I recently received a text message from my friend, Karolina Blonski: “Which performance do you want to come to? We have shows at 11:00, 2:00, 5:00, and 8:00.” There is only one show in New York City that can pull off that many performances in one day. ‘Tis the season for the high-kicking wonderment of the Radio City Christmas Spectacular. Though the show (with alternating casts) presents its dancers with a hefty performance schedule, anyone who has ever worked with Karolina knows that this sincere, yet driven dancer is up to the task. In this month’s Post Curtain Chat, Karolina talks of life in “the biz,” and gives aspiring theatre dancers the perfect recipe for finding balance in a career where great rewards go hand-in-hand with occasional disappointments.
With so many shows over a concentrated period of time, in what ways does your life change outside the theatre during the “Radio City” months?
The Radio City schedule is extremely demanding. In order to prevent injuries, stay healthy and be able to perform to my potential, my life changes dramatically outside the theatre. I go to the gym most performance days but I only do half of my normal work out, basically just to warm up for the shows. I run about two miles and stretch, do some balancing and stabiliziation exercise to get centered and “on my leg” There’s not very much going out for me after the shows. There’s a lot of sleep, stretching, and hydration that happens during the holiday season!
What do you crave most after a long performance day?
After the show I crave my couch, HGTV and my favorite sweat pants!
Your husband is also a dancer, and is currently working with The Chase Brock Experience. How did you two meet, and what is it like to have a husband who is so closely involved with your line of work?
It’s amazing! We are so lucky! We both understand the demands associated with our profession. This makes us able to support each other so that we can be the best that we can be. You would think there would be competition or jealousy, but for us that doesn’t exist. His success is my success and vice versa. Drew and I actually met while perfoming in Twyla Tharp’s Movin’ Out.
Auditioning can be just as much of a full-time job as performing. How do you like to celebrate once you’ve landed a new gig?
I always say that auditioning is the work and performing is the vacation. When I land a new gig, I celebrate by not auditioning anymore! Just to have that peace of mind for a short while is amazing. Doing what we do, it can be difficult because shows are always changing and closing. Planning what comes next can be tricky.
And, since no one gets every job they audition for, what do you do to drown your sorrows after a bad audition?
Well, there are a lot of gigs that I haven’t gotten, but that’s part of the biz. There are ten times more jobs that you don’t get compared to the one you land. I think understanding that rejection is part of the game is so important. It’s not personal, it’s just what the show needs at that time, whether it’s someone blonder, taller, younger etc. Although, if I completely biff an audition, I know that I have more work to do. I’ll get myself into another ballet class, more voice lessons…whatever it takes. You have to take responsibility when it’s due, but you also have to let go and not keep reliving it. That is difficult to do sometimes when you know you could have booked the show.
For many, the Radio City show epitomizes New York City during the holiday season. Do you have a favorite place in New York you like to visit during this time of year?
I love New York during the holidays! It is absolutely amazing. Rockefeller Center is magical. I am so lucky that I get to be there every day during the season and see ice skaters, the beautiful tree…and the great shopping. 🙂 I am also obssessed with Christmas decorations, so I spend A LOT of time at Macy’s!
Click here for information on the Rockefeller Christmas tree lighting ceremony!
How will you spend your first week off after the Christmas Spectacular closes?
After the show closes, my husband and I will probably go home to spend some time with his family. He is from a farm town and there is no place more relaxing. Just fields covered in snow – incredibly peaceful and quiet. We will probably sit by the fireplace and watch National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation which, in my opinion, is the best movie ever made.
Click here for some “behind the scenes” facts about National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation!
Click here to see Karolina perform in the Radio City Music Hall Christmas Spectacular now through Dec. 30th!
Karolina Blonski is originally from Legnica, Poland. At the age of seven her family relocated to Canada, where she would begin her training as a dancer. She received further training at the American Musical and Dramatics Academy in New York City. In addition to performing with the Radio City Christmas Spectacular, Karolina has performed with Tokyo Disney, the national tour of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, as “Judy” in the national tour of Twyla Tharp’s Movin’ Out, as “Graziella” in the International Tour of West Side Story, and on Broadway in West Side Story as well.