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Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Go Go Jo - Act One

It's been a while since I posted anything, and it's been a busy few months.  OK; not mad busy, but for those of you who missed my facebook, G+ and Twitter updates; I recently took part in a local amateur dramatic production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.

Having attended the intial meeting and deciding to 'do it'; the rehearsals were a challenge on many levels.  This may come as a surprise to some; but I'm quite reserved with people I don't know.  Once I'm comfortable, I'll relax, and I don't mind getting involved.

For me, doing Joseph was a personal 'journey' to prove I could do something on a bigger scale than than the review show I'd done the previous summer.

Firstly; for those that don't know, Joseph is a musical.  There are no spoken lines; it's all song (and dance, but we'll come on to that later).

The Singing

I know the musical, have listened to the soundtrack on countless occasions, and seen the show a few times too.  However, nothing prepared me for the relative complexity of the harmonies present in the score.

I was one of Josephs' 11 brothers, and I'm not a natural singer; sure, I enjoy a sing-song; but usually to the tune (some would argue that I can't do that!) When asked to sing a harmony; it took all my concentration not to sing the tune - and I have to admit, I didn't always achieve the desired result!

On the other hand, I was offered the chance to sing solo for "One More Angel"; sung Western style!  I was excited to do it.  It was a challenge; and it took some time to get it right. At least, I think I got it right!

After a few rehearsals, we, as a company, began to make quite a pleasant sound.

The Dancing

As I mentioned earlier; until I know people, I can be quite shy.  At this stage of the proceedings; I was in my element, and not afraid to 'give it a go'.... 

So, to the choreography.  Once again, I don't consider myself a natural mover... I like to 'dance' of a fashion, but when asked to perform steps, I felt clumsy and totally out of my comfort zone.  The moves didn't seem to flow; I had trouble mastering the more physical dances; but with perseverance, and locking myself in my room at home and practising; I soon made something of the routines.

Robert, our director, knew what he wanted; and refused to settle for second best.
Debbie, our choreographer, also had exacting demands - and she pushed for the best.

For three months we toiled sweat (and tears) burning the calories and building up the confidence to perform.

Showtime

Costumes arranged, rehearsals over, it was soon time to 'do it'.  A four-night run at a local arts college was upon us.

The day before, we all met the orchestra; and sang along with them, as they rehearsed and it was at this time it felt so real.

All of a sudden our game lifted - this was it!

Monday evening.  Makeup, microphones, lighting, soundchecks.  Nerves started to jitter.  As a company, we were a little muted as we realised "this is it".  Anticipation within the audience was sky-high, as we had been cajoling our friends, friends friends, and their friends and anyone else, plus relatives to buy tickets; telling them that this was a show NOT to be missed.
This was a show where I'd be seen by people as never before!  On a personal level, I didn't want to disappoint.

The lights were dimmed.
The overture started.

Then we were off; our cue was upon us and out we stepped, a haze of people beyond the lights; the music flowed, the singing hit all the right notes (most of the time!) and the dancing was 'insane'!!

My solo went without a hitch; and my concerns about trying to sing whist out of breath proved to be unfounded.  I put it down to the huge quantities of adrenalin pumping round my system!!

From the first note of the overture, to the last note of Go Go Go Joseph, before the interval, it was a blur.
When the song ended, the audience cheered and clapped and we were smiling.
Feeling elated; we returned to the dressing room to prepare for Act Two.

I'll write about that next time.
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