Hello Gentle Reader!
It has been a great few weeks.
I am having a period of time that I am not fully accustomed to and instead of analyzing it, I am just trying to accept and grow with it.
You know how there are things that you know you can do, but you haven’t had a chance to show people? It feels like I can relax my shoulders more and take bigger breaths for the moment.
For those that haven’t seen the Instagram post, I have been given the opportunity to bring to life the character of John Proctor in Arthur Miller’s classic The Crucible! A dramatic role has been offered to moi? For the last decade and a half I have wanted to have a shot at something serious or even something dark. Aside from the Leading Player in Pippin, I have never had the chance to play with darker moments of shows. Weeelllll, I guess West Side Story… twice… So after I worked for Pear Theatre in their anthology of original works last year, I had a bigger yearning to do something serious because it felt so good to play these characters that felt mature and more solidly grounded (one was an absent father, another was a hurricane survivor trying to rebuild their home with his wife) than what I usually play.
I almost, ALMOST, let my own doubts and fear get to me and keep me from attending the callbacks or round 2 of auditions, for those that aren’t familiar. Not even doubts about my ability to do any of the roles in this play, but doubts about whether it would be a traditionally cast production. The play is about a small town of Puritans in the 1690’s during the Witch Trials near Salem, Massachusetts, so I was debating if it was just going to be a waste of time to go.
I changed my work schedule specifically for this reason so even though one of my doubts was that I would never make it on time to rehearsals, I already had planned for this. Then, I thought about the time that I was offered a really cool role of a Devil by a casting director of a show but had the director say that they were going to split the role into 3 parts and I would play the aspect that was more energetic and movement based. That brought up some bad vibes for a bit but then I thought about how I stood up for myself and agreed that the contract I signed would be broken and I wanted a new one. Since they wouldn’t give me a new contract, they just paid me for the role and released me from the contract as if completed. It was fine by me. I was a little mad at first, but I was paid in full and “won” the “argument.” I didn’t expect to get a check in the mail. LOL. But that was a very important lesson to learn.
But, Dear Reader, I went and did the thing!
And even though I wondered if I made the right choices or strong enough choices to embody the script once I was released from the room, I felt great that I just powered through that fear. I know that I had said a few lines wrong and I think it may have thrown off the actors I was working with. The intent was the same but the wrong cue line is kind of a bummer. So I did feel bad about that. Man, can you imagine? I said “You shall not speak of my wife!” instead of “You shall not speak of Elizabeth!” and the surprise made the other actor not get the part? Oh, I would feel so bad! I hope that didn’t happen.
So, yeah, the thing was done.
The other thing is that I have been working with a vocal coach sporadically. We have a bit of trouble syncing our schedules, but there is a comfortability and a trust that I have with them that makes the sessions feel like all these little light bulbs of knowledge are lighting up. Recently, some shows were announced that I thought, “YES! I want to be a part of that!” So I found an audition song that I think would be fantastic for one of them. My coach usually stops our warm ups at about an A but this song’s ending has a great phrase of just hopping from E to G’s and then popping up higher for the ending. He says “Ok, let’s give this a go” after we worked through any sort of rhythmic or diction issues. So I sing it like I will be singing it at auditions and he just stares at me for a few seconds.
“Where the hell have you been hiding that B? At full voice?!”
He was excited about how easy the E-G phrase was to do and then to blast out that ending made him wide eyed. 😂
He said he is looking forward to the next session because of this new information and we have yet to really dig in to falsetto, so I don’t know how much higher I can actually go.
Kind Reader, I have always been hesitant to say I can sing. I know what I can do, but I feel like my sound is more like a sing in the shower kind of sound. Since I started these sessions, I do feel like I have grown as a vocalist. I still hesitate to say, I’m a singer so I will just say, give me a bucket and I can carry a tune. 😂
With all of this new input and outcomes, I am a little mad at myself for being afraid or for choosing self sabotage (because let’s face it, I did choose it) when I know that these are things that I can do. I started to spiral out thinking about all the chances not taken and what my projects would have looked like and would I have been more confident because of it. However, on the other side of the coin, many of the projects that I did work on are like little treasures to me. Maybe this was the lesson I was supposed to learn?
I guess we will just have to wait and see.
Well, Gentle Reader, I cannot say thank you enough for letting me bend your ear once again. I have already been considering trying a new tactic for helping me associate how I feel about the different characters, but first I have to see if I can match up all of them, then I will let you know how it goes.
Until next time, stay safe and alert and be kind to yourself and those around you.