A Christmas Miracle

"Hey Dad!"

"What's up, Matt?"

"A few things. I'm in the ER right now."

"What? How did you end up there? Are you okay?"

"Battle scene. The doctor just called me in. I hit my head on the lights, but I have to go now. I will call you later, but I am okay."

That is not a call a dad wants to hear ever that their child is the ER, and I also was super shallow with the details, so that didn't help the situation.

But seriously-

I am fine.

The real question is, how the heck did a ballet dancer end up in the ER for a head injury?

I am still searching for an answer to that question, but here is what I do know that happened. As you know, one of the roles that I danced in Ballet Austin's The Nutcracker is a rat. At the very end of the battle scene, after Clara kills the Rat King, me and another rat drag the Rat King off stage. As we get into the wings, the weight of the Rat King brings me back.

I kept going backwards.

All of a sudden-


I slammed my right side of my head into this huge, metal lighting boom. 

No bueno.

I get backstage and fall to the ground. I am in a ton of pain at this point. I get my rat head off and get ice to my head. After cooling down- literally and figuratively- I feel the inside of my ear, and I see blood on my finger. 

Me in my Nephew Costume for Ballet Austin's Nutcracker's Party Scene!


that could be bad.

I try to get the bleeding to stop, but at this point, I need to get ready to finish the show. I still had Spanish and Russian to perform in the second act.

I do the performance, but I was very light headed... probably not best, but I was not going to not perform. Luckily, my friend Nicole and her boyfriend, took me to the ER. 

The doctor takes a look at my head and ear. No concussion or some crazy, internal bleeding. I just have a small laceration within my ear canal. The corner of a light must have gone inside my ear and cut my ear canal. 

Just a simple cut.

After all the dramatics of the situation it was just a simple cut.

Only Matthew Gattozzi would end up with an injury like this... if you could call it an injury. I do get worker's compensation for the ER visit which is fantastic so I guess it is OFFICIALLY an injury.


a very hilarious, unfortunate cut.

But I survived the battle scene and the rest of the other scenes because I AM DONE WITH NUTCRACKER FOR 2016! 

Me in my Prince costume for Ballet Austin's Nutcracker

What is even more amazing is that I was able to fly home for Christmas Eve, something I have not been able to do since I moved away two years ago. As a dancer, I am on layoff. I do not have any responsibilities until I get back to the studios January 9th, 2017. Till then, I will be home in Boston, hanging with family and friends.

I not only write for this blog, but I do a few other visual projects. This past week on my #engagethecommunity segment, which you can see HERE- Ballet Austin's the Nutcracker was my community. So while I enjoy some time with the fam bam, you should watch this video I made. Make sure to keep in touch on social media, and follow all my adventures!