Paul Soter

Have you seen Fiddler on the Roof? If not, you should. It’s the greatest musical about horrible things done to Jews you’ll ever watch. And it was my proper introduction to show business.

The year was 1986. Wow. To put that in perspective, that’s the year that Aruba became independent from neighbor island Curacao. Can you believe I’ve been acting for that long? (you’d never know, right?)

I sang my heart out in that high-school audition, and was rewarded with the role of Russian Dancer/Jewish Dancer. My first audition and I got cast in TWO ROLES! Two non-speaking, background roles. What a challenge! To portray the awful pogroms of Eastern Europe from both sides of the coin. (via non-verbal dance movement)

Anyway, the highlight of this production (and any other production of Fiddler on the Roof for that matter) is the scene where the Jewish Dancers place bottles on top of their big, boxy, Orthodox hats and dance around the room. High-school kids are spazzes, so it seemed like a daunting task to keep all five of us Jewish Dancers from spilling our bottles. And so our director, Mister Farley came up with the genius idea of putting Velcro on the top of our hats (and the bottom of the bottles). Well guess what, on the big night, even with all that Velcro, all of the dancers other than me managed to knock their bottles over. By the end of the stirring musical sequence, I was the only 16 year old dressed up as an old Jewish man who still had his bottle upright. For that, I was singled out in the Arapahoe High School yearbook as Dancer of the Year. And more impressively, I managed not to get my ass kicked after that!

Long story short, that’s how I learned the invaluable piece of show biz advice that I still use to this very day: put Velcro on everything.