[The Thought Index] 46 Thoughts On Directing a Musical Rehearsal

1. All right. Let’s post-it the shit out of this score.
2. I have now post-it-ed all the way across the top of the first book. Now what? Time to start a new row…IN A DIFFERENT COLOR. I am elegant.
3. Jeez, these are long titles to write at the top of a post-it. Running…out..of..spa..I should probably abbreviate…TIHADCT. This is How a Dream Comes True. I’ll remember that. Heh.
4. Should I really post-it a one-page blank tacet? Should that be spelled tacit? They’re kind of the same thing. Tactile? Tile floor? Travertine? I miss HGTV.
5. I may be OCD. Or ADD.
6. Nope. Just organized and distracted. Seems natural with a 5-bajillion-page score. What is TIHADCT again?
7. All right…time to warm up the cast.
8. What’s that? No, you are not immune to vocal warmups. ENGAGE, you fools!
9. WHOA there…not so loud! No need to start off in full-blast Idina. Save your voices.
10. ::vocal health lecture:: bringing coffee, booze, or anything other than high-quality H20 to rehearsal is drying to the vocal cords.
11. Yes, we can get Trops* after rehearsal.
12. Backrub time! Form a line and get to it. :::ward off sexual innuendo:::
12. All right, everyone sit. Let’s sing.
13. Sit tall. Sit like it’s hot. Sit like you’ve got a blazing poker on your sacrum.
14. Close, but less like an 18th century corseted lady of the night. I’ll take it.
15. Ok, turn to number 23A. I have different page numbers than you. Figure it out.
16. Let’s look at the beastliest one first. Act I finale. Page 8993. Start in measure 60
17. Oh…eugh…mmm…ok just forget about this part-writing and do this instead.
18. Now let’s sing about 52 different combinations of voice parts. Ok, everyone got it? Sort of?
19. Stand. From the beginning.
20. Well those were some interesting voice timbres. How the hell do I tune this?
21. Character speaking voices vs. regular speaking voice vs. regular singing voice vs. character-singing voice. Everyone got the distinctionZ?
22. Let’s try it again. Ok, less like you are possessed by a goat and more like Sutton! Once more With Feeling!
23. Good enough for now. All right, how about this number?
24. What’s that, accompanist? Oh you haven’t played in the key of Cbbb minor-major-ish? Just fake the chords. I’m good if you’re good.
25. Note to self: buy pianist flowers. Or pay for her next childbirth. Except that she’s like 60 and may be done with all that. Unless…nope, don’t go there. Just stick with flowers.
26. Ok, shall we try this number with the choreography?
27. Ok…ok…breathe low, spit those words out…you are singing…right?…there’s some sound…aaand we’re back to kindergarten voices.
28. Blast. All that part-learning just went to hell in a hand basket. Why were cartwheels and lifts choreographed during the most difficult singing portion?
29. Note to self: collaborate more with choreographer. Buy choreographer alcohol.
30. Ok, that was…moderately acceptable for now. Time to work with the pit! I heart instrumentalists.
31. What’s that? You’ve never played 128th notes before? Failure.
32. So on this number we are cutting out measures 1-99 and only doing measures 100-101. Right.
33. Pencil? I have one capless ballpoint that’s been half-mutilated by my dog and this unsharpened golf pencil from putt-putt a year ago. You’ll have to share among the 13 of you.
34. I hate it when people steal my pencils. Maybe I should return this to the putt-putt course. Only I am concerned about this.
35. Ok…on this one, we are vamping measures 1-8 until I give the signal.
36. The signal is THIS :::absurd head jerk / delivery of parseltongue / rapid morse-code eye-blinks::: Got it?
37. And here’s our tempo for this one. Quarter note equals 600. I’ll be directing in three. ::flail arms madly:::
38. And at this point, our lead will say “I said, the duck flies over the moon!” at which point we will skip ahead eight pages, decrease our tempo by 1.333333repeating, and abruptly modulate up 3.5 keys with no apparent warning. Pivot chords are ridiculous anyway.
39. What’s that? Of course you don’t have the same score as I do. That would make far too much sense, wouldn’t it? Ahaha. Skip to measure 90M. Yes, that’s right, kind of like “nom.”
40. Noms. I could go for some pizza.
41. All right, let’s put this together with the cast. Poker face. Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee. Whip it. Whip it good. Here goes nothing!
42. SO…MUCH…CHAOS. Just keep waving your arms until the director starts shouting four-letter-words (like EXIT! or SING! or KICK!…what were you thinking?), a singer dies, or the chorus starts wandering around looking lost and crying.
43. Aaaand we’re stopping. 20 seconds in. New record.
44. It is now 10:30pm and we have sort of finished the first act. Seems legit.
45. We open in four days. KEWL. :::manic grin / crazy-eyes / blood pressure spike:::
46. Let’s all go get pizza. Or Trops.* Or Both? Both sounds good. Always both.

Lather, rinse, and repeat on Day 2: tech week.


*Trops, for all you non-local readers, is mid-Missouri abbreviation for Tropical Liquers, a particularly hopping neighborhood frozen drink bar with deceptively frou-frou beverages that will put you out if you’re not careful. Do not be fooled – I can more or less hold my whiskey, and yet have a story or three about Trops. You have been warned.*

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