 9,000 ft without collapsing – on tour to Vail, CO whilst very sick. Also busted out some “Cool” too.
15. New friendships with kindred spirits. Deeper friendships with co-workers.
16. Crossed off a “first.”
17. Saw the first piece an old summer program pal of mine, Aaron Thayer staged for Spectrum Dance Theater. A surreal experience to be sure!
18. Learned to see life as The Adventures of Jesus and Jessika – and in that order too.
19. I’ve come to embrace (and even be excited for…) the adventure, the unknown- not needing to know all, but finding myself content to just be.
20. In the last 3 months I’ve somehow managed to be in multiple forms of print… photos, reviews, calendars, and had my first article published in Dance Magazine's December issue. Baffled? Quite. Humbled? Absolutely!
21. My family. I am blessed beyond measure to have them in my life and to see how Christ is transforming each of them. So cool!
22. Living at home. Yes… this is a HUGE blessing. My parents are the best! I love them so much.
23. Conquered fears. Learned to ask and trust the Lord to work it out.
24. Got to perform Peacock on the last show of a very successful Nutcracker season.
25. Came to the realization that every person’s story is important because every person IS important, unique and special… and that includes me. This is hard for me to accept but helps me to see why I keep this blog. Why I write.
26. I turned 26.

And my prayer is that this coming year, this 26th year of my life, is just as full (if not more so) of miracles, blessings, challenges, lessons, praises and joy as this past one has been. So here’s to 2011 and all it may bring.
But here’s to GOD the Author of all. To Him ALONE be the glory, honor and praise!

Thank you to those of you who have been so encouraging this past year. It has been full. And I am blessed. I hope you’ve been too.

Happy (almost) New Year!

~just Jessika

Monday, December 20, 2010

Disoriented in December

Can someone please tell me what day it is? Someone? Anyone? No seriously...

I woke up this morning and had absolutely no clue what the date was, what day it was or what time it was. Apparently I'd left my cell phone (a.k.a. my alarm clock) at the theater the night before, since not a peep was heard, not even its disturbingly obnoxious beeping sound.

And on driving home this evening I realized that the same thing has happened yet again.
"Cell phone? Where areee youuuuu?" I guess it decided to stay home...
But home these days is not the place where I sleep, the address that's on all my paychecks- the place that's generally considered "home." Nope.

These days I live in the realm, the alternate universe of Nutcracker. My home: the theater, a.k.a. Marion Oliver McCaw Hall. In this place date, time, day, night... they don't exist. Much like the movie Groundhog Day, every day is Christmas Eve... and Clara's getting a new Nutcracker.
I measure time by half-hour calls and massage/physical therapist arrival times. And meals? Forget it! I've flat-out stopped trying to label them "breakfast", "lunch" or "dinner"... I mean can you really call it lunch when you're eating it at 4:30/5pm? And can you really call it dinner when it's a big bowl of Honey Bunches of Oats at 10:30/11pm?

In the morning I arrive at the theater, take class, put makeup on my dried-out/breaking-out face (this seems oxymoronic, and yet my face proves that it is possible), dance and then do it all over again for the evening show... Between shows I'll go out to get some food and fresh air, but by this time it's already dark out. Returning back to the Black Hole (my other name for the theater) I'll eat, and then mess around either studying, embroidering cards, or practicing a variation till the therapist arrives or it's just time to begin again. Monotonous? A little. But I like predictability and stability... and did I forget to mention all the dancing and performing I get to do? Yeah, I definitely love that part of it. And besides, I have 11 different parts that break up the monotony and keep me on my toes... (okay really bad pun, but I just had to...)

Living in Nutcracker land is okay with me during the month of December, but problems arise when I have to re-enter the real world.... when lunch is at noon and dinner's at 7pm; when I have to be at work by 10am but had a show that ended at 10pm the night before. Sleepless in Seattle? Sort of. Disoriented in December? Definitely!

Well, to get a glimpse of my life in Nutcracker land, watch this great little video the very talented Lindsay Thomas created for PNB's youtube channel. And to experience the magic, buy your tickets here. We still have a week of shows left (including the always hilarious "Nutty" Nutcracker show at 4pm on Christmas Eve) and guess who gets to close this run of Nutcracker as the Peacock? Me, that's who!

And to you all out there: May the Lord bless you with the gift of His peace, rest and joy as you celebrate His birth - the greatest gift of all!  Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Drum role please...

Well lots has happened in the last half a month, but I have a some big news I've waited 4 months to announce. That is till now. So...

Drum role please...

I, Jessika Christine Anspach am officially an authoress. I've been published!

Giddiness, excitement, pride and joy - I'm a dichotomous mix of proud parent and kid in a candy shop. But for the most part, I'm just really humbled and overwhelmed with a profound sense of gratitude for not only the opportunity to write and share my heart, but also for the encouragement, support and kind words so many have offered to me regarding this article. Words truly cannot express how blessed I've been.

So without further adieu...

Here is a link (although I strongly recommend purchasing a hard copy - it's really so much better with all the great photos and little tips from my other PNB cohorts) to my published article in the December issue of Dance Magazine appropriately titled "Surviving Nutcracker."

And that is what I aim to do, and why I must say "adieu." Tomorrow I get to be both the Ballerina Doll and the Peacock... it doesn't get much better than that! And on a Friday night too! Woo Hooo!!!!

Tune in for more very soon... there is oh so much to say, but a final must be taken before I can pass go and collect $200...
I hope you enjoy the article and I hope it inspires you to come to PNB's Nutcracker. You won't want to miss it!