Academy of Art Jeer-Leader
Pump up the volume: I'm always interested in the Academy of Art's antics, and this is pretty amazing ["Going for Gold," Joe Eskenazi, Feature, 8/27]. Even better is the (unsurprising) revelation of its 100 percent acceptance rate.
Now I know how they do so well: volume!
Just remember to duck: After reading "Room with a Few" [Ashley Harrell, Feature, 8/20] all I can say is thank you for reminding me why I live on the opposite side of the bay. Any time I begin to wonder if I'm crazy for living in Oakland, I can just reread this story of smug, self-absorbed city-dwellers and remind myself why I'd rather go through a takeover robbery any day than live among such annoying people.
I only hope that with their communal living comes a better sense of self-awareness.
To the Pointe
Who really needs their little toenails?: I enjoyed reading the article about the San Francisco Ballet ["Blood, Sweat, and Tutus," Joe Eskenazi, Feature, 7/23]. If an article grips me from the beginning and has good flow so that I can't stop reading, it's a good article. Of course, it must also have lots of facts that would have been difficult for me to find on my own, which this one does.
It was significant for me because I grew up dancing since the age of 3 and thought I was going to be a professional ballet dancer. I had a lot of natural talent, but just not a perfect 180-degree turnout in my hips. Topping out at five foot nine did not help my cause either, so I had to step out of the ballet scene. I considered a career in alternative genres of dance, but the thing that finally drove me to work in the dance office rather than the studio (aside from little toenails that ripped away from my toe and bled when I danced barefoot, and a podiatrist who said that he could remove them, but they would likely just grow back) was the vision of being 35, out of work, with no insurance, no other work experience, and a torn ACL or something.
I'm not unhappy with my station in life, but there is that seed of doubt, the "could have." I thought that once you got into a huge dance company like the S.F. Ballet or Pacific Northwest that, as long as you worked hard, you essentially had it made. This article has cleared away any doubts that I may have had about choosing to stay out of the studio for pay. Thanks!
News Rack Attack
Think outside the box: Why doesn't the city raise the fees three times over on all those eyesores — the stand-alone boxes that frequently are empty and covered with graffiti ["Inside the Box," John Geluardi, Sucka Free City, 8/13]? Terminate the contract with Clear Channel, or make it finish all commercial corridors projects by December 2010!
No stand-alone boxes anyplace.