Cupcakes & Conversation with John Lam, Soloist, Boston Ballet
What motivates you at 8am on a Monday morning ?
Nothing. I am still sleeping.
Why ballet ?
Ballet chose me, it is what I know.
Who would you most like to dance with & what would you dance ?
I don’t have any favorite dancer I’d dance with, I am an open book. I’d like to dance John Neumeier’s Nijinsky.
If you could dance anywhere in the world (not only in a theatre), where would you dance ?
What is your daily routine at the moment ?
Wake-up, shower, tooth brushing, take out my Cocker Spaniel, feed him, head to ballet class, rehearsal, late lunch, then performance of The Nutcracker.
How do you prepare in the hours before a show ?
Typically I take a nap ahead of time, listen to whatever is on my iPod at the time, and do my hair and make-up – it gets me into whatever character I am dancing. Then I stretch and get myself warmed up with a customized warm-up my coach from school taught me. The very last thing I do is breathing and visualizing what I need to do and get done. After all of this, everything relies on our fantastic conductor and the numerous hours of rehearsals that brought me to this place.
What are you looking forward to dancing in 2011?
Second Detail, Bella Figura, Pickett’s world premieres, Midsummer’s, and Robbins’ Afternoon of a Faun.
You can ask six famous people to dinner – who would you invite ?
Nureyev, Nijinsky, Kylian, Sorella Englund, William Forsythe, and Mr. Balanchine.
What would surprise people about you ?
I can cook anything and can replicate a dish without a recipe.
Who inspired you to dance ?
There have been numerous dancers, teachers, ballet masters, coaches, choreographers that have walked in my life and inspired me little by little throughout my career thus far. They have all given me inspiration to believe and remember why I love to dance.
How would someone else describe you ?
What is your best piece of advice ?
Be true to yourself, don’t compromise.
Which role has tested you the most & how ?
In the middle somewhat elevated; it was a situation where the first cast got cut on the night before opening night and I was bumped up from 4th cast. I had to really pull everything that I rehearsed on my own and give what I could at the moment. It really taught me ever since then to always be on your game no matter what situation you are in – rehearsed, under-rehearsed, 1st cast, 4th cast, etc. The outcome was successful and I am forever thankful to Kathy Bennetts who staged this ballet.
What is the funniest thing that’s ever happened to you ?
Being called in for a model search when I was 12 years old. The lady came up to me and asked where I got my nose done. I was terrified and said I never did. She didn’t believe me. It was in California…
If you designed your own stage costume, what would you create ?
A costume that can fly without strings!
Who would play you in the film of your life ?
Harry Shum Jr. aka Mike Chang from the Glee cast.
What is your favourite quote?
Nothing ventured, nothing gained.
What’s on your iPod ?
Rihanna, Eminem, Sontelle. Killers, Jordan Sparks, Lady Gaga, Beyonce… the list goes on.
What makes you a good dance partner ?
Do you have a secret skill which no one knows about?
I can make/create jewelry and sculpt in plaster.
Describe yourself in just three words.
Forthright, determined, prudent.
In terms of your ballet career, where would you like to be this time next year?
Married, happy, successful.