Speaker 1 00:00:44 Welcome to words that move me, the podcast where movers and shakers, like you get the information and inspiration. You need to navigate your creative career with clarity and confidence. I am your host, Dana Wilson, and I move people. I am all about the tools and techniques that empower tomorrow's leaders to make the work of their dreams and live a full life while doing it. So whether you're new to the game or transitioning to your next echelon of greatness, you're in the right place. Wow. Was in welcome. Hello, I'm Dana. This is words that move me. And this is a fun one. Yo, be prepared to just be a little funky fly on the wall and witness to people, dancing with words and getting lost and found in wonder, and then also get ready for a few calls to action because this conversation with Brian Nicholson, it is both out there.
Speaker 1 00:01:47 And also it gets in so deep and I'm so excited to share. But first we gotta do wins today. I am celebrating a personal revelation, a, a thought that came to me when I was in the bathroom of all places, just a few days ago. Uh, and, and it was the thought that there is creative life. After creative lulls, I will call them Lowes LOLs, doldrums, whatever. What have you. Um, and this seems so obvious, like, duh, of course there's life after LOLs, but y'all without going too deep on the detail, it's been a slow and slightly sad start to the year for me. And in an instant, like right then a few days ago, as I was washing my hands, I simply knew that I am not done with making and that maybe just maybe the stuff I'm about to make will be my best because of all of this stuff that I now to turn into gold podcast fodder for another time. But today I'm celebrating the big win. That is the revelation that it is very possible probable, even that my best is yet to come. And I feel good about that. So that's me. That's my win. Now you go, what's going well in your world.
Speaker 1 00:03:34 Congrats. My friend, keep winning. I'm so proud of you. You're doing it. You're out there. You're doing this thing or you're in there. I don't know where you are, but you are somewhere and you were doing this human thing. Congrats. All right, now let's, let's do this human thing together. Shall we? This conversation has been a long time coming. I am a friend and a fan of Brian Nicholson and his twin brother Scott for many, many years. But today after reconnecting with him recently, I got to chat with Brian and go in on some big, big, important stuff. And also some small important stuff. You will see what I mean in a moment. Uh, but let's, let's, let's just go ahead and do it, enjoy this conversation with the fabulous, the wonderful Brian Nicholson. Yes. This is what we're doing today. Brian Nicholson. Welcome to the podcast.
Speaker 2 00:04:38 Uh, thank you so much. Um, I'm I'm so blessed. I'm so excited. So excited.
Speaker 1 00:04:43 I'm juiced and I'm, I think it's unfortunate actually, that this is a podcast like an audible production because, oh, wait, it's not an audible. I didn't mean that like the company audible. I mean like you are having an, an auditory experience as you listen, because what you're missing out on is that today, Brian and I are twins. You thought that your twin was Scott Nicholson. It's actually Dana Wilson. We are in that red spectrum today. We are rouged and ready. And I'm, I'm thrilled at this accidental crossover in our wardrobes. Could you just give me the side story? That's the reason why you're wearing red today
Speaker 2 00:05:25 And I'm going to change. It's like, it seems, it feels like it was designed by this is by design because I'm in Virginia teaching on a convention and just sharing the knowledge. And I left here yesterday to come here at four in the morning. So excited, forgot my luggage for some reason, apparently it was by design. I ran out of my house without my luggage. And I was like, you know what, who cares? I'll go to the mall. You know, it wasn't
Speaker 1 00:05:55 The Virginia, for sure. It
Speaker 2 00:05:56 Was a blizzard here. It was a blizzard here. So the mall was open for an hour and I was like, you know, what is all I need? And I bought just like four items and Dana's only person senior right now, but it's a red bandana, a nice little, uh, under Armour situation. And it looks
Speaker 1 00:06:14 Like a thermal, but you, I
Speaker 2 00:06:15 Cut it because I was like, this is a little, this is a little strangle session.
Speaker 1 00:06:19 Yeah. Tight neck. You
Speaker 2 00:06:21 Know what I mean? And I feel like I have a nice collar boss, so I'm like, let me just show it off. And so I literally, so literally, yeah, this is by design because again, I don't have anything I would usually wear, but then I was like, let me make it happen at a CVS and a mall. And this is what I came out with.
Speaker 1 00:06:39 I'm so impressed at this. And I, I would like to pose to the listeners that you try just for maybe the weekend to style yourself with items that you that are not yours. Maybe, maybe you have a roommate or a brother or sister, like just maybe take the chill lounge of how can I present myself in a way that's me without any of my stuff,
Speaker 2 00:07:03 Literally, because you're doing
Speaker 1 00:07:04 It. I've been actually go, go, go.
Speaker 2 00:07:08 I was literally like thinking as I was shopping, I was like, this is taking me back to like the beginnings of like creative directing choreographing for Ariana. Cause they'd be like, Hey, there's no budget for like, necessarily like a new stylist, but this is a different performance and you know, France or Germany. And we were like, we want it to be different since she's wearing something different. So I had to just go to like the local place and just grabbed items to accessorize and change it up. So this felt like I was going back to that, you know? And how do you make it look great, expressive?
Speaker 1 00:07:40 I'm telling you, I believe. And last year on the podcast, I asked every guest this question, what makes someone an artist? And every time somebody answered that question, I would kind of quietly answer it to myself. And always my answer was different. But today I'm thinking an artist is someone who can make something out of nothing or make something out of something very little like a red bandana, which you have. So fiercely fashioned.
Speaker 2 00:08:10 And
Speaker 1 00:08:10 I also, I don't wear red a lot, but um, this morning, okay, last night I recorded a podcast, which meant I turned the heat off in my house because if you can hear it when it's on and I forgot to turn it back on. So I woke up, I was freezing and freezing because in LA it's like 60, it was 64 in my house. I like double stream. It's not like Harry and Lloyd from Devin number. And it was so,
Speaker 2 00:08:38 And I think it's, I think it's dancers too. You know, a friend was not a dancer listening. It's kind of like, I think the go-to for like any, you know, dance performance for just the dance community. Everyone's always like, oh, it's a free performance. It's getting performance, wear black and red. And I'm like, I think that's why I don't, that's why I don't wear, you know, cause I'm like, you know, what
Speaker 1 00:08:57 Are cracking me? So to my core, I'm thinking like, well just wear all black, but maybe like an accent, like maybe like a red accent every time,
Speaker 2 00:09:09 Every single time, every single carnival, every single, you know, Cyrus after dark shout out to Rhapsody and we just saw these different performances we were. Yeah. Yeah. So I think that's why I'm like, it's time to get the red out of my closet, but now it's back in,
Speaker 1 00:09:23 It's back in here. It is your red and black. You look great. I'm red, but I am a Navy blue written. Yes. Yes. Okay. So, uh, so we're we're twins, but maybe we're not identical. Brian, you haven't even introduced yourself yet. This is awesome. I think we're going to have a lot of fun today. Um, here's the, the protocol and the podcast is that all of my guests introduce themselves. So I'll let you take the floor. Just tell us anything you'd like us to know about you. Um, knowing what we already know, which is you like your collarbones and you're in a CVS branded, uh, wardrobe T today
Speaker 2 00:09:59 Sponsored not really sponsored off. All right. So my name is Brian Nicholson. I am an artist. I, uh, have a twin brother, um, who is a part of my artistry. I'm I sing, I dance. I love fashion. I, um, constantly every day, I just trying to like live fully in myself and my expression and say that, you know, I'm, I'm just an incredible artist and just live that and just try and be intentional. So yeah, my jobs are like, you know, dancing, choreographing, fare, objecting for artists, but yeah, that's what I'm working on right now. That's who I am now.
Speaker 1 00:10:36 Heck yes. I love that introduction. Thank you for that. Yeah. Um, I, I want to stay on this style tip for just one more second, because I'm working on actually, you know what this episode might become part of a full style months. I just finished a book called fear and clothing by a woman named Centra Wilson. The, the subtitle is, I think it's unbuckling, America's fashion built or an unbuckling America or something like that. She used to write as, um, uh, what was she called? The critical shopper for the New York times. So she would review all of the, you know, Madison avenue, places, Gucci, Dolce Gabbana, all of the Pradas and everyone's. Yeah. And she is exceptional with metaphors. So sharp, witty pointed raw. I mean, I was rolling, laughing and also crying, but also having like personal style revelations. And it's something that I, I talk about every now and then on the podcast, but I don't talk much about like talk a lot about training, talk a lot about mindset, but don't talk a lot about the world facing like the outward facing the aesthetic of a dancer.
Speaker 1 00:11:55 Um, so you said something that I want to underline, cause it's, I'm now creating a workshop for self-image and personal style. It's either going to be like a 90 minute wham bam, or it's going to be like a 30 day challenge. Can't decide yet. It's a lot of information. So probably 30 day. But, uh, one of the things that I'm focusing on is, and I'm doing this today. You don't know this yet, but uh, to, for one of the steps in, for me in, in, in dressing myself, I don't do it every day, but I try to is remembering one part of me that I love. And featuring that part of me that I love, you mentioned it about your collarbones, which is why I'm shouting it out now. And I love that you love your collarbones. Cause I think a lot of dancers are not conscious enough of their collarbones. When you think about them, like right now, lengthen your collarbones, y'all just lengthen your collarbones. Holy heck. What a difference, what a difference, what a difference that T shape makes in your body. So anyways, love that. But I like my wrists. I like my wrists and hands. So I like buying shirts that are little bit short, like this, this is like a children's sweatshirt, but I like that when I pass the mirror, I see my wrist and I like my wrist. I like that about me. So
Speaker 1 00:13:22 It's so important to like parts of you into feature parts of you. So let us begin with that.
Speaker 2 00:13:29 Yeah. It's like, I'm like trying to, um, it's, it's so interesting how, as, you know, dance artists, you know, but artists in general where we have our bodies and we feel like our expression maybe comes from, you know, something that that's like, obviously from something in deep inside of ourselves, but we use our body, but we don't really like sometimes celebrate just our body and what we like about it or, you know, our frame or, and I think it's just, it just makes sense. When you think about it, dancers, you know, celebrating this and that, you know, like, especially, I don't know. I think for a lot of, um, I hate using the word masculine, but like for a lot of just masculine dancers, whatever they identify as, you know, especially the neck area and stuff. I think we, we just, there's so much beauty that comes from this whole area and I think showing it off and, you know, playing around with different silhouettes.
Speaker 2 00:14:23 I think it's just so fun. I love drag too. So I think it's just, I love watching drag race. I think it's just really fun to watch people explore fashion in that way and themselves and people talk about, I love the silhouette on me. You know, I have a wife out here with these Queens and drag Kings talk about, I love this and that about myself. And I love to, since the waste here and it's just really, really cool to have these artists talk so eloquently about it. And it makes me reflect on like, wow, I do like this. I do need to show this off more in my fashion. And it makes sense. Cause then people's identity
Speaker 1 00:14:56 For sure that with you and, and, and you being embodied and you being conscious of your body is, is a powerful thing and a dancer. Uh, I can't imagine why we might shy away from, from being embodied,
Speaker 2 00:15:09 You know, and I, my friend, Joey towel just quickly he's he used to be a dancer and I was a stylist for, he did a bunch of our tours and he's really great, but he says that he goes on the dancers Instagrams and checks out what they love about themselves and what they wear. And that's how he kind of styled our dancers and how we helped him gage and create this whole aesthetic, you know? So, um, it, it really helps in this grand scheme of things, you know, when a stylist really sees a character or something you like about yourself and they're like, let me accentuate that and exaggerate and create a bigger character. So yeah.
Speaker 1 00:15:41 Yeah. Oh, that's cool to hear. I love that, um, approach and perspective and stylists in general and fascinated. Um, I want to piggyback on something you said I, uh, was the assistant choreographer to Marty Kudelka, um, and Lagonda is stronger, um, with, with Ivan Kamiah he worked with us on this project as well for Miley Cyrus's VMs. Was it 20? Oh, hell I don't. I don't. I have no idea what
Speaker 2 00:16:13 You're talking about. The performance
Speaker 1 00:16:14 She performed with 30 drag Queens and it was our job to stage workout, transitions. Um, Lagonda is stronger. The choreography that movement itself was from them. And we got to, like, I played in the room with 30 drag Queens every day for like seven days. And I have never felt better about myself. I've never felt better about myself because I was getting these affirmations that I low key agreed with it, like, like work jeans. And I was like, yes, these are my favorite jeans. How did you, I was getting like, I was like, I, he just the little bits of sentence, right? These little tiny sentences or paragraphs that would come at me from, from one of these phenomenal creatures, like something you dreamed up in a, in a, like in a animated world, truly remarkable works of art. Yes. And, and they were telling me about myself and I was looking like, I mean, like this. Yes. But it would tell me things about myself that I loved believing. And so I felt so good about myself for, for a week and really felt a void afterwards. Like going back to my normal, normal friend, normal life, I was like, oh, where's the fabulous part. Like where is the part where I get to feel fabulous? I know I can do that for myself any day, but it really helped to have the support of 30 drag Queens a
Speaker 2 00:17:49 Hundred percent, especially them just like speaking. And so vocally about just the world around them. I think it's such a cool thing to be able to have them speak so freely and celebratory, you know, like I think throwing shade is always a thing, you know, but it's just like, uh, even when they do that,
Speaker 1 00:18:06 It's so fun to itself.
Speaker 2 00:18:08 Yeah. It's like fun. And it's like, and it's hilarious and that's supposed to be cutting. And I think it just pokes fun about the silly nature of fashion as well, but, you know, yeah. They are just,
Speaker 1 00:18:17 I love you to your language, cutting and poking. Cause I was thinking of it as fencing. It's like kind of this sparring, which is not intended to kill is not intended to like, we're not actually mano Imano dueling, which is one of the wrong words for that. But it's, it's like, it is an art form. There is technique to it. It's not designed to kill it's fist fencing.
Speaker 2 00:18:42 So it's almost like it's almost like trying to have a conversation and see, and you're having it just to have it be completed and seeing how they're gonna react and, and, and, and speak and back and forth. And it's not supposed to be like, I don't want you to be able to answer, you know what I mean? I want you to be taken back, you know, it's supposed to be about like you're saying, um, exchange. Yeah.
Speaker 1 00:19:06 Yes. So much fun. Okay. So, um, you and I reconnected a couple of days ago when we spoke on a panel for AMTA together with Mandy Moore, Jaron, Reese, and Cassidy Noblet. That was so remarkable, those lucky sons of guns, um, the conversation was facilitated by Stephanie Landwehr and Jess Franco, who is a dear friend to like the vest, this the super greatest. Um, and it was, it was so cool to, uh, talk so openly candidly and hear the kind of questions that this next generation of dancers is interested about. One of the young students asked, do you a question directed towards you and Mandy? They were asking what you look for in a dancer when you're casting for a tour or a film, something that's a long-term project. And your answer was probably not what people would expect, which is like clean choreography, pick up fast, take direction. Well, Blavity blue. Your answer was not that. And I would love for you to share, uh, a little bit of your perspective, like what you look for in the human being that you're bringing on to a long-term project.
Speaker 2 00:20:23 Yes. Yeah. I was, I was kind of expecting, um, that question from, at a panel like that, you know, I was expecting it because everyone wants to know, um, truly, truly my honest answer was what I shared was that I really look for other artists and humans who are super open with themselves, um, with other people, artists and humans who are just excited to be there and like, feel like that, that yearning of trying to get better, trying to create the best thing, but also not taking it too seriously. Um, and from my side that fills me with so much excitement. Also depressurizes the already pressurized job that I could have with like, you know, spending millions of dollars, creating something or, you know, for whoever, um, and artists who are just flexible with just like their mindset who can really, really, um, who can really know that things are gonna change quickly, but they're capable of like breathing, going for it changing.
Speaker 2 00:21:25 And it's just like living in whatever we change into. And I just, I feel like I'm constantly looking for artists and other humans who are just like, you know, free spirited and accepting of each other and of the moment, you know, not gripping too hard onto like the choreo I gave them or, you know, um, I really, really tried to find people who inspire me that way, people who are so comfortable with themselves too. And that doesn't mean that they're always gonna be comfortable themselves, but they know that it kind of is a wave. It's going to add an ebb and flow and yeah, it's, it's, it's, I, I really cherish that, especially when, when you're on a tour for such a long period of time, you want people who, who keep it exciting, full of care, fresh, you know, and who are
Speaker 1 00:22:13 Like be responsible for themselves and also contribute to a community.
Speaker 2 00:22:18 Yes, exactly. Especially when, you know, I'm trying to bounce ideas off of them and see how they feel and they're honest, but it always comes from a just accepting, open way of just being, you know? Yeah. It's, especially as a family, people who care about other people and people who really, really love to hold other people down and, you know, loyalty is such a big thing. And I think it's important to realize that you become a part of a family and you want to look out for each other and it's like, you want to be able to look left and right. And see like people who have your back and you can work with and enjoy. So that's how I answer that answer.
Speaker 1 00:22:57 I, I th th that is the gist of it. Actually. I think, I think you went a little deeper in some nooks and crannies of your answer and just now, which is like this family component, the idea of being able to present yourself as someone who works well as being a part of a whole and somebody who can extend care and support sideways and not just worry about the self that they're putting directly forward. Yes. And, um, I agree, and I I've, I'm fascinated always that there isn't an interview process to most tour auditions, like, cause the personality component is,
Speaker 2 00:23:40 Is more important. It's I feel like it's more important, you know, then I think it's important than even the dancing right now, because,
Speaker 1 00:23:50 Because how many minutes out of the, the tour life are you actually dancing? Yes. Like being on the tour, bus warming up, working out eating meals, um, exploring the city, like the majority of your life on as a tour dancer is not dancing
Speaker 2 00:24:07 Majority. And then you're just living and trying to like maneuver these crazy things that come at you from management per se or just like performances and just like all these changes someone's sick. And how do you work together as a family to cover that person's track and make that person who's sick feel just as involved. It's like a, it truly is like a family, a family unit. And you know, Scott and I, I feel like are known to, we don't love auditions sometimes because we just feel like it's important to get the ears and thoughts of our colleagues. And, you know, even when we see somebody in our class or say we have an audition, we always try and contact our friends who know them, or if we've seen them in this person's class, we call our friends and we're like, Hey, like how's this person act? How, how are they, um, in class, are they, you know, like how, how they as a person pretty much, you know, and just trying to get the low down, you know, and, you know, that's like an interview thing is like, truly, it's kind of just like figuring out who they are. And then we try and have a conversation with them before and make it like real, you know, and see what their vibe is.
Speaker 1 00:25:12 I'm glad you said that because my follow-up question was, as I'm sure a lot of people are thinking, like, how do I demonstrate that in a audition? How do I demonstrate my humanity and my friendliness and my team player newness and my coolness for lack of a better word. Like how do I demonstrate that in a dance audition, which is pretty strictly focused on danced, danced, like past tense on dance. Um, so, so you guys have a practice in place to like talk to other people and, and get an idea for someone's personality, by, you know, doing,
Speaker 2 00:25:57 Doing a research. And, you know, even sometimes like we teach a lot of class in LA, which is three days a week and that's just to kind of make sure I'm still dancing and creating, you know, sharing knowledge, but also, you know, checking out to see who is really, um, showing up and just enjoying dance still. Cause I think sometimes people just get caught in not enjoying and just like push, push, push, but I can tell from a dance class, we just find, it's just like sometimes you're in that zone, you know, but I really do think that I can sell it in an audition or in a dance class by how people are going to be in a rehearsal by just like how close they stand to other people, you know, not giving people space, um, not being aware of other people's space in the room, you know? Um, even just like when they're dancing next to people is they don't even like, if you feel someone able to make eye contact or just like even look at each other or just like do the choreo maybe facing front, but still kind of giving a, a look to them or a B plus kiss on the cheek to them, you know, it's, it's interesting
Speaker 1 00:26:59 How they call it. The one I had Jack
Speaker 2 00:27:02 Yes, the creep. I literally literally it's, it's such a crazy, uh, incredible thing when we feel people around us, but I think people start to make it so about the choreo that it is so centered and that they don't even awaring leaf they don't even feel people next to them, but it's kind of silly because you should be able to, and I can tell that in a, in an audition or in a class, if people are so centered in themselves, they're aware of the choreo, but they're aware of other people around them. And especially we give moments of like being able to make different choices. And it's cool to see people next to each other, smiling, and maybe they create a moment together, but it's always from a place of honesty creation. And you know, even, even when it comes to, um, when the groups go out, go out onto the floor, you know, when people are walking off because they just went or I say, okay, now we're going to do groups. And if people will put their head down and just walk off or people keep their head high there they're clapping. You know what I mean? Or they're looking at giving the Florida somebody, um, I think you can really tell when someone goes inside their brain and starts to bring the thinking to the front and then their head starts to tilt down instead of keeping them the thinking in the back and then just still being aware of the room. Right.
Speaker 1 00:28:19 I love, I love the attention you're bringing to this right now because the words themselves, all right. Time for groups or we're going groups, all right. Groups, we're saying, all right, y'all right now it's about groups. And in that moment, some people still decide solo, oh, I will be dancing alone in the group. Now is the moment where there are less people, more people like less people next to me, which means more people looking at me, the division of eyeballs is more like, yeah, you can say the words, let's dance in groups. And you can see certain individuals or personalities go. That means solo time. That means I need to be more stressed about me avoiding the actual task, which is groups like the task is groups right now dancing
Speaker 2 00:29:14 100%, 100%. And you know, I've done that in class and it's just interesting to listen. You're guilty, you know, and, and I feel like it is just so it's just so, um, so funny kind of sad sometimes when you think about it, because we waste so much time, you know, um, in that perspective and that view when, if we really take a step back and we're like, oh yeah, he said groups. And when I were grouped together, now I actually have more space to dance. And I definitely, as an artist, shouldn't really be focused on what other people think of me because, you know, that's not really a super healthy place to, to, to go from, you know, as artists, but that's a whole separate situation, but, you know, yeah. I think people switch the focus and perspective. Interestingly, on to just such an inner solo mentality when, um, when dance classes are like, wow, everyone, all my friends who are artists who come to dance class, or like a group of dancers dancing together, this is such a community, wow, I'm blown away. How does it remove together? Everyone else was not dancers. So like this community there of superheroes, you know, it's just such a mind-boggling thing.
Speaker 1 00:30:25 It's mind boggling because dance can be very lonely. It is an individual thing that you must individually talk, coach yourself through and talk to yourself about and know where you land. And, and it really is like equal parts and a fine balance of being a team player and being an individual operating system that has their own values, techniques, regimen, um, path like we all have, there's no systematic hierarchy for dancers. There's no, we don't fit into, you know, tiers or, or, um, titles, the way that let's say medical professionals do where you're go to med school and then you graduate and then you are a resident and then you're a chief. And then I don't know actually how that works. I know my sister's a physician, but we don't have that same compartmentalized progression. So you do, you have to work as an individual and you get to, I don't, I won't say you have to, because I know several people who are just fine being soloists forever, but to also work laterally and be a part of a unit and a family unit. I love this emphasis on family.
Speaker 2 00:31:43 Yeah. And, and especially when we do tours and stuff, we try and think about like, oh, this person brings this. And then this person brings this. Corey grades brings this, acting, this incredible, uh, pushing artistry, this like moment of just like really involved in the art artists or the audience with just like a vibe and just like truly like body language. And we have everyone on tour. They all have a different role to play, but then the choreography brings all these characters together and their strengths together, you know, but I think, yeah, a lot of times we think we need to stand alone all the time or match somebody else, which is where the comparison comes in. And we're like, oh, if they're my match, I got to match them for sure. But I think you got to make sure that you have your skills and, you know, your skills so that, you know, worth and that character who you are is still there. You know, it's, it's, it's, it's interesting. It's interesting.
Speaker 1 00:32:35 I love that. Okay. Let's shift focus to tour really quick. Cause I'm curious. I want to know, I am curious about everyone. Like, I want to know how everyone works. Like it's just, I'm obsessed with how groups of people work. Um, but when I, uh, assisted Marty on my first tour for JT was the future sex live show tour. And he choreographed and co-directed with JT that tour, he also danced in it. Um, but he had a swing Kenny Wormald, uh, who was an essential piece because, um, having that person allowed Marty to step back and zoom out and see the show without a hole that was where he was supposed to be. Um, do you and Scott have a similar system? Like how, cause you still dance with Ariana, right? Yes. Or at least as of the most reason for it. So how do, how do you choreograph put yourself in it, dance in it and then also see
Speaker 2 00:33:42 Yeah. You know, that's been, if I'm being honest, that's been such a gnarly thing to figure out, you know, especially, you know, um, especially being such a part of her brand, you know, and like management, her
Speaker 1 00:33:59 Sandwich. Yeah,
Speaker 2 00:34:01 Yeah. Yeah. And, and it's interesting just, you know, the progression of us choreographing and directing more and more and more for her, we was like hard to manage, you know, trying to figure out like how to see ourselves. One of us would step out and then for a while, but lately it's been, um, we really, really utilize our dancers, you know, and try to make sure that, you know, or, or Jess, you know, is, can, can stand in for us. She's usually assisting us just Franco, but we usually have one of us and one of us out, we take videos as well. Or a lot of times what happens, which I'm going to be very honest is like, we have the dancers who are not in, in a number, you know, they, they learn it anyways. They come out and do it and stuff, and they're doing so well that a lot of times we keep them in and then we just fill ourselves in the sides, you know, because we just all somewhere else.
Speaker 2 00:34:50 Yeah. You know, and we just love, that's what I think my human, you know, almost sometimes is like, um, what I'm working on too is just trying to make sure that I leave her for myself. You know what I mean? In, in, in the grand scheme of things, because I love seeing people perform and love, seeing them being in their moment, you know? And, um, it's hard for me as, as a, as a boss or like a creative to like, I cool now you're now you're out. And I'm in, you know, like it's just such a hard thing. Like for the first, you know, two weeks of the last sweetener world tour that we, that we objected, it was like for the first two weeks, we, we weren't in it, you know, and then Scott would go in and I would stay out of it.
Speaker 2 00:35:29 And I was like, wow, this is so incredible. Here's some notes and stuff, but it was hard for myself to put myself in and take people out. You know, I didn't ended up just adding myself in and keeping them in, which was like a hard balance, but that's where, you know, um, the balance of trying to make sure that I didn't compromise the number by putting myself in, or putting, keeping too many people on stage and yada yada. So yeah, that's been a crazy, amazing learning experience, you know, throughout the whole decade we've been, we've been with her. It's,
Speaker 1 00:36:00 That's a cool peak into the process. Um, another process question I love, like I still dancing and assisting or associating and getting close to, you know, people who are at the top of their game and seeing how they work. One of, one of the distinct differences I've noticed about some of the people I work with is that there's a group that starts with moves and then builds out. And then there's a group that starts with ideas like feelings or colors, or I call it broad strokes thinking and then fills in the gaps. Um, which, which compartment would you say that you and Scott fit?
Speaker 2 00:36:45 The second one, for sure. You know, it's broad strokes and it comes from being in love with music and trying to figure out, okay, like, let's say the setlist is already done. And then we're just working on just like us a song or this number. What are the, what are the moments in the number? Like what are the peaks, you know, the valleys, what are the repetitive situations? And we kind of block it out that way. And then we're like, I know what color does this feel like? And what kind of moments? And, um, where is this lyrical expression, the sensuality of this part, how does that feel in our bodies? And, you know, it helps to do it that way, where we kind of, you know, start to figure out some sort of structure, you know, and things, um, to play off of. We're the courts where people who literally, if we're inspired, we like order fabrics off Amazon or go to, um, go to Santee alley and get actual fabrics that touch, put it on a board, reference pictures on a board images and stuff. We, we, we're such a big mood board situation, a reference board of just seeing it. Cause then, you know, we're able to see it, all the numbers together say it's for the whole tour, we're able to see it, how it moves together, what it feels like. And it helps to be that textural eye and that sensory situation for the other, um, departments, you know, because they get to see, oh, he feels like, they feel like, thank you. Next is a very like fuzzy, like purple, purple situation. But then also like clueless.
Speaker 2 00:38:16 Yeah. And a coolest plat. Interesting. Now I know kind of where I go with the light, you know what I mean? Sounds like
Speaker 1 00:38:23 Interesting. You know,
Speaker 2 00:38:26 So it's like, it's yeah.
Speaker 1 00:38:28 You know, who else works that way? A visual out in front of a Andy Blankenbuehler. I can remember visiting his house for the first time. Uh, he got a new place, um, uptown and I went in a, his, his place has a studio in it, which is stellar, um, goals and super goals in Manhattan. Let's talk about it. Uh wall-to-wall wall-to-wall images, magazine, clippings, actual photos, this hat, this cane, a pair of gloves, like stuff up on the wall from wall-to-wall creating the world that he was working in at that time. Yeah. And I, I think that that's a permission that not a lot of us give ourselves the, the submerging into the world or the throwing the world up around you and then reorganizing it. Uh, I'm a big writer writer. I maybe less magazine clippings and textiles. Although I do love this idea.
Speaker 1 00:39:35 Um, I have massive post-it notes. It's what I use to coach there. What I use to make lists there, what I use, I just like the bigness of them and that they can be at eye level, because I think there's something about having to look down or close, like round shoulders, down, keeping the list in the phone or keeping the list in your journal that tells my body, oh, I'm done now. Like I'm closed now, but when things are up and out, I'm like, and if I have to walk to see it, then it, that up-ness and openness really helps encourage of a physical.
Speaker 2 00:40:12 Yeah. It's like honest. It's like a people. I think, I think you understand this and I understand this is like your body's positions. And also just the way that your body sits, it can viscerally make you feel emotions and, and, you know, tell your brain certain things. And, and I, and I really started to notice that when I was very, you know, when you're in like email mode, you know what I'm saying? And I'm like, oh, I've got to put my computer up up higher. So I don't feel, feel this way, but especially when I'm creating, I have to yeah. See it out. And that way too, it feels like you're more submerged instead of like, you know, I have a hard time I'm on my computer, on my phone when I'm trying to be creative. And it's just, you're right. Feels so pinpointed into a screen. It just feels smaller than I feel like we let ourselves, you know, we should make ourselves like field environment.
Speaker 1 00:41:03 I think it's, it's true. It works in both directions where the mind goes, the body will follow. And also where the body goes, the mind will follow. Have you ever noticed that it's hard to stay grumpy when you're dancing? When the body goes into motion? Yeah. The mind's kind of like, oh yeah. Okay. Okay, fine. I'll be in motion now. Fine. A hundred percent. And things move that way.
Speaker 2 00:41:29 Some student to my class, I'm always screaming, like use your guts and, you know, be aware of it, guts, you know, like just trying to figure out, making sure they're moving from like their lower abdomen and just like incorporating it. Cause sometimes, you know, just guts always. I don't know why I
Speaker 2 00:41:45 Use the floor. I use the guts, but, uh, and this student came up to me at this other dancer. Um, this artist comes to me and she was like, yo, I really, really connected with that. And I love, um, medical terminology. And since she said that people call your lower abdomen, like your second brain, you know, cause that's where a lot of like your microbiome and all this stuff happens. So it's a lot of where the chemicals start to drop and start to affect. And so she was like, it became very spiritual for her and it made sense, you know, sometimes when we are so closed off, down here or even not moving it, um, it kind of like makes us feel differently. You know what I mean? When we're using our arms and all this kind of stuff. So yeah, it, that really, she taught me a lot in that moment and it made sense.
Speaker 1 00:42:32 A lot of my voice work is not actually voice work. It's breath work. And it's dropping down into that belly breathing that low abdominal cavity. Yes. That's like was so locked up for me, a dancer, who's all like physically poked by my teachers to like suck in that belly. And so training myself into using my guts or releasing my guts is it's a wildly emotional experience and so effective. Like, wow.
Speaker 2 00:43:06 So it's what it, what a blessing, you know, to be able to actually be able to release cause yeah, for, I mean, all my teachers, my technique teachers, I was like journaling a ball, keep it tight, dribbling a ball. And you're just like, even just when I'm creating too, I'm like, oh wait, I want to make sure that I'm not like making an interesting picture, but that limits me and just makes, you know, it's, it's such a crazy situation when the lower half is involved, you know, but yeah, it's a breathwork is so incredible too and breathing low from the diaphragm and just anyway, it's, it's important.
Speaker 1 00:43:43 Let's not let us all take a deep breath, please, please let's let the dribble out of the ball for a second. Roll around
Speaker 2 00:43:51 In that pelvis. Can you believe that?
Speaker 1 00:43:53 Well, I can, I I've been told once by somebody who I love and I will not say their name, um, that this was not like an individual note, but a group note that in our lunges that we looked like sagging horses and our bellies were hanging over our tights. You look like a sagging horse and I've never felt like that re I was young. I was probably 13 and that sticks. And so I was like, I don't ever want to be a second horse. So instead I never breathed again,
Speaker 2 00:44:30 Me, you know what I mean? It's crazy. I was listening to this podcast, who's talking, it was my Angelou and Oprah. And my was saying, um, Dr. Manager was saying like words and all that sticks. And it sticks to your clothing, sticks to your energy words, have such power, you know, and that's why, sorry to make a segue, but it's, it truly is such like a, uh, I'm trying to be so knowledgeable of the vocab and the words I say, because yeah, it's, it's just sticks, you know? And I think it sticks to our bodies and it's, and our brains are just so sensitive and our bodies are sensitive. So we remember things and then it starts to limit us. And then I'm like, wait, what do you want me to move this? Oh man, you know, this isn't supposed to this isn't feel comfortable. Yeah,
Speaker 1 00:45:16 Let's go there. Let's, let's lean into that. Because another thing that I, I really love and respect about you and your brother, both, but I think you and I have connected more on this lately is this idea of value and balance and understanding that our work, our careers, our passion is important. Like our training is important. The eight counts, they matter, you know, in some way. Right. Um, and then there's this whole bigger thing. That's like, how am I talking to myself? How am I impacting my community? How am I impacting the world? How am I caring for myself? How am I caring for my family? How am I, uh, you know, the, the big life stuff. Uh, and this brings me back to another AMTA question. Somebody asked something about work-life balance. I don't remember the specific question, but I love this topic because this is one of the areas where dance lessons, 100% are life lessons you cannot talk about.
Speaker 1 00:46:28 Well, I can not talk about any kind of balance without thinking about my physical balance and my physical body and how achieving it will come from a series of trial and error. You do not just find your balance one day and then always have it forever. It will be touch and go. It will be different on the day. What helps me find balance is different than what helps you find balance. I almost certainly will over-correct and then need to re re correct. Um, and so I, I think that that's a really important subject for dancers to think about and think that they have an upper hand on, I think that dancers are better than most people at finding balance because we do it all the time. And if we think of it as a skill that we've already practiced a lot and can just borrow from the physical and apply to the other really, um, then maybe we'll be really, really good at it. And I think you're really, really good at it. I want to know more about how you find balance, what you're doing with the animal rescue, what you are like, how, how your life is balanced and how it is bigger than dance and Ariana Grande and tour.
Speaker 2 00:47:49 Yeah. You know, what's crazy is that I was on such a, one of the far ends of balance. I was. So side's such a huge, huge, huge emphasis on work, you know, um, and just pushing and training. Um, and I started to realize that I was set, I was such in a deficit in like my relationships, um, family, um, even just with the things that I cared about, it seemed like everything else, everything was on one side. And then what I really cared about and what I was focusing on was my work and creation. It was like overbearing and just like, um, I suppose, deficit on spending time with my animals, um, my family and this and that. So I really start to make, and my brother helped me out with this. My brother was so on the other side of like, um, he would come to rehearsals, not prepared and he would just like ebb and flow.
Speaker 2 00:48:45 And I think being a twin and, you know, we kind of like pulled different things out at different moments, but he was always so about spending time with the animals. Um, and we ended up starting this animal rescue because we didn't just love animals so much. And we started this animal rescue. Arianna actually started it with us as, as a present because she always noticed my brother was out saving animals and I was spending more time at home with our animals and then, um, rehabbing these, these animals to be able to be fostered and stuff. And it started to ground me even further. And I started to realize, especially right before COVID, but during that whole COVID lockdown, I was like, wow, this is kind of what I've been missing. And I start to feel more like myself and felt like I brought way more value to the artistry creation and work side, because I was even more fulfilled in another way outside of my art form.
Speaker 2 00:49:45 And it was, it, it really is wild when people make the assumption or were told that, you know, you only have, um, this many coins, you know what I mean? And you have to put all the coins into this basket. And if you start to spread your coins out too much, then something's going to be at a loss, you know, but I really realized I'm like, oh, if I put these coins, I don't know where from just, I guess time points into just this animal rescue and being present with these animals, or even just creating and drawing. And fashion-wise how much it just healed me and was able to bring such balance to my, my, my, my human, you know, and it's, it's, it's super wild. Like we now have this farm where we're moving into it next week. And we're really, really, we have stables, I get my chickens back and my Turkey and to some people, it might be like, wow, more responsibilities. But I just realized I'm like my artists
Speaker 1 00:50:46 Kind of responsibility, a Turkey requires,
Speaker 2 00:50:49 Oh my God, nothing, except for just like nothing, nothing, except for just feeding it. And then just like, um, they love when you, when you have like a makeup brush and you put it on their cheeks and stuff, and like, they, they like nuzzle into it. It's pretty, it's pretty much,
Speaker 1 00:51:02 You have to make up the Turkey hysterical.
Speaker 2 00:51:05 You know what I'm saying? So, so it's, it's, it's, it's incredible how this, this journey that I'm just learning about myself in life. It's wild. How outside of dance, this animal rescue really, really, really made me feel so much more in tune with the world, grounded me and made what I do, you know, for a career. Maybe what I love kind of feel also silly, you know, like how funny, how crazy I was focused on it. You know, I'm like these, these, these animals are in dire need of, to someone to take care of them. And I'm going into rehearsals acting like this is the end all be all when I'm like, oh no, no, no, this is supposed to be fun. Grounded. I can have more fun in rehearsals. Cause I'm like, this is my outlet. And then I leave rehearsals, get to take care of these animals. And this is also so grounding and outlet because animals, you gotta be present with them, you know? And they, their presence all the time. Yeah. Long-winded but that's, I really felt, found so much balance with that. So much balance.
Speaker 1 00:52:07 I really like this idea of the coins in the baskets and how they don't go into like, okay, find it Wilson, find it
Speaker 2 00:52:21 This idea right
Speaker 1 00:52:21 Now. So the baskets aren't like Wicker, frickin baskets from hobby lobby. They're actually banks. They're actually banks. And when you put your money in a bank, hopefully if you're doing it right, it gains interest. You have more money from putting your money deliberately in places where there are high returns on investment. And you found a place with the, with the rescue that returns high for you, you feel fulfilled. Therefore you're energized. You think that you're present, therefore you feel present. And when you feel present, you're more productive or you're more open to inspiration. Like it really isn't just about splitting up your money. It's about getting more returns on your life.
Speaker 2 00:53:06 Yeah. And going off on that too, it makes me feel more secure and safe. You know, it makes me feel like there's more like there's more trust as if to bring like a banking situation. It makes me feel more secure. Like, wow, there's so many different avenues to myself that I have actually invested in. And like you said, there's like a return and I don't feel a deficit in one area or the other to an extreme where it's just like overbearing. You know what I mean? It really, really, really feels like what you said, these returns. And it just feels very pure and safe.
Speaker 1 00:53:46 The trust. This is massive. What a fun double entendre.
Speaker 2 00:53:51 Um,
Speaker 1 00:53:53 Okay. So I love that. Thank you for contributing and investing in this podcast because I think it will return. Um, this feels like a very healthy investment to me. I can honestly talk to you forever. Um, but I do think, I think you've got a sharp brain. I don't do this with everybody, not to say that other guests don't have sharp brains, but sometimes I do a burnout round of questions at the end. And I want to do that with you today. Um, so try to go with your guts. Um, w w what was your exact quote dance from your use, your guts, use your gut,
Speaker 2 00:54:28 The user guts user got dance from them, speak from them, you know, all that kind of, yeah.
Speaker 1 00:54:33 Okay. I'm with it. Are you ready to use your guts? My friends
Speaker 2 00:54:36 Let's do it.
Speaker 1 00:54:37 What did you want to be when you were a kid? When you grew up, where did you want to be when you grew up? When you were a
Speaker 2 00:54:43 Kid? Oh, former singer. Yeah.
Speaker 1 00:54:46 Okay. What keeps you up at night?
Speaker 2 00:54:51 Things that I haven't accomplished yet, but, um, I'm, I'm working on that.
Speaker 1 00:54:58 Okay. What does the world need? Less of
Speaker 2 00:55:03 Doubt.
Speaker 1 00:55:05 What does the world need? More of
Speaker 2 00:55:11 Wonder?
Speaker 1 00:55:14 What is your least favorite word?
Speaker 2 00:55:22 Oh, that's got a least favorite word is just, I it's like, kind of like a phrase, like I can't or I don't care, you know?
Speaker 1 00:55:33 Okay. Yeah. Uh, what is your favorite word?
Speaker 2 00:55:37 Oh, wonder again? Wonder. Okay,
Speaker 1 00:55:41 Cool. What is the worst advice you ever got?
Speaker 2 00:55:46 Worst advice I ever got was don't shine. Don't show off. Don't express too much.
Speaker 1 00:55:56 Don't be too big. Don't
Speaker 2 00:55:57 Be too big. Yeah.
Speaker 1 00:56:00 What's the best advice you ever got? It probably came from a drag queen.
Speaker 2 00:56:06 Yeah, seriously. Um, live free, die legend. And my brother, my brother said that to me. Just live free. Well, no, you can be a drag drag queen. Sometimes a drag king sometimes. Yeah, no.
Speaker 1 00:56:25 Fair enough. Lift,
Speaker 2 00:56:26 Lift the dial legends live free dial legend. Yeah. Yeah. We, we always try to make each other be in the moment, live free and just know that that is what's gonna make us live on, you know, for a long time we were nervous about just death and just saw that kind of stuff, you know, from just childhood stuff. And,
Speaker 1 00:56:47 Yeah. So that is a very real thing that, especially in the last several years, we have been very faced with even people in our, our age bracket. It's um, it's a,
Speaker 2 00:57:02 Yeah, that's real. Yeah. It's, it's, it's a beautiful thing. My, my grandma had his tattoo the last time my grandma saw me perform. She afterwards, I was like, she's 93. I was hugging her and she whispered this in my ear. I was like, all these fans were around us trying to like, get a picture with me and stuff. She was, she said, uh, she hugged me crying and she goes, uh, let's stay young forever. Bri let's stay young forever. And it was interesting because my, my brand's is a kid orange, um, from kid because I always try and just know that I'm youthful and that I had this kid inside of me. But also I am this kid who just loves life and is full of so much wonder and excitement. Um, and I want to make that live, you know, from that live from that. But yes, it's such a it's it was always such a thing. You know, like I dated somebody and they passed away, uh, unexpectedly. And then my dad died when I was super young. And, you know, I used to use it as such a, the fear of like making sure you accomplish and do this life is short, all those kinds of fear-based things. But I
Speaker 1 00:58:08 Realized,
Speaker 2 00:58:09 Yeah. And like, you know, I had this dream one time I woke me up of like at the funeral there, reading Brian Nicholson is a blank. And then the dream ended and I was like, Hm, what is, what does that mean? You know, would it say dancer, choreographer, creative director, or would it say, you know, different things, different people. It was pretty interesting. So, um, I think that's one of my huge life lessons is trying to, yeah. Just trying to figure out the importance of why we're here, but also living in like this wonder I'm a kid, you know, I just really want to just, just, just celebrate. And it was interesting to hear my grandma say that, which is why I got a tattoo on my, on my, on my neck, permanent. Just something beautiful from a 93 year old woman. Yeah.
Speaker 1 00:58:53 I'm going to let you know right now, another beautiful coincidence, if you will call it or something more who knows my grandmother passed away this week. Oh my God. I'm just the handful of days ago. And I mean, when you talk about at the end of life, what is, or, you know, Charlene Pappas was Brian Nicholas. It was wow. That was good. Brian was, um, and the, I think what I'm gathering from this conversation is that the multi fill in the blanks, especially if we're so lucky to die at 93, or I don't know, maybe we're luckier to die at 60. I don't know, but it gets tough out there towards the end, but it, you know, you can't say one thing, my mom made a, uh, photo collection board for the Memorial and there's no possible way you can just write wife or faith or travel or humor, or, you know, you, we are so many multi things and we have this life to explore our multitudes and that's what we get to do, how freaking cool is that. Let's go do that.
Speaker 2 01:00:13 And you know what I just thought of as, as your, as you were speaking, I just about, you know, all of that was, I just thought of this, just, I don't know where I, you know, the obituary, he's like such a, such a gnarly thing to think about, you know, um, for myself, like I said, just like was a, but I would think that I would have, I would love for mine to say, let everyone know, just so you know, in case I, you know, if something happens to me, you know, like let it be recorded, Ryan Nicholson, you know, ask their, ask their friends and their family, you know, talk to them about the, about them. You know, rather than saying they were this, they were this, but maybe this is supposed to be like, oh, really asking and find out who they're loving their life, where their mom and dad and see what they meant to them rather than necessarily their accomplishments. Because yeah, those aren't there. They're not really that important. You know, that's what I learned about my grandma. I was like, wow, what an amazing, incredible, you know, person. And it didn't fit into their own into her obituary. And I think that, you know,
Speaker 1 01:01:15 How could anything fit after life that full, how given anything fit into a paragraph.
Speaker 2 01:01:20 Yeah. And you know what I mean? I think we, and I think we constantly try and fill that or fill that resume or fill that, you know, the, with those words, but yeah, it's, for some people I get it, but, you know, it's kind of like, it's important for us to know that there's a bunch of things. And a lot of times we don't even know what the incredible thing is, but someone who loves us will tell the world about it.
Speaker 1 01:01:44 Yeah. We don't have to know what if it's none of our business.
Speaker 2 01:01:46 Yeah, exactly. A hundred percent. A hundred percent.
Speaker 1 01:01:50 Oh, fascinating. Thank you so much for sharing. I, uh, I'm just, I'm glowing. I'm wearing red and I'm, Golo
Speaker 2 01:01:58 I'm blessing.
Speaker 1 01:02:02 Um, have a wonderful rest of your trip in Virginia. I can't wait to see what you wear tomorrow with the four items purchased from
Speaker 2 01:02:12 No, I might just make it into a story and tag you. So if anyone sees it will see what I put together.
Speaker 1 01:02:19 I can't, I can't wait. Um, take care of yourself. We'll talk very soon. Thank you so much. My pleasure. Thank you.
Speaker 1 01:02:31 Oh, my friend. I hope you had as much fun in there, in there being in the conversation with Brian, as I did, I really loved talking about the strange and special family bond. The family unit that comes with pop star tour life. It is something truly exceptional. Um, and if that's something that you want, I hope that you get to experience that. Uh, I really love the idea of exercising and practicing our humanness and our, our supportive nature or kind of family dumb. Familiness I love the idea of practicing that while we're dancing in groups, holy smokes. It's like, that's what they were intended for. Almost probably could be, should be. Um, so I hope that, that we all make better practice of that, of being in a group as well as dancing in group. Um, I really love Brian's thoughts about finding balance and all of the beautiful ways that life outside of our studio or stage or screen lives can really enhance our work.
Speaker 1 01:03:42 And, um, the overall experience we have here in the world, then it's just, it's so big, this human thing we get. Um, I also really, really wished that you could see how good this guy looks in a red bandana. It's the small things, right? The big things and the small things. Um, also dancers, black and red. What is it? This phenomenon I cannot, I do not, I may not ever understand, but if you have any information or research on the subject, please reach out. I would be fascinated to learn more about why this is such a thing. Um, you know where to find me words that move me podcast on Instagram, I'm at Dana Daners on Instagram and, um, I of course will be linking it to Brian and Scott and their wildlife rescue with Ariana. Um, please do check that out. It is important work. It is hurtful work. It is meaningful work. It is, um, it is special for lack of a special or word. Um, please check out all those links and please, of course, keep it very, very funky. I will talk to you soon. Bye.
Speaker 1 01:04:57 This podcast was produced by me with the help of many music by max Winnie logo and brand design by Bree REITs, and a big thanks to Riley Higgins, our executive assistant and editor, and also a massive thanks to you. The mover who is no stranger to taking action, I will not stand in the way of you taking action. I will not cannot stop you from downloading episodes or leaving a review and a rating. I cannot keep you from visiting Bedina, wilson.com to join our mailing list. I will not ban you from my online store for spending your hard earned money on the cool merch and awesome programs that await you there. And of course, if you want to talk with me, work with me and make moves with the rest of the words that move me community, I will 100% not stop you. Visit Dana wilson.com to become a member and get a peak at everything else I do. That is not a weekly podcast. Keep it funky, everyone.