When I left South Pacific it was not without some tough decisions, but I new that an opportunity had presented itself that I had to take! I was asked to help teach the choreography to a show that I love, 'S WONDERFUL. The director and choreographer from the piece were the same as the tour and I was thrilled to be able to come in and help set the show in a SUPER fast rehearsal process.
In high school and college my biggest thrills and joys came while I was teaching, directing, or choreographing. It's certainly something I see myself doing more of in the future, so to have this opportunity placed in my lap was HUGE. It was so huge that I almost felt as though the creative team had made a mistake. Of course my imagination went wild with visions of much more experienced actors looking at me and just laughing while I fumbled over myself and tried to teach the show. I saw eyes rolling and scoffs and I knew I had gotten in over my head. The fact of the matter was... I was terrified. I have always said that when an opportunity comes and it's scary, you are in the right place. I had to realize that I needed to take a dose of my own medicine. Being timid, nervous, and not confident was only going to hurt me, so I sort of decided to "fake it till I make it."
I worked non-stop to prepare myself for the job, picking apart each and every bit of the show, studying tape, shifting the show to work on a thrust stage, and trying to anticipate any and all problems. When rehearsals began I was so nervous, but I was quickly put at ease. The director was his excellent, jubilant self and the cast was incredibly receptive and welcoming. I quickly realized that while these performers were more experienced and incredibly talented, they also respected me and wanted the best for the show and I think they immediately recognized that common goal. We were all there for one reason: to tell the best story.
For the first time professionally, I was able to work creatively and alongside the director, hearing his thought process and bouncing ideas off one another. It was terribly exciting and energizing. As I said earlier, the rehearsal process for this particular show was SUPER fast (7 days rehearsing and 2 days of tech/dress) and on our first day of tech rehearsals the choreographer came to see the show. It was the most nervous I have ever been in a rehearsal. Here I had just taught his choreography and he was there to see my work. Well, the show sort of fell apart that day, as it usually does on the first day of tech. It was somewhat in tact, but really... pretty rough. I had such a mix of emotions. The choreographer was gracious and gave me a few notes and helped clean some things, but I couldn't help but worry. I knew in my head that it would all come back together, and it did by the time we opened. My own insecurities were really what was plaguing me. I eventually realized that my worries over what the choreographer thought were all in my head. He knew that tech rehearsals are crazy and he's a smart guy; he could see the big picture and where things were going. It was me that was short-sighted and couldn't see the forest for the trees. I didn't need to worry about how the show looked in one rehearsal, it was how the story would be told for the next month, 8 shows/week. My own pride and concerns were pushed aside and the work was completed. In fact it was not just completed: it was excellent. The show was quick and clean and wickedly witty and smart, just as the choreographer designed it to be. It really was... 'S Wonderful.
I'm sorry. I had to.
I'm sorry. I had to.