I made a discovery today at rehearsal. I can sing in a 9:30am rehearsal after a short night of sleep after a performance of Carmen after a long day of rehearsals. After several long days, actually. The singing comes pretty easily, as long as I don’t push it. Just let the voice come out with whatever it has to give me at the time.
What I can’t do is let go of my focus during all the physical comedy that I am doing in this role! My shoes for the ball scenes are 3 ½ inch red stilettos, shoes that I am absolutely in love with, but they take A LOT of concentration. I wore them for about three hours yesterday, taking them off whenever possible, but the effect was the same. My feet don’t hurt, believe it or not, but my body is aching from all the extra effort those shoes require. Keeping balanced, walking with smaller steps, not to mention all the funny posing and running around I do when I’m in character. It’s a workout. And I was really feeling the cumulative effects of all this physical exertion this morning.
I’d been missing little things all morning – a turn of the head, being just a fraction late to get to my spot, etc. Things that told me I was really tired and not as “sharp” as I need to be in a rehearsal. About an hour into the rehearsal, we were working out the details of a complex exit, one involving chairs and screaming and running back and forth and opening doors. All in those fabulous heels… And so, at one point, when I turned to grab my chair and run out the door, I bit the dust. Hard.
Even before Dan, our stage manager, could say the magic words that press “Pause” in a rehearsal, I heard them in my own head: “Hold, please.” I knew I was ok, but my tired body was asking me to “hold, please.” Please, go back to bed!
I knew I was ok because I knew that I fell well. If you spend enough time on stage, you will eventually have to fall down, and I’ve been on stage in some capacity for over 20 years, if you can believe that. Somewhere along the line, someone taught me how to fall. (Maybe Ms. Stettler, my jr. high drama teacher; I could write an entire post about all the things she taught me…) Now, even when it’s an accident, I fall on the right parts of my body (the softer ones), avoiding injury even when toppling off of 3 ½ inch stilettos.
I got a good nap this afternoon and have only a quiet dinner planned for this evening. So with some rest and only three hours of rehearsal tomorrow, I think I’ll be able to focus.