Week 4 09.10.23 — 14.10.23
The full run went great, I didn’t forget anything and I remembered all my blocking and I got the words right. I’m really enjoying the sound our ensemble is making as well — I’m working really hard to find a more contemporary sound to work with what Dean wants. The other quintet has a very contemporary sound, so if I don't find a solution it will be a bit of a problem if I swap in because I won’t be able to blend with them well enough. I think I found it today which was exciting and I’ll keep working on it. We also had our sitzprobe and worked with the full band which was amazing. I loved hearing the ensemble together and the whole cast was really excited to hear our hard work coming together with the band and hear all the new colours. I found myself really enjoying our run through and interacting with the band members and the rest of the quintet as we sang felt really rewarding. I’m hoping to bring more of that into our scenes — we were told not to interact with each other on stage, but now we’re allowed to and I think we’re all having trouble getting back into it. It will be great to get into it a bit more.
First day in the theatre! It’s been a really long day which started with an induction into Hayes Theatre. We got our own dressing tables and even body mics which is really exciting because we thought we would be working with area mics. I had to work this morning, so I’ve really struggled with the late night, but I’m hoping the rest of the week will be easier. I’ve never done a tech week before, and I’m surprised at how stop and start it is. It seems obvious now that they would need to stop and figure out mics, lighting and all that, but I didn’t realise just how much goes into the lighting and how they programme everything in working. It’s also interesting to observe how they balance the mics, and each of the presets they do for different numbers, singing and for acting. I’m really enjoying the learning of this, but I am very tired.
I was really disappointed today that they took away our final piece of blocking. They've stripped back all the blocking and movement we've put in each week and today cut the walk we do onto and around the stage for The Weekend In the Country. I know its probably about the available space in the theatre and on the stage, but it does feel sometimes like they just want us in the production as little as possible.
My mental health has been pretty dodgy lately as well. While I'm enjoying the show and the music and interacting with the rest of the cast, the role and the internship hasn't been what I expected and it has been challenging to adjust my expectations. I've still learned a lot, and I have gained a lot of insights about musical theatre productions through this, but I wish they had kept their expectations of us consistent from the start. In week one they said we would be mostly part of the band and then they seemed to change their minds before going back to that idea, and I think that all the changes bothered me more than I thought they would and I did find it a bit discouraging because I felt like I wasn't doing well enough or proving that I could do the blocking. I also wish we had been given more opportunities for mentorship. It feels like we were expected to come in as professionals and already know exactly what to do and how to behave, so being new to musical theatre I didn't always understand what was expected of me. I think now that our role is primarily musical I'll feel a lot better because I know there can't be any changes to blocking, and I really am enjoying the music involved. I'm excited to get into the dress rehearsals.
We had our first run in the theatre today which was great and really helped us to figure out our blocking in the space, as well as look at how we could interact with the set more. The windows and frame don’t seem super sturdy, but it was great to interact more with the piano and to get a better idea of the set up in the band room. We had a lot of long waits while lighting and sound worked through their bits but it gave me a good chance to observe the principle cast and how they coped with things. It’s been great to get closer with them and learn about their careers and attitudes to different shows and musicals. The second half of the day is always really hard because I’m exhausted from the morning run and not at all a night owl. Knowing what I know now about tech week I’d definitely block out my calendar and commit to a good sleep in every day.
Same thing as yesterday, run in the afternoon and watching the armfelts perform in the dress rehearsal in the evening. I did more teaching this morning so I found I was just exhausted and moody all day. Today is our last full day before previews start tomorrow, so I’m excited for an early night and a shorter day! We got a cast announcement today as well which is lovely!
Previews start! I’m not on tonight but I’m pretty excited. I’m always a bit worried about forgetting my words — I’m a reasonably strong musician and memorising tunes and notes is really easy, but memorise lyrics, especially repetitive ones can be harder for me. The ‘Remember’ sections I find especially hard because i sing 3 different versions of it. I haven’t gotten it wrong yet but I don’t want the first time to be in the previews!
Our first preview went off without too many problems. I managed to make 2 mistakes, but nothing big which disrupted the show. I stumbled over some lyrics and forgot a chorus line in Weekend In The Country, but I’m pretty happy with everything else. There were a few mistakes with sound effects lagging or not going off which made things a bit difficult for the principle cast, but it was good to see how they worked to keep the show moving despite that. It was exciting to have an audience in the house as well and to experience how they responded to all our hard work.