Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Collapsing Under the Strain, Dancers Among Us Stalls at the Airport

I met with Workman Publishing for the first time in early June, 2011. They invited me in to discuss a possible Dancers Among Us calendar. A book deal wasn't mentioned when setting up the meeting.

I brought it up anyway.

They were intrigued, but they had reservations about the use of New York City exclusively as a backdrop. I had been shooting Dancers Among Us for two years, and I never considered moving outside the Big Apple. Of course, I dug in my heels and stood by that creative decision.

"Well, I have plans to travel around America this summer, shooting from coast to coast."

I didn't mention my plans were about five-seconds old.

"Oh, that's interesting." Editor-in-chief Susan Bolotin's interest seemed piqued. "Where?"

"Oh, you know... Like, uh... San Francisco, Chicago, Philly... uh, Colorado..." My voice trailed off. Is there even dance in Colorado, I wondered.

"Well, email us some photos from the road. I'm curious to see if the concept works outside of NYC."

And thus began the madness. In the past seven months, I've shot in hundreds of new locations, making sixteen separate trips around the country. I kept an active schedule in NYC as well, shooting almost four-hundred actor headshots and comp cards in that time, as well as the Women's US Olympic Rowing 2012 Calendar, the 2012 Paul Taylor Moving! campaign, and my first book cover.

Saturday it all caught up with me. I was on my way to Newark Airport for an early flight to Nashville, TN. Seven dancers from Nashville Ballet we waiting for me, along with several other talented local dancers.

I had already changed my flight from the night before. My family had been scheduled to join me in Nashville, and we were all going to fly out Friday night. But they were all suffering from the same flu-like symptoms I'd been working through for the past week. I would go alone.

As I pulled into the airport, the absurdity of what I was about to do became glaringly obvious. Aching, feverish and exhausted, I was abandoning any hope of rest and recovery, fueled by a blind urgency to fulfill the promise I made to Workman (and myself)- "Travel America from coast to coast."

America is too big, I finally realized. I can't get everywhere. Painful as it was to acknowledge that reality, it was also a relief. I turned the car around and went home to care for myself and my family.

The rest of my weekend looked something like this-

Kara Lozanovski, Chicago

Now that I'm rested and have a new perspective, I realize that I can indeed do it all...

I just may need ten sequels.