Things I was doing instead of blogging: Sweeney Todd

11 Jul

sweenycollage

From Late August through Mid-November of 2011, I accomplished a major goal in my life: I had a leading part in a musical. Not just any musical – Sweeney Todd. This is a very difficult musical to sing and a great challenge to act as well.

For anyone who doesn’t know, I’ve been singing in choirs, choruses, or individually since I was 5 years old. It is a big passion in my life. I have taken private lessons for just under a decade. However, I had only really performed in one musical as a supporting character. Part of the reason I haven’t done more and I have not pursued singing professionally is that I am just not cut out for such a competitive profession. I also like more stability and being able to plant some roots rather than not being sure where my next paycheck is coming from and having to travel 10 months out of the year.

But I still love performing. I have been able to sing at a few weddings, OCON, and I am a semi-frequent karaoke-er.

Last fall, the Microsoft Theater Troupe held auditions for Sweeney Todd. If ever there was a lead role that would be forgiving of my less than perfect body type and non-ingénue speaking voice, it was the role of Mrs. Lovett. While I am very confident in my singing ability (something that definitely helped me out in the auditions), I am very uncertain about my acting ability. And the role of Mrs. Lovett pretty much requires you to really put it all out there.

I went from being totally over the moon after learning I was cast to terrified in under a week. I knew a lot of people in the show – I had worked with them in other MSTT shows that I either directed or built sets for. There was a LOT of talent in the show and I became terrified that I would be the one to throw it all off. I was going to be the weakest link and the show was going to fail because I just plain sucked. This was not a happy time. Jeremy did his best to cheer me up and cheer me on and I am forever grateful to him for that.

Thankfully, once I was in rehearsals, I really didn’t have time to do anything but the work. I was also designing the set, so there was a lot of work to be done there. But there was also just a lot of music and dialogue to learn. So I threw myself into it, learned a lot, and had an absolute blast.

I think I did fairly well. I only messed up a few things on stage, fewer were noticeable. While mingling with the audience and friends post-show, the feedback was overwhelmingly positive. My mother and brother absolutely loved it. One adorable young girl asked for my autograph. I mean, this is only community theater, but I think we all pulled together a good show.

It was a wonderful experience and another accomplishment I am proud of. As all such experiences are, it was both exhilarating and terrifying. It pushed me out of my comfort zone to good results, and definitely left me satisfied and with a few more self-esteem points to add to my growing pile. Brava! (If I do say so myself.)

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One Response to “Things I was doing instead of blogging: Sweeney Todd”

  1. Eliza July 11, 2012 at 8:13 pm #

    I’m so excited to see your performance! The more i hear about it, the sadder I am that I missed seeing the show in person.

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