It's been 2 years since I was last on stage (The Wild Party, also with New Line Theatre)--and I must admit, even though Marie LaSalle's one big number is a favorite of mine...I spent the better part of the day, yesterday, freaking out about having to sing it again in front of people I absolutely believe are some of the most talented artists in town.
Everyone always says, "It's just like riding a bike!" The fact of the matter is, though, that the first time I got back on a bike after having not ridden one in awhile, I managed to propel myself head-first over the handle-bars on a very busy Saturday morning on Delmar in The Loop. Had to walk the bike home, bloodied and bruised (while surely the wall of freaks--most of whom were my friends at the time--were laughing heartily at my expense). This is, perhaps, not the best metaphor to use when trying to convince me to do something...
As Dick would say, however, "It's no problem."
Over the past 3 years I have been learning a lot about what's real and what is not...and becoming certain that uncomfortable situations are actually opportunities to uncover incredible blessings, and this was no different.
I have the esteemed honor of having the sensational Sarah Porter as my back-up singer (last time around it was the amazing Lori White), and our voices just seem to have been created to blend together. And, she is absolutely hilarious, which is something I appreciate almost more than anything else! We both had our moments of struggle, but in the end, it was clear that not only is this a beautiful ballad, but its humor sneaks up on the audience to help form a wonderful blend of beautiful and silly, accented nicely with a fairly large dose of neurotically scary. These two women will be familiar in the most disturbing way...and I LOVE that!
What I think shocked me the most, though, was when Scott gave us a "Pop Quiz" on the first song we'd learned Monday night--and I actually knew my part! I mean, it was familiar, and I could actually follow along, and had a pretty good idea of what the sound of the whole things was supposed to be. Honestly? My music education was long enough ago that I'm not even going to use a number to define the time period (I'm sure you can guess), and it has not been something that I've kept up with in any sort of serious way. There are times when I look at the score with all of those notes and the 3 different lines of lyrics, and I'm not even sure which section I'm supposed to be using. I am much better at hearing the music than reading it, which (when surrounded by so many hugely talented musicians) can be very intimidating!
BUT!!! During New Line's first production of High Fidelity, I didn't come on stage until my own song--so I would watch the show from behind the audience, and the opening number was always one of my very favorites (you'll hear me say that about almost every song in this show, actually; whatever song is being performed at the moment is my favorite song). I loved to watch the energy on stage and listen to the incredible harmonies...and I guess maybe it paid off. Last night as we went over the opening number a couple of times, I found myself going back to that place in my brain when I had watched/listened to that opening number in 2008 (probably about 18 times)--and I knew it in my bones.
It was pretty cool.
In any case, I have a healthy dose of humility, combined with an incredible passion for this show and these people--and I am not Ready to Settle for anything less than giving 100% of myself to this production. It is so good to be back in the rehearsal process, and I cannot think of another situation I would rather be in, right now, than this one!
Love and Light,