Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Go, Go, Go Joseph!

Well, it's the Big Week, with two dress rehearsals and three performances of...

I am so pumped.

I am really having a great time doing this show, and I am trying to tease out why.  Music rehearsals can be boring, when you have to sit through a whole song just to sing some "oooh-aaaah's" or "la la la's" toward the end.  Dance rehearsals can be frustrating when they teach it quick and move on before you've really got it.  You have to sit around during the scenes you're not in, not talking....  (I get it, now, why my kids--and their directors--always got so frustrated over the no talking/too much talking issue!)

So what's fun about it?

I think it must be the challenge of it.  I thought I knew most of the songs going into it, but I never noticed that in places, there are 8 parts--1st and 2nd soprano, 1st and 2nd alto, 1st and 2nd tenor, baritone, bass.  And I never realized how much Weber likes chords with very close harmonies.  Sometimes the second sopranos are singing one note down from the melody line, and believe me, that's a hard note to find!  We have a lot of  "ooohs" and "aaahs" that seem very similar, but aren't.  Or we sing them here, but not there.  I've practiced a ton at home, and I think I'm pretty firm on most of it now, but I'm rehearsing daily just to keep it all straight.  I know I could go to a rehearsal and wing it, but I like knowing it.  That's the joy of accomplishment for me.

Now, the dancing is a different story.  Since nothing is written down for me to take home and practice, I have to just go by what I remember, and note where the gaps are that I can't remember steps, and find out at the next rehearsal what I forgot, so I can go home and practice some more.  I have never felt very graceful or coordinated, but thank heavens, this choreography is simple enough that even I can make it look okay--IF I know what I'm doing!  So that's been an even bigger challenge than learning harmonies and parts.

But the biggest challenge of all is putting it all together!  They say crossword and sudoku puzzles are good for your brain, as you age...but trying to remember to sing (the right lyrics and the right harmonies at the right time) as well as what your right and left arms and right and left feet are supposed to be doing (not to mention hands, elbows and knees) is clearly WAY more brain-stimulation than anything else I can imagine.  I can just feel how good this is for an older brain.  Although it's difficult, it's also rewarding, because it's fun when you get even most of it together.  And amazingly enough, I'm finding it's getting easier!

It gives me enormous respect for my kids and all that they have to learn for each production they are in.  (Although they also get twice the rehearsal hours that we have had...and they have the advantage of much younger brains!)

The best thing about it, possibly, is that it's a creative endeavor that's taking me out of my normal box or comfort zone.  I know other women who are doing similar things and finding joy in them.  One has picked up tap-dancing again and has a recital coming up.  One just signed up to go back to school.  Another goes all out to throw beautiful showers and parties. All of them have kids, jobs, busy lives--but they are making time for something they love.

Is it okay to add "one more thing" when it's for ourselves?  I know we're all trying to simplify and be less busy, spend more time with God and with our families.  It was a tough decision to do something "just for me," and it was easier to justify because Bantam6 and Chicklet8 could do it with me.  If I had anticipated how much joy it would bring me, I wouldn't have hesitated.  It honestly has felt like pretty minimal investment for the return I'm getting.

Still can't completely explain it.  But I am grateful.

And nervous.

Because this week we add more difficulty, like doing it in costume, squeezing in quick costume changes...

And then the biggest challenge of all--doing it in front of an audience!  Yikes!

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