Farnsworth Chronicles, 2
The voice is a muscle. This is a lesson I learn over and over again at the start of a rehearsal process. After a couple of hours of going through lines my vocal chords begin to hurt. Scratchy, raw, I carry on without certainty that I'll be able to keep my voice together.
After the requisite six weeks of rehearsals, this tenderness will be gone and slamming through long speeches and intense exchanges will be second nature.
Heather and I enjoyed a startlingly wonderful performance by Elton John a number of years ago, a show several hours in length. His voice was strong as ever, even after a vocally demanding concert and despite the fact that he was suffering from a bad cold and had a sore throat. The voice is a muscle, and like anything else it needs to be trained to withstand everything that a performance demands of it.
"I need to focus on staying in the moment," I said to Heather yesterday, echoes of a conversation I had with a respected colleague at the recent NCMPR conference in San Francisco.
The hardest part about playing one of the leads in a Keyano Theatre Company drama series show, apart from having to learn lines and get on stage in front of hundreds of people, is adjusting for the incredible amount of time we need to spend in rehearsals. If I focus on how little time I'm going to have to do everything else, my head will explode. So, I'm determined to take each day one at a time, using the wee hours of the morning to keep on top of things, along with a precious day off on Mondays. Tuesdays remain dedicated to council meetings.
Between now and the end of the run of The Farnsworth Invention, I'm going to be saying "No" more often than usual, a word that I've never been entirely comfortable saying. But I'm just going to have to get used to it and soldier on toward closing night on May 5th.