It’s Musical Time in Tennessee
Hey y’all, it’s beginning to be my favorite time of year again. It’s musical time in Tennessee! I absolutely love the time near the end of every semester where musicals and shows from all over the state tend to premier. After working hard all semester, I am sure everyone is ready to get the shows on the road. Recently, I saw a poster for the LMU Players’ presentation of Godspell. All of the advertisement and excitement on campus about the upcoming show got me thinking of the shows that I have performed in in the past.
I have only been in two musicals and one madrigal in my life, but I greatly enjoyed each individual experience and felt that I learned a lot from each of them. During these performances, I learned to laugh at myself, develop character depth, come out of my shell, and cast away all inhibitions I had while on stage. Though I have not been in any shows since the fall semester of my sophomore year, I do miss the atmosphere and experience of being on stage.
The first musical that I was ever a part of was during my junior year of high school; we performed The Wizard of Oz. While I did not hold any big parts in the cast, I did act as the Mayor of Munchkin Land, a flying monkey, and a townsperson of Oz, all while working backstage to move props and sets. The show had over 50 cast members, but every hand was needed to put on such a large production. Each of my roles required something unique. When I was the Major of Munchkin Land, I wore a fat suit, a blue three-piece suit, and I put on my manliest, yet most high-pitch voice to sing the Munchkin Land song. It was a blast. As a flying monkey, I wore brown clothes, with a monkey tails and wings. I was basically challenged to hop around all over the stage while screaming like a monkey, and that part left me with a serious cardiac workout. Lastly, as a townsperson of Oz, all I really had to do was stand on stage in my bright green dress and make dramatic faces. Even though my parts in this musical were small, I know that the parts themselves and the work I did backstage were integral to making the play a success. Looking back, my favorite part of the whole thing was probably the crazy make-up!
My next role did not occur until my freshman year here at LMU. As I said before, up until then I had little experience and had only performed small roles. With that being said, when I auditioned for the production of Oklahoma! I had very small expectations. I honestly thought that I would be asked to work backstage, handling costumes, or be another one of the nondescript townspeople that every big show needs. So, when I found out that I was cast as Ado Annie, one of the lead roles, I was ecstatic, and super nervous! Here I was, with virtually no experience, in a college production as one of the main cast members. Part of me wanted to scream in excitement and part of me just wanted to scream.
Yet, in the end I like to think I got through the role with grace. In the time between August and November of my freshman year, I learned to project my voice, get over stage fright, make my voice known, walk with confidence, kiss on stage (Yes, yikes!), and memorize many…many… many lines! Besides that, I made so many friends that I still have to this day, including entire families from the community that I still visit and have game nights with. Oklahoma! taught me so many things, but above all it taught me how to let go and have fun. Looking back, I think I need a good reminder of that!
The last production which I was cast was a madrigal put on by LMU titled Rapunzel, Rapunzel, Let Down Your Heir! For those that do not know, a madrigal is a musical that has Renaissance era music, dinner is usually served, and the entire show takes place around you, not just on stage! In our madrigal, we had many songs and also served a three course meal during the progression of the show. I was cast as a very silly, low intelligence, crazy-haired beggar girl. To be honest, I was part of a four-part beggar group, and none of us knew who was who! (I was either Hob, Nob, Cob, Bob) My best memory from this production was having a blast at each practice, laughing with the rest of the cast over the crazy, punny jokes throughout the show. This time, being able to fulfill the role of a small character and help out with the show’s big picture gave me a lot of satisfaction.
In the three shows I have been in, I have fulfilled roles, big and small. Each was a unique experience, and each taught me different lessons. I feel so blessed to have been in these productions, and I hope that in the future I can return to the acting world. Make sure to attend the production of Godspell April 11, 12, 14 or 15! Purchase tickets online by clicking here.
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Posted on April 11, 2014, in Uncategorized and tagged acting, community, Lincoln Memorial University, LMU, musicals, Oklahoma! The Wizard of Oz! Rapunzel Rapunzel, stage fright. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.