This past week I performed The Mikado at a local community theatre. It was probably the most fun I have had in years! I was in the chorus, dressed as a school girl, and spent my time on stage either dancing and singing like a loon, or giggling my head off. The advantage of being in the chorus was that I could often do both! This was especially useful if I messed up a dance move or sang off-key. It looked like I did it on purpose -- score!
I have always been interested in drama. When I was in highschool, however, I never got involved in musicals. The theatrical department was split into Plays and Musicals, and nary the twain would meet, really. I would have had to take singing classes in order to even be allowed to audition for the musicals, and it didn't fit into my schedule. Boo! Instead, I focused on plays, and after a few years of bit parts I was cast as Penny in You Can't Take it With You. That was one of the highlights of my entire highschool experience.
After moving to England, I went to a college and took my A-Levels. During that time, I managed to get involved in a school production of Fame! but it was horrifyingly bad. The teacher couldn't get a band together to play the musical numbers, so we were forced to sing over the soundtrack CD. Ugh. I am embarrassed just thinking about it; I really don't know how I managed to go on stage and sing in that show!
That was my last experience in drama for a very long time. I was in a few skits here and there, but nothing major. I auditioned for a part in The Importance of Being Earnest, but wasn't cast. I like to think it was my accent that failed me, and not my acting skills. Wishful thinking, perhaps! I auditioned for The Mikado in December last year, and wasn't given a speaking role, either, but my singing voice wasn't particularly phenomenal. It's gotten much better after being in the show, however. I have been able to reach much higher notes than I ever thought possible! Fab.
But, alas, the show is over. Last night was our last performance, and although it was an unqualified success (73% attendance -- we only needed 33% to break even!) and I had such a good time, I am rather relieved to be putting it aside. It has been a huge time commitment in the lead up to the performance -- several nights a week rehearsing, and last week I was out every night from Monday to Saturday, either rehearsing or performing. Saturday we had a matinee, so I was gone from about 1.30 to 10.30. Whew!
As The Husband says, I don't get paid for this. In fact, I pay for the privilege of performing; there is a yearly society fee, and a show fee for every production you perform in. Unfortunately, the arts are rather neglected (aren't they always?) so charging their members is really the only way they can keep the society afloat. I don't mind.
I'm keen to join a new show, now! There is another society in a nearby village that will be putting on Iolanthe, and I plan to audition for that in a few weeks' time. All the women in the show are fairies, and I think Eldest Child will probably faint with delight when she sees me prancing around on stage with fairy wings. I can't wait!