This week on Jane Radio, I was joined in the studio by two real-life, fully-costumed Radio City Rockettes named (conveniently?) Angela and Mary, a publicist and a BIG bodyguard. I subjected them to the Same Five Questions We Always Ask, and got short, sweet, wholesome answers. Who can blame them? They do represent Christmas, after all.
On my side of things: I am clearly dark, dirty, and my moral compass is way off-center. That's what hit me in the chest from the moment their CLEAN presences entered my grimy one (both literally and figuratively -- I hadn't showered in two days).
Jane: I’m really excited now. I’m joined in the studio by Angela and Mary. You’re Radio City Rockettes, and you look it… Lord have mercy! Madeline, take some pictures! I have so many things that I want to know, and I’m sure that you get these questions a lot. Just to start out, you’re both absolutely gorgeous gorgeous, for people listening, head-to-toe gorgeous.
Angela: Thank you.
Mary: Thank you.
Jane: What are you doing to maintain that gorgeous-ity?
Anglea: Well, honestly, we’re performing at Radio City Music Hall with the Christmas Spectacular, and we do up to four shows a day. About a hundred shows. So that’s how we maintain our physique.
Jane: So that’s tons of exercise every single day.
Angela: During this time of year absolutely. Up to January second we do about a hundred shows. So that’s what we’re doing this Christmas season! In the Christmas Spectacular we do about 300 kicks per show. So we need our rest.
Jane: And those kicks are so high that they’re practically hitting you in the face. As high as you can get ‘em?
Mary: Toe to the level of your own eye.
Jane: “Toe to the level of your own eye.” I could never in ten million years do that. Some of this has to be genetic. Do you have be a certain height? A certain weight?
Angela: I’ve been dancing since I was three years old. To be a Radio City Rockette you have to be between 5’6” and 5’10.5”. You have to be proficient in tap, jazz, and ballet— also working really hard and loving Christmas, of course!
Jane: You guys are tall! I didn’t realize that part of it because you all look the same height on stage…
Angela: The illusion that we create in the Christmas Spectacular is we put the tallest girls in the center and we go out to do the less-tall women. It gives the illusion that we’re all the same height.
Jane: That’s smart! I’ve already given up hope of being a Rockette because I’m not 5’6”, but I was thinking about your legs and I was gonna have you tell me if my legs could make it, because the legs are probably the most important part, right?
Mary: I think so.
Angela: It’s what we’re most known for, to be honest.
Jane: So I was gonna show you my legs. Granted, they’re not shaven right now. Tell me if you think there is any possibility that I could make it as a Rockette if I were 5’6”. Here’s the leg. [Pulls up dirty denim pant-leg and sticks leg out.] You guys probably have to shave regularly, right? Do you?
Angela: We are in about 9 different costumes that really show off our legs. So…
Mary: But we do wear tights. So for those days when you’re lazy…
Jane: So for one lazy day in between. Not like my version. I’m going on close to three weeks or something.
Mary: I think you look great.
Jane: So these legs would qualify?
Angela: Absolutely. You’d fit right in with us.
Jane: Thank you! I feel so much better.
Jane: Ok, the audition process. You’re two of many, many, many girls who had this dream to be a Rockette. What was the audition process like and how did you get chosen?
Angela: Well I have been dancing since I was three, and have wanted to be a Rockette since I was as young as I can remember. I would watch them on the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade every year. So when I was a senior in college, I went and auditioned for the Rockettes. And it’s grueling. It’s a two-day process in which they teach you a dance combination, then cut. Then they teach you another dance combination, then cut. You know, tap, jazz, and ballet. It is very rigorous process for two days. They slowly whittle down the pool to a few individuals. And then a few months later you’ll get the call. Which for me was “Ahhhh!” It was obviously a dream come true.
Mary: Or you won’t, which happened to me a few times. It took me four different auditions before I finally got the job; so I think tenacity and determination are also very key elements to becoming a Rockette. But when you do finally get that call, it’s amazing.
Jane: I’m going to ask you the Same Five Questions we always ask on my website and on this radio show. What pills do you take every day?
Angela: I take a multivitamin.
Mary: I take a multivitamin, and, especially now, vitamin C! As you can tell, being a Radio City Rockette does not make you immune to the common cold.
Jane: I was wondering! Your voice is super sexy.
Mary: Oh thanks.
Jane: Is that partly a cold?
Mary: A little bit.
Jane: Just work it. It’s working. Who is on your celebrities to make out with list? If you could pick any celebrity to make out with…
Mary: Oh gosh, I don’t know.
Angela: Too many to choose.
Mary: Maybe they should come down to the show and then I’ll pick amongst them.
Jane: Hey, they would probably love that. Ok, I’m going to make a guess about where this is going to go, but, I interview a whole range of people: What’s the closest you’ve ever come to being arrested?
Angela: I don’t have a story for that!
Mary: I’ve never even been pulled over in the car.
Angela: This time of year especially, we’re just kicking, sleeping, or eating.
Jane: Have you never been pulled over because you don't EVER speed?! Or have you just never been caught?
Mary: I would never speed. I am a law-abiding citizen.
[At this point, I realized there was no way I was going ask Angela or Mary if they had ever faked an orgasm… Especially with their giant bodyguard hovering in the back of the studio.]
Jane: I’ve never been arrested either, by the way. So, what’s your favorite song on your iPod?
Angela: I think as dancers we’re always inspired by music. I wouldn’t say that there is one song—it’s just always what inspires you in that moment.
Mary: I’m recently listening to the new She & Him Christmas album; it’s really fun. “Baby It’s Cold Outside” is always one of my favorites, and it’s actually in our show. So there’s a little sassy moment where we get to dance to that.
Jane: The last of the questions is usually: what’s the grossest or most surprising thing in your purse. But for you guys, do you carry around a dance bag?
Jane: Is there something in there that people would not expect?
Mary: I have a golf ball.
Jane: Oh, good one.
Mary: I actually use it to roll my feet on. So it helps when my feet are cramping up after the day. Or during the day. I’ll roll it on the golf ball.
Jane: That sounds fantastic. I might try that actually. I used to dance. I was not good, but I wanted to dance and I put on toe shoes I should not have been wearing. So I have what they call dancer’s feet even though I’m not the dancer to go along with it. It’s the worst of both. But whatever. That sounds like it would feel really good-- a golf ball right up under the arch.
Mary: Especially after a long day. Or a show day.
Jane: Do you have anything in yours that people would be surprised about, Angela?
Angela: Just lots and lots of food.
Jane: Food! Yeah! You must have to eat a lot, even though you’re so slim, with all that jumping and moving.
Mary: It’s true. It’s just like, replenish the calories; I can’t get enough.
Jane: You got through the Same Five Questions, and you did brilliantly! Yay! Unscathed.
Angela: For anybody that wants to see what we do on a daily basis, please come to the Christmas Spectacular. You can go to RadioCityChristmas.com. Find out about all of our shows. We’re not only in New York; we’re in Boston, Durham, and Nashville. We’re in all these different cities and you can all find out about us.
Jane: Thank you so much for being here!
If you want to hear the full version of this interview listen to Jane Radio (Sirius XM channel 107) tonight at 7pm EST. Thanks.