My first day of rehearsals, here we go!
Was I scared? … Well, is the sky blue?
Shows like this one usually rehearse for four to six weeks. At first I thought that’s not enough time for us to be ready but as soon as we started, I learned that 6 weeks is enough. Why? Because everyone just seemed so quick to pick up everything. Like everyone was in a hurry. Actually, some of the cast already did the show back in 2014. I automatically felt “professional”.
As a newbie in the theatre industry, you tend to make a lot of mistakes and eventually learn from them. So, I’m going to share with you some of the things I learned during our rehearsals.
DO: Show some confidence!
Not too much though. Just enough for them to know that you are a good company member. I remember seeing everyone for the first time and I thought, “wow they all seem so confident. Why am I even here?”
I just randomly smiled at anyone and tried to remember all of their names. Some people say that a smile can go a long way but in this industry, you have to PRESENT yourself. Just do it naturally. You have to be able to let them know that you’re there. First impressions matter!
It might also help you get comfortable rehearsing with people you’re starting to be friends with.
DON’T: skip a good warm up.
I know I said we should be friendly but do not waste your time with too much chatting, especially if you’re new, or if you’ve been enjoying a FUNemployment phase. You HAVE to be able to know how to warm yourself properly. This was a mistake I did. I realised that I neglected the importance of stretching. I was so excited to get on with the choreography!
DON’T: Mark the choreography too much
I’ve heard that marking is a good way to learn the dance quickly. For me, I say you can mark it at first. If you’re now trying to do it, you have to know how it really feels. After all, it’s about the emotions, right?
DO: Ask for help.
After trying so hard to do the “American Dream” dance, I’ve decided that I might need some help. I didn’t want to embarrass myself again the next day. So I asked the Assistant Dance Captain to help me. In the beginning I was terrified because they might think, “oh why is she even here if she can’t do one dance properly”. But no, the scenes that you see in movies aren’t real! They’re not mean! haha! Can you imagine how naive I was?
We practised for an hour everyday before the actual rehearsals start. And I continued to practise it until the end of the second contract.
PRACTICE IS KEY!
DO: Take notes if you can
I have a bad memory so I carry a notebook with me during rehearsals. This helped me practise all the notes(the stuff you need to improve) they gave me.
DO:Prepare healthy snacks and lunch
My liking for rice has been put to use! Although not too healthy when you eat too much, it provides me energy. But maybe throw in some smoothies from time to time. AND WATER, WATER, WATER!
DO:Take the time to rehearse on your own
Chances are there would be empty studios that you can use on your break time. I remember being very impatient that I wanted to learn the “Kim songs” right away. I would go to a studio and just practise my audition songs in front of the big mirror and then someone would come in and I would be too shy. It’s usually another “cover”. So in the end, we would all practise and be each other’s audience. Always a good way of building up your confidence.
This is also a very good tip for covers/understudies. If you can, you should definitely study ahead of time.
There you go. I’m sure I would learn more in the future. Until then, hope this helps those who are currently in the Musical Theatre program.
Miss Saigon UK and Ireland Tour 2017-2018
Also, here’s hoping that we professionals can go back to our shows soon!