An Actor's Perspective: They expect me to sing AND dance?

Jennifer Kuzmeskas

  • Ohio Columnist

They expect me to sing AND dance? Is that actually possible?  You spend hours and hours learning lyrics and notes. Then you spend hours learning dance moves. Then suddenly that rehearsal comes along when you are expected to put it all together.  And just like that you can’t move your feet and mouth at the same time, never mind getting the correct notes to come out of your mouth. 

This can either be a discouraging rehearsal or an inspiring rehearsal. It often depends on the production team, most specifically the Director, Music Director and Choreographer. We got lucky, they all understood, they have been performers before and they expected this to happen.  We worked through the kinks both musically and in the choreography, then drilled it over and over again. Muscle memory sure is an amazing thing. 

A large key to any community theatre show is a strong production team. You might say, “Well duh!? Of course,” but I think a strong production team in the community theatre world and a strong production team in the professional theatre world are vastly different things. But, I digress, that is a topic for another post at another later time. 

The emotional cycle you can go through in one rehearsal is pretty incredible. I started this rehearsal feeling dejected. Dancing is not my strength, so that rehearsal where you have to put it all together, is one that I dread.  This time was different though, of course, there were the people that knew it. You know, the people whom choreography comes easily…I was not one of them.  That was okay though, somehow our production team was able get us through it. We went through the music with dance, line by line, we fixed the glaring errors, moved on to the next lyric, did the same and added it to what we had already done. By the end of the night we had finished multiple songs and felt confident that we would remember the dance, lyrics and music at the next rehearsal.  

One key thing to remember, not just for these rehearsals, but for all rehearsals is that there is a common goal, to give a great performance and have a great show. We have all done this before, we all got through it in past shows and we have all given great performances. And if you haven’t done this before, that’s okay, look around, all those people around you, they did this “for the first time” at one point in their community theatre careers also. They had someone help them and 99 times out of 100, they want to help you! You all have the same common goal and working together is really the only way to get there.  

What am I trying to say as I jump all over the place here??? It’s okay to feel dejected and discouraged, but don’t let it last too long. Look around, figure out who can help you and reach out. Trust in each other because, as a unified cast, you can get through all of this with that one common goal. Now, go out there and tackle that time step!  

Photo: CenterStage Clovis Community Theatre