I had earlier blogged about the theatre learning experience through the 12 week workshop that I had attended earlier this year. The entire project culminates with a real play that is played to a real audience complete with props, costumes etc. It is hard work. 12 Sundays of training followed by a few weeks of rehearsals – nearly 5 times a week.
First the trainings get you prepped up. Use your body. Use your mind. Voice. Train. Get physically fit. Handle each other. Trust. Work. Alone. Work. Together. Form, Storm and Norm (see earlier post).
Getting the lines right is just the first part. Then the moves. Then changes. Then some variation. Then, the script gets dropped. Then you see that the entire so called play looks like people reading news. Then you work on tweaking it, until it ultimately becomes a play. All the people in the scene have to put their best foot forward. And work work work. Get the beat right. Get the rhythm right. Get the timing right down to the last T. Expressions. Inflexions. Make those practiced dialogues sound spontaneous.
Until you are ready to perform. Dress rehearsal. Tech rehearsal. As the time for the first show nears, it is an exhilarating feeling. Butterflies in the stomach. Make up. Costumes. Planning. Rehearsing. Re-rehearsing.
And then the lights go off in the wings. The bell rings. And the show begins. As you sit in the wings, waiting for the audience reactions. Are they laughing? Do they like it? Are we doing well? And then you walk on stage, in character. Deliver your lines. A glance at the wings shows that your entire team is watching you. Banking on you. They don’t want you to fail. They want you to succeed – take it scene by scene to a different level.
And the audience warms up. With a few laughs. That makes you comfortable on stage. But let that not go to your head. Continue in character. And they laugh a little more. Somehow, that makes you more energetic. You get the wind under your wings. And then you let go. Have fun on stage. Get deeper into character. Let that energy feed you and take you higher. But not to your head. And then you go back into the wings, inspiring the others and preparing for the next show.
It is truly an unbelievable experience. That has to be experienced by being there.