Verses: Singing, Shimmying, and Sweating to the Spotlight
Insight staff writer, Emma Childs takes verses from the sports section to the arts
April 9, 2015
Filed under A&E
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Since my rhythmic abilities begin and end with the Crazy in Love routine on Just Dance 2, joining the cast of “Anything Goes”, Barnstable High School Drama Club’s most recent musical production, might not have seemed like the best idea. Over the years I have been a fan of BHSDC’s productions but have never been directly involved. But this past winter, some friends and I decided to throw caution to the wind and join.
My initial reason for joining the production was to help with costume design but I eventually found myself getting more involved than I ever anticipated. Before I knew it, I was a member of the chorus and sitting in with the alto section and holding sheet music with a bewildered look on my face. Rehearsals started out as every few Sundays and occasionally after school where everyone would gather and go over a few songs. While I’ll admit that these first few rehearsals consisted of me frantically looking around to see if my friends were as lost as I was in the middle of a song, as we practiced more, I felt myself growing more comfortable in the music and I could actually visualize what these scenes would eventually look like. Looking around the chorus room on one particular Sunday, I was simply blown away with my peers’ sheer talent and determination. They were giving this show all they could and any initial feelings of silliness I had quickly disappeared as I noticed how hard everyone was working. I may not have joined with the biggest commitment in mind but I quickly found myself growing more and more serious about this production.
Since opening night was scheduled for March 20, around February the rehearsals really started to pick up and I’ll admit it, they became way more demanding. More dance numbers were added (all more difficult than what Beyonce and Jay-Z had taught me), I discovered that dancing and singing with fifty plus people on a cramped stage to a synchronized jazz ensemble is no easy feat. My toes hurt from being stepped on and scenes had to repeated over and over. Easily one of the worst feelings in the world is finishing a massive scene and looking past your shimmying jazz hand to see Mr. O’Toole shaking his head and saying “Nope! Everyone–Run it again!” This process can be excruciating at times and I’ll admit to wanting to push that one kid who misses her tap dancing cue straight into the orchestra pit. As frustrating as this journey was, it was truly remarkable to see this show come together, especially in the messy parts. As someone who had never seen the grime behind the production of these shows, being a first-hand witness to all the backstage efforts made me appreciate this entire experience so much more.
As the number of days until opening night became fewer, more was expected from us and the anxiety really started to set in. How could I possibly shimmy and sing in front of hundreds of people? This was so out of my comfort zone that I became anxious and started to shake in my Discount Dance Supply character shoes. But I realized that this was a massive collaborative effort, to which I had committed and I knew I had to finish. While this was scary-hard work, I had made some new friends and enjoyed myself so I was determined to stick it out until the end.
Drama is not for the feeble-hearted in any sense. Joining the cast of any production is a big commitment but the feeling of accomplishment is extremely worth it. Knowing that a massive group of people collaborated with nothing but their whole-hearted, best attempt to put out a fantastic production is incredible. If you often find yourself just in the audience of productions and long to be on stage, I urge you to get involved. Joining production is a great way to maybe tap into an unknown love of drama or just making some memories with some friends.