Wednesday, April 21, 2010

That's a Yellow Shirt...That's Nice...

"I didn't know last night I'd married into such a handsome family!"
"Well, last night we had our clothes on."

Seven Brides for Seven Brothers!

...or, filtered through Terry Pratchett's imagination, 7 Dwarfs for 7 Other Dwarfs.

A couple of weeks now, since closing night, and I still feel uneasy around 6:00 Monday evenings, like I'm supposed to be doing something that I've forgotten.

Let me say that I loved working with Muad'Dib and Sayyadina on this show. I enjoyed their interpretation of the script, discussing how certain things could be read, different ways to say the same things. They let the cast know that it would be different from other productions of 7 Brides, and they were completely right. I definitely loved learning more about how they perceive things, as evidenced by the different ways they would block scenes, and how the whole thing would come together as the cast trusted their direction. It was wonderful to watch everyone relax into their roles, to the point where even backstage a lot of the cast called each other by their characters' names, while onstage magic would unfold as we were people, not caricatures.

I learned, and was reminded of, a great deal about myself during these last couple of months. For one thing, I am a terrible liar. I wear my emotions on my sleeve, and I'm pretty sure that everyone around me can tell what I'm thinking most of the time. Subtle, I am not. What this meant was that I had to be in-character on stage. No one wants to watch Shematite be a terrible liar on a stage in a dress, so I had to make sure that I wasn't Shematite, I was Milly.

Of course, being Milly came with its own lessons. Working with Sayyadina and Jeremy, I learned a great deal about marriage and relationships, the way I handle stress and arguments. I learned that I have never learned how to argue. I suggest reading Sayyadina's blog to get her side of teaching me how to argue. As for my side of that story, I felt sick to my stomach and like I was just repeating myself over and over gesticulating wildly and making Sayyadina feel bad, all at the same time. I trusted her, however, that this was the right thing to do. Once she and I figured out that what I needed to do was keep in mind that I knew what I was talking about, darn it, and he was wrong, everything fell into place. Every night, right before that scene, I would mentally be teaching Jeremy how to rappel. This is your harness, and you put it on like this. No, that's not how you do it. If you would let me help you, you would get it right. Now, this is how you set an anchor. No, you have to loop the webbing like this. If you do it like that you'll fall to your death and I'll have to haul your carcass back by myself. Just do what I tell you. Now, this is an ATC...

Musically, the part of Milly was not in my ideal range. In fact, it was in the basement. The flooded basement. I worked hard on the songs, and focused on getting the sound right. However, it seems I sounded the best when I wasn't thinking about it. Thank goodness for years of vocal training!

And the dancing! I knew from previous experience in Play Productions in High School that dancing come easily to me. In fact, down at SUU where the usual question was "What's you're Major?" I was instead often asked "Are you a Dance Major?" No, I'm not sure why. Anyways, this was all put to very good use. Sayyadina and Alisha both pointed out to me that Milly doesn't usually dance that much, but they worked me anyway. With all the lifts and flips and such, I definitely learned more about what I'm physically capable of.

Most of all, I was blessed to work with an amazing cast. Everyone was friends, and we all worked and played together. It seemed like every other day there was some sort of get-together, and even though I didn't go to very many of them, I was still glad that we were all getting along so well. It wasn't just the main cast, either. The suitors and the townsfolk worked hard on the show, helping backstage with props and set changes and costume changes, not to mention the little morale-boosting remarks I got from every single one of them. Of note was the suitor the girls dubbed "Mister Intrigue", always letting me know what I was doing well on any given night, and Mr. Bixby always greeting me with a "Milly, you're so pretty!", and Mrs. Perkins and the understudy girls helping me with my props and costumes.

It felt amazing to dive back into the world of musical theatre after a two-year hiatus. I'd forgotten how much I loved it, the people, the singing, the dancing and all. Not to mention all the lessons learned from the experience.

And now, onward and upward! I am now registered to take classes at an institution of higher learning over the summer. I'll be enjoying it, and don't you forget it!


Sayyadina said...

That was wonderful! I can't even tell you how happy I am that you enjoyed the experience. Hey, it looks like maybe we both attend an institution of higher learning every time we do a play. It was fun learning with and from you. Thank you for your trust. And your talent. You were perfect.

Sayyadina said...

P.S. I hope you do more.

WildBound said...

you go girl! Thanks for sharing your learning!

Pulcheria said...

Way to go! I wish we could have seen the show. But I am glad to hear what you learned from the experience. And as for this summer - you go girl!!

Desertbound said...

Proud mom. That's me! Love you!

CowboyBob said...

Proud Grandpa. That's me! Love you!