Phase 1 was the reading process. We sat on a stage with music stands in front of us and stood when it was our turn to speak or sing, reading the entire show from scripts and scores. There was a keyboardist and some percussion, but no set, no props, no lighting cues, and no fully realized costumes. We gave two public readings of that version; one in February and one in March.
Phase 2 will put the show on its feet. We will memorize our parts and have props, costumes, blocking, and choreography. It will still not be a fully-realized production, but it will give any interested parties a better idea of what the show would be like. It should also give the show’s writers a much better idea of what still needs to be reworked or rewritten. There will be as many as four public performances, beginning in late May. I’ll print more details about that as they become available.
Of more concern to me is my singing. After our last reading, the cast spent some time in a studio, laying down tracks that became a CD of the show’s songs. I got my copy a couple weeks ago. I’ve listened to it twice and may never listen to it again, because I sound lousy! This is not false modesty on my part. My ear is a more accurate instrument than my voice, it would seem. I can excuse a little bit of it on the grounds that I had to drag myself over to the studio on a Sunday morning for the recording session, but this is a bigger issue than that. It has become abundantly clear to me that my voice has moved into middle age. This doesn’t mean that I can no longer sing well, but it does mean that if I wish to do so, I have to keep my voice in shape. This also ties into my departure from the cast of Tony n’ Tina’s Wedding. For five years, I was using my voice, speaking and singing, four or five nights a week. Now that I’m no longer “in training,” I’ve gotten out of shape.
So (and I’ve already warned my roommate) this means that I will have to make singing a part of my daily regimen. Not that I mind – I love to sing – but I will need to make sure I do this every day so that I can give the kind of performance come late May that I can feel good about; that I can tell my friends to come and see.