Synopses & Reviews
What happens when you take a dedicated figure skater, add sequins and feather headdresses, and plunk her down on a portable ice rink in South America? In her hilarious and heartfelt memoir, Kathryn Bertine tells the strange-but-true story of what life is really like behind the glitz and glamour of professional skating.
Bertine's childhood dream comes true when she earns a place in a touring ice show. After all those years of predawn lessons, serious competitions, and grueling practices, she is finally going to skate at a professional level. But as she travels through the back roads of Chile and Argentina in a rickety bus with the international cast of Hollywood on Ice, she wonders if this was exactly the dream she had in mind. Gone are the days of athleticism and artistry. In a costume trailer that doubles as a dressing room, Hollywood on Ice is half Disney, half Playboy. The skaters apply false eyelashes the size of caterpillars and wriggle into progressively more revealing costumes from the Little Mermaid to the Flintstones to Flashdance. Some performers dress up as animals; some real animals actually skate. The undeniable showstopper is the Michael Jackson number, starring a middle-aged blond with a beer belly that is barely contained by his flashy spandex costume.
But Kathryn Bertine is no quitter, and she sticks it out with laugh-out-loud humor and unfailing grace through backstage rivalries and dreaded Sunday night weigh-ins, through ant-infested hotel rooms and terrifying quantities of stage makeup. But as she comes to fully understand the differences between showbiz and sports, Bertine must make the hardest choice of her life. Anyone who has known or been a little girl dreaming of becoming a skater, dancer, or professional athlete will find here a poignant, funny, and utterly winning story of a young woman's courage, resolve, and grace under pressure.
"[A] no-holds-barred memoir....[Bertine's] book should serve as a cautionary tale for ambitious young people who hope to make it to the top in the sports world." Publishers Weekly
"[H]its a literary triple lutz...insightful, honest, and best of all, irreverent..." Larry Colton, author of Counting Coup: A True Story of Basketball and Honor on the Little Big Horn
"Bertine offers both interesting highlights and boring personal trivia. Vivid descriptions of how she became a competitive skater and then a cast member of several shows make for engaging reading..." Library Journal
"Bertine...illuminates with vivid detail the glossy but eccentric corners of the professional figure skating business..." Kirk Johnson, author of To the Edge: A Man, Death Valley, and the Mystery of Endurance
In the tradition of Anthony Bourdain's Kitchen Confidential and Jim Bouton's classic Ball Four, Bertine humorously and honestly dishes the dirt about the little-known dark side of a seemingly glamorous world.
Anyone who has known or been a little girl dreaming of becoming
a skater, ballerina, or professional athlete will love this comic, heartfelt memoir
about what happens after those dreams come true. After years of intensive training,
Bertine finally becomes a professional figure skater and finds herself
traveling through South America with "Hollywood on Ice," a portable ice rink and
an international cast of odd characters in tow. At show time, the costume trailer
is transformed into a bizarre half-Disney, half-Penthouse maelstrom of activity
as the skaters apply false eyelashes the size of caterpillars and wriggle into
ever more revealing costumes from The Little Mermaid to Flashdance.
Some performers dress as farm animals and others are the real thing: an actual
cow, duck, and chicken take the ice in their very own skates. But the real show-stopper
is the Michael Jackson number, starring a blond, middle-aged Canadian whose beer
belly barely fits into his flashy spandex costume. When Bertine realizes that
going pro means betraying all her athletic ideals, she plots a daring escape straight
out of Mission Impossible breaking into a safe to steal back her
passport between the Barbie scene and the Flintstones on Ice number! A
vivid and entertaining account of the darker side of showbiz, All the Sundays
Yet to Come is also a poignant and utterly winning story of a female athlete's
spirit and perseverance.
About the Author
Kathryn Bertine is a former professional figure skater and currently competes as an elite triathlete. She graduated from Colgate University and holds an MFA in nonfiction from the University of Arizona. Her essays have appeared in numerous publications, most recently in ESPN: The Magazine. She lives in Boulder, Colorado.
Table of Contents
1. The Trailer 3
2. Life Within the Electric Pet Fence 13
3. Murray's 28
4. Holiday on Ice Entrance to the Raisin Stage 46
5. What Might Have Once Been Dino 83
6. The Museum 90
7. Pandora's G-String 97
8. The Birth of Captain Graceful 116
9. The Challenge of an Altered Dream 134
10. Sundays Past, Sundays Present 140
11. The Love of Something 158
12. A World of Ice and Water 166
13. Dream Deferred 194
14. In Search of Greatness 203
15. Walking with the Plankton 215
16. Dinosaurs and Aneurysms on the Drive to Nigeria 224
17. Finishing the Moment 243
18. Operation Sunday 257
19. Stunning Revelations 267
20. Rowing with the Predator 272
21. Detonation 281
22. Reconstruction 288