This one's dedicated to the whole team.
You know the old aphorism that you're only as strong as your weakest link? In the world of professional Irish dancing, this is especially true. If even one person is out of time or performs the wrong step, an entire number can fall apart.
The constant drilling required to achieve Michael Flatley's standards is absolutely intense. It has to be; anything less wouldn't work.
Likewise, the fitness requirements to survive all that high-impact dancing are equally intense. Again, those standards are there for a reason: because anything less just doesn't work.
It's one thing to write these words; it's another thing to literally walk the talk. I can hide behind a camera and keyboard, but at the end of the day, they're the ones who have to go out there and deliver a show.
And they do.
Keep in mind, ever since we started LOTD TV (twitch.tv/lordofthedance), you've gotten an unprecedented look inside touring life. We've streamed from Polish gas stations during an epic Lordbus journey. We've streamed from Russian trains as it snowed outside. We've streamed horrendous hardware failures during live shows when we had no idea if we could get everything running again. You've gotten to see the *journey* behind the show, and I think you'll agree it's utterly amazing. It's not always a picnic -- sometimes the hours are long and a million things can (and do) go wrong -- but my god, what an adventure.
What makes the adventure so amazing are these incredible performers. They're human beings; they have the same ups and downs as the rest of us. Some days are good, and some are difficult. But when it's showtime, every single one of them turns it on. During my previous management careers in both hospitality and software development, I attended high-level corporate team-building events that couldn't achieve Team Lord's esprit de corps in their wildest dreams.
My hope, if you've been watching the LOTD TV streams and following this production journal, is that you can now recognize -- and name -- at least several of the dancers. This is important. These are very hardworking men and women who are the finest Irish dancers in the world. Each of them is a star.
So I'm going to ask you for a favor. Give them a shout-out in the comments, either as a team or to particular individuals. We used to do this as fans back in 1996 on the old LOTD Visitors Book; I had no idea if my words of praise for people like Daire Nolan, Bernadette Flynn, Gillian Norris, Helen Egan, and the rest of the OG troupe were ever seen, but it mattered to me as a fan to express the sentiment to them anyway.
Today, conversely, I can tell you very emphatically that that feedback *is* seen -- not just by the cast and crew themselves, but their proud relatives reading this at the same time. I hope you'll join me in making sure they know their hard work is appreciated.