So! Having auditioned and been accepted into the ensemble for a local community theatre group's presentation of Singin In The Rain was really, really exciting. I've sat in the theater since forever, wishing I were up there and not in my seat.
The ensemble means you're in all the crowd scenes (of which there are quite a few), you sing with the chorus, and you sing and (gulp) dance in the big finale. I've been going to music rehearsals and dance rehearsals and doing my best to impress everyone with my upbeat personality and hard work. I even shelled out for some pretty fabulous tap shoes so I can do my Gene Kelly best! And everyone has been very nice. Especially the lovely and talented Ilsa, who spent an hour with me in her garage tapping, and helped me pick out my fabulous shoes.
But even better, last night the stage manager, Jen, called to tell me that they've given me a line to speak! One line, four words, but hey! It's more than I expected!
But wait, there's more! There's also a scene where the Gene Kelly character is telling about his high-class upbringing and training for the theatre, while in the background the TRUE story is shown. One of the truths is that he and the Donald O'Connor character played burlesque shows doing a very slapstick clown routine. And I'm going to play one of the clowns! Rubber chickens, exploding cigars, etc ... what fun!
Ok, that's the good. Here's the bad: my dancing. Pee-yoo! I'm a stinker! I haven't a clue about this tap stuff! The rehearsals have been very discouraging. Everyone else seems to be picking it up but me. Of course, many of them have tapped before. I'm going to have to ask for individual help .. and/or stand in the back & remove the taps from my shoes so I don't make tap noises at the wrong times. I hope I don't have to do that!
But, never fear, I will persevere. There's still weeks left to practice, and there's nothing like a little fear to make you work hard. People talk about "muscle memory" like, it seems like a lot to learn, but with enough practice your muscles just start to "remember" what to do, and then it's just a matter of tuning up around the edges. I sure hope so!
Back step, ball change, back step, ball change, flap, flap, step, ball change. Back step, ball change, back step ... gotta go practice, see ya later!