Monday, April 11, 2011

Entering the Black Hole

A couple of years ago I decided that I wanted to try my hand at some musical theater. I ended up trying out for a community play that the city of Boise puts on as part of Boise Music Week (I would link you to their site but there isn't much there). That year we did Brigadoon, and I landed the role of Charles McPherson Dalrymple.

This was my first time being in a show, but I could fake act, kind of dance, and sing pretty decently, so they gave me a semi-lead role. I was happy. Until it got close to the performances.

You see, the last month of rehearsals ran from 6:00 to 10:00 every weekday. You can only go through the motions of singing the same songs and practicing the same lines so many times in an empty warehouse that has tape on the floor for staging before it doesn't become fun. Having experienced this, I told myself that it was fun, but I really didn't want to spend that much time away from my family again. It was too much of a time black hole.

Music Week is coming up again in about three weeks. This year they are doing Bye Bye Birdie. One of Wifey's cousins is in the show, and happened to send me an email telling me that they were desperate for a quartet for a bar scene. If you want to view part of it featuring Uncle Jesse from Full House fame, take a peek at the video below.

I was a bit reluctant, but ended up agreeing because I knew they were in a pinch and I knew that I would be singing with family. I mean, how bad could it be with the show only three weeks away? I'm only doing one song, so I figured that I could get in and out pretty quickly.

And then I got more details from the director. She wanted us there every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday starting at 6:00.

*audible gulp*

Tonight was my first night. I showed up fashionably late (because I figured that the first half hour would be vocal warmups like they had been previously). I found a general disarray, but saw my father-in-law and uncle-in-law huddled around the piano on the other side of the "stage" (which once again, was just a bunch of tape). I jumped in and grabbed a piece of music and started singing along.

I know that the musical lady was used to helping people learn their parts, but we worked on the song for about 25 minutes and she insisted on playing each of the parts individually. She missed one of my parts, and I just sang it (because I'm used to sight reading piano music which is much more complicated than sight reading a vocal line with one voice). She stopped herself and said, "Oh, we didn't go over that tenor part for you, did we?" I told her that we didn't need to and that we could pick it up along the way.

The good news was I was out of there in less than a half an hour. And I also learned that I won't be required to be there for as much as the director had originally suggested. I'm going back tomorrow and we are bringing our own keyboard (because they don't have two pianos), and then I won't have to go back until maybe Saturday. I'm hoping that if we have our own keyboard that we can skip out on the musical director trying to teach us our parts.

In short, tonight I entered the black hole yet again. I am hoping that it won't be as crazy as the past years (because I'm not doing as big of a commitment as previous years), but I'll let you know.

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