Friday, February 17, 2012

Playing the Fairy Godmother

Slipper and the Rose closed this past Tuesday. It was an honor to be a part of a Music Theatre West production. I LOVE community theater and this one in particular has such a sweet feeling to it. From the Creative/Production Team to the Cast to the Stage Crew, there is just a overwhelming feeling of respect and support. Everyone is a team player and everyone involved takes pride in what they are doing. I know that this is due in large part to the leadership of Jay Richards, Debbie Ditton and Stephanie White. Leaders really do set the tone and these three are salt of the earth folks. Jay jokes that the three of them together make the perfect director of a show. They each have their strengths and when it is time for them to shine individually the other two step aside. It was pretty incredible to watch.

Vocally this show was a breeze! I had only one song (Suddenly) and it was in a comfortable range for me. I loved singing with a live orchestra again. It has been many years since that experience. I did find that breath control became an obstacle on some nights if I wasn't careful. During dress rehearsals they realized that Cinderella would need more time to change into her ball gown. They added more music for the orchestra and had me dance around with the glass slippers and dance off the dress form that had held her ball gown. My costume was corseted for the period so I found that all that activity, plus me talking A LOT before my final part of the song left be a bit breathless. I had to be conscious of this during the dancing and talking so I could pace my breathing so that I wouldn't be so winded when I sang my last verse. Breathing is a good thing to have control over when you sing! haha Breath control helps with phrasing but as I am learning through speech level singing it also aides in volume control. Volume is the vocal chords ability to withstand air pressure. When I didn't have breath control and couldn't get that chord closure in my upper register my voice didn't have as much power and volume.

I also had to commute an hour and a half each way to get to the show up in Logan. So, the bad side was that I had to be in a car for sometimes 3 hours total in a night, but the up side was that I could use a good portion of that time to vocalize and work on songs. I got to listen to old vocal lessons on CD and hear what my vocal coach, Brodie, taught and what I sounded like. Some of the CDs were in the earlier days of my lessons and it was neat to hear how far I have come and to re-listen to what Brodie had to say about technique and the verbiage he used. This method is so straight forward and works at telling a student what is actually happening with the voice physiologically. I love it too because the teachers are required to be able to show a student what concept they are explaining. So they have to be on top of the technique vocally as well. And then this method does the best thing ever, it focuses mainly on encouraging the student to feel it for themselves.

So, now that the show is over I can focus on teaching for a while. I am always sad when a show ends. I will miss my friends in Logan, old and new. But, I am excited to really sink my teeth into teaching for a while.