Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Mama, I Want to Sing.

A little bit. I was just going through some of my theater records last night, and realized that it happens to be six years this very month since I had a lead in a musical. And 5 whole years since I have even been in the chorus of one.

Years ago it was my practice to try out for at least one musical a year or so. And I usually got in.Maybe because men are hard to come by in community theatre, but also because I do sing reasonably well. People in the know have told me so.

All of these musicals were at one theatre. But due to some nasty personal issues with the management, I don't audition for shows at the place anymore in recent years. And the theatre I spend most of my time in now doesn't generally do musicals. (Though they are planning to do one next year.)

I won't go back to that first theatre I mentioned until the horrible management changes. But I do think it is time for me to enter the world of the musical again for another brief stay.

Some people only do musicals, and some never do them. Obviously I fall into neither camp, but I can sympathize with those who never do them. Even if you sing well and enjoy doing so, musicals are so much extra work, what with musical rehearsals and dance rehearsals, and in most cases the feeling of having more than one director. (Director, musical director and choreographer.) They are a more stressful type of production for everyone under the best of circumstances.

Not to mention I hate musical auditions, musical rehearsals, I cannot harmonize, and I can't read music. It would seem to disqualify me. Not to mention that 90% of directors make the horrible mistake of casting great singers who cannot act, as opposed to good actors who can sing, or be taught to do so with practice. When I am in a musical character and acting remain at the top of my priorities, which means when I sing, I do so in character. And when my role is large enough for at least one solo, and everything else goes just right, musicals can provide a certain type of satisfaction that a straight show cannot. They can get old after a while, which is why I only do them periodically, but lately I have missed some of the unique qualities they offer to me.

Even with my long hiatus, I won't try out for just any musical. I prefer some depth to the story. I'd rather not just be in the chorus. (Too much work for too little high.) The less dancing that is required, the better. (Loyal blog readers know of my ineptitude with dance.) And I find that usually big scale musicals are the most fun. (Though one of the biggest and most satisfying roles I ever had in a musical was in this small, more intimate show.)

So, for the first time in a while, I will be perusing the local musical offerings, and pondering in the back of my mind eight bars of music I could learn how to sing, without needing to read them on the page. And if I decide on going for it, you, loyal blog readers, will be among the first to know.


Swollen Foot said...

I understand this feeling! I've been in 3 musicals in my 'career' and the last one (Sweeney Todd) must've been about 3 years ago. I'd like to do one again but it's a case of finding the right company, etc. There's nothing worse than being part of a terrible musical! :)

Ty Unglebower said...

I very much agree. A musical, as I said, is extra stress and effort even in the best of circumstances. If you have a director you don't like, well then it can be pretty close to a miserable experience. (I have been there as well.)