Never in my life have I had to contend with so much hair. It's so foreign and distracting that I actually tried to blame it for some of my mistakes in last night's orchestra tech rehearsal. Lame excuse, amazing wig.
With each rehearsal comes a new layer of character, new opportunities and responsibilities. We began three weeks ago as ourselves, strangers in street clothes, safely tucked behind music stands and relative anonymity. The percussive accompaniment of the piano a subconscious metronome, keeping ensembles tight and harmonic textures even and easier to hear. Enter costumes, wigs, cigarettes and handkerchiefs, bottles and mugs. The on-stage business becomes more complex. Fluid, but needing attention.
Enter the orchestra. Can you hear the basson or french horn that supplies your pitch? Or can you only hear strings? Can you hear the rhythmic pulses of each measure while your only accompaniment is a tremolo? Can you even see the maestro? The ensembles loosen, words are flubbed. Thankfully we're all friends now so we don't judge each other, just ourselves. Silent promises to be better are made and the show goes on. Multi-tasking, anyone??
It's more magic than multi-tasking. Our playground is a stage, and on that stage exists a world of stories that want to be told. Costumes and wigs transport us to a different time, but the psychology of the human experience remains unchanged. Today, like 19th century Spain, we reconcile faith and expectations, we make poor choices and face the consequences, we are turned on by talent and power, and as Pat Benatar revealed: love is a battlefield. Final dress rehearsal tonight! More to come...