How I Got Chosen
Ottawa, Canada — About two months ago the National Ballet Company of Canada phoned my ballet school to see if they had any children the right size that could ''super'' in ''Napoli,'' a ballet by Bournonville.
We all had to have our measurements taken. They were put on a piece of paper and then we didn't hear anything for a long time. One day all the people that had made it were put up on the bulletin board, and I was one.
Monday, May 31, was our first rehearsal. We had to wait for Karin Kain and Raymond Smith to finish their practice. We waited along the sides and got our ballet shoes fitted. Then two directors told us what to do.
First we learned the clapping patterns. Five different kinds! Then they told us what sort of people we had to be. In the first act I was a naughty fish boy who had to steal fish, play jacks, and pick pockets. In the third act I was a normal boy who had to stand on the bridge and then ''step battemenlongue'' across the stage. We had to do this to the music over and over again for two hours!
On opening night, June 1, we had to be at the National Arts Centre Opera one hour before curtain. First we had to sign in, then a man showed the boys their dressing room, two of them, because there were so many of us. There were lots of lights around the mirrors. It also had a bathroom which had a lock on both sides so you could lock someone in, which one of my friends did! There was also a ''tanoid'' on which the Stage Manager called ''Five minutes,'' or ''On Stage, Please.''
In the dressing room there was a note. ''Subject: Make-up. I. Base. 2. Rouge. 3. Pencil.'' The first night there was someone there to tell us how to do it. After that we had to do it ourselves.
The last performance was so much fun because everyone goofed off. The first goofy thing was when Gennaro dived into the fake water he threw up a whole lot of fake fish! Then, when the guns were fired (which were real) someone dropped a dead duck from the top of the arts center ceiling. There was lots of laughing from the company! After, we had to put our costumes and shoes on the rack, and then we lined up to get paid. $60. Not bad!