I was offered the opportunity to play in the orchestra of my high school’s version of the Broadway play Bye Bye Birdie. Switching between tenor sax and clarinet, I watched the music, lyrics, dances, and lines link together in (almost) perfect harmony. I was pretty impressed with how well the roles were cast, how quickly the music came together, and the idea that I didn’t trip over myself with excitement as I got to participate in some part of the school play. Pretty neat, huh?
Sunday: Practice from 1pm-9pm. The scene changes were slow, our playing was mediocre. And by our, I mean my own. But by the end of practice, the first act started to take its shape. A free dinner of pizza, gifted to the pit orchestra from the cast, made for a nice surprise, and helped the rest of the rehearsal fly by.
Monday: Practice from 3pm-9pm. Rehearsal didn’t start until 5pm. Upon the discovery that the free pizza was a one time deal (around 4pm), I drove home to make myself a sandwich. We ran part two of the show, and began running it from the top once more.
Tuesday: Martial arts right in the middle of rehearsal (and a desperate need to catch up on homework) took me home after school, and I didn’t make rehearsal Tuesday night. Woe is the teen who can’t manage her schedule to perfect balance.
Wednesday: Practice from 3pm-9pm. The anticipation was tangible for the coming night. Running the show front to back, the scene changes ran without a hitch, and the leads were spot on. Everything looked promising for the coming nights.
Thursday: Opening night, 7pm sharp! All went well, as far as I could tell from my seat. That is, until I spent intermission emptying the contents of my stomach into the toilet in the bathroom backstage. I battled nausea and a fever for all of Act Two. Blind-sided by the flu, I pulled through! Fortunately, so did the important people of the show, putting on a great performance!
Friday: The flu put me in bed/on couch for the entire day, making the show a non-option, unfortunately.
Saturday: The final night of the show. As I coped with the final symptoms of the illness, the final night went extremely well. Moreover, the Pats won over the Broncos (which we watched in our greenroom back stage, during intermission.)
All in all, a positive experience! Well done to everyone who partook! My conclusions? Putting together a musical, much like any other event that’s sure to be under close supervision of the public eye, takes time. The more dedication, the more reward. The more time, the greater benefit. I don’t care what your personal interests are, or you favorite past times– because that’s a universal truth.