My theatre experience expands over 20 years, and includes comedy, farce, drama, commercials and film. So why was my recent performance in a Theatre for Young Audiences Show at Topeka Civic Theatre so special? It was a musical! A musical in which I had to sing and dance! A musical in which I had to sing and dance a solo! I am probably the clumsiest person I know. I am extremely uncoordinated. I have made adjustments in my life that allow me to get along most of the time without injuring myself, but moving my feet and my hands at the same time in a coordinated fashion is more than a little difficult.
As rehearsals got underway I was overwhelmed with anxiety. The first time I had to sing my solo during rehearsal on stage, I had such bad dry mouth I could barely speak, let along sing. But I stuck with it, and sing I did. Pretty well if I say so myself.
After much effort, I also mastered the dance steps for the grand finale and thought I was doing pretty well until the director reminded me I was supposed to be singing tool. Ok, full concentration, and I’m singing and dancing. Are they satisfied? No! Now they want me to smile! Finally, I got it. I’m singing, dancing, and smiling and they tell me I’m not supposed to look at my feet. “If you look at your feet the audience will look at your feet.” Well that makes sense, and the last place I want to audience to look while I’m dancing is my feet, so no more looking at my feet. Are they doing the right thing? Who knows, but they’re moving and I’m singing and smiling so let’s go for it.
The show was a success. The audience applauded. Friends and strangers complemented me on my performance. But for me, it was extra special because I had attempted something I knew would be difficult. And I had made it work.
I truly believe that we need a challenge now and again to make our lives meaningful. Something different, something difficult.
I don’t know what challenge I’ll set for myself next. I’m going to enjoy this one for awhile. Hmmm. Maybe I’ll clean up my desk.