First Day of Rehearsal Tips for musical theatre


The first day of rehearsal has finally
arrived yay okay so the first day of rehearsal does create a lot of stress
and anxiety you may not know a lot of the people in the cast you may not be
extremely familiar with the show but if you have done the prep work that I
talked about last week you’re gonna feel confident already as an actor so now
what do you do that can help alleviate that anxiety that stress that’s going to
show that you are professional that you are prepared and that you have a really
great rehearsal attitude and you’re someone everyone wants to work with in
the studio so things that you want to take to the rehearsal the first day you
of course want to take your script in your score so you don’t want to take
this and remember I talked about this last week you want to take in your
copied script this three-hole punch that has all of your notes that is organized
that you have highlighted that you have tabbed out all of this is on my video
from last week check it out if you missed it so you want to take your
script and your score you also want to make sure that you take any dance shoes
that you might need so I would wear sneakers to the first day of rehearsal
and even if you’re working on music I would wear something that you can move
in because sometimes you’re gonna have a director or a choreographer that says
hey we have extra time let’s start working on this big dance number or I
want to start staging you know the opening number
so bring with you your bag with all the shoes you might need in your rehearsal
bag you always also want to have with you something to wear that is dance
oriented all of your dance shoes because you never know when the director or the
choreographer is going to say we have extra time let’s start the first opening
number so you want to make sure that you’re prepared no matter what usually
the first couple days of rehearsal are going to be music rehearsals so you want
to make sure that you have a recording device and a pencil and a highlighter
now most of us use our cell phones it has a great recording device on it and
then you could always practice it in your car or wherever you are when you’re
walking or traveling so make sure that you might even have a charger so you can
charge your phone if your battery gets a little low you also want to always have
a pencil and you always want to have a highlighter a lot of people always say
should I be memorized for the first day of rehearsal my answer is always more
the lines of yes and less of no you really want to be 75 percent memorized
now this really depends on as well how long your rehearsal process is in a
union show or a union house you’re really gonna have two to three weeks of
rehearsal which is nothing so you really want to come in fully memorized even if
you’re working on a community theater or a regional theater that’s gonna have a
long rehearsal or a college production or a high school production it’s really
hard to do anything on your feet and as a director or choreographer work with
actors that don’t know what they’re saying and they don’t know their lines
they don’t know their music and they don’t know the song so I would say 75% I
normally go in very close to being memorized
unless it’s gonna be a long rehearsal but still you really want to be 75
percent memorized you want to have that prep work done because you can’t be on
your feet when you’re in your script like looking for every single line and
you’re down here you can’t be up here the director really can’t start to do
their work and the music director can’t really start to do their work unless you
at least know the basics so you really want to have that in your brain and in
your body at least 75% but I know many actors that go in fully fully off-book
which i think is perfectly fine as well and then you want to make sure that
you’re in the mindset that when you get into that space you’re going to craft
but the director the choreographer the music director is going to craft what’s
on the page to make it happen on the stage specifically for the concept that
they’re going to create for that specific production I want you to always
remember that your attitude in the rehearsal room is extremely important
you want to be open you want to be willing to take notes from the director
of the choreographer or the musical director and you want to be willing and
open to anything that they want to guide you on you may have a specific idea of
what your character should do but your director and your choreographer and your
musical director are going to guide you to make it work within the context of
the show that they’re creating so be open to trying things
be open to taking a risk and to really playing in the room that’s why I love
her her Souls you get the time to play and to craft and then when you come to
the point where you have to settle then then that time will be approached you
will know and they usually will tell you by here I want you fully off-book and
memorized you really want to settle and be consistent from that point on but
when you’re rehearsing that day feel free to take a couple of chances take a
couple of risks and to play because that’s what rehearsals is all about when
you start to get into the end of rehearsal and you start to go into
technical rehearsals where you’re gonna add all of the technical elements are
already on top of what you’ve done in the in the space what I have found a
couple of tricks that have helped me is I make a tracking sheet so I will
literally make a sheet of paper or I will make note cards that I can flip
through on a ring that have all of my basic information so where do I enter
where do I exit where am I going to cross am i putting a costume on am I
going to change what is the queue line for me to walk onstage I’ll make a
little tracking sheet that has all the basics on there so I don’t have to carry
my script around with me and I’ll do that during like the last few run
throughs before we even get to tech rehearsals so it’s like a little
tracking sheet or a little running sheet and I call it almost a little cheat
sheet I’ll make them also small enough that I
could put them in like my costume right waistband or my pocket that I can carry
them with me so I don’t have to worry about running back and grabbing my
script backstage or in the back corner I always have it with me while you’re in
rehearsal do not forget to write everything down you want to make sure
that you notate every single note every single thing that any of the the
director the choreographer or the MD is going to give you sometimes you won’t
remember everything so you want to make notes and write it down and you can see
even in my script like I will literally write every single thing down
I’m taking my my pin in my pad I’m crossing I’m crossing downstage right
I’ll make any notes that they gave me in the music I’ll make sure that I’m noting
everywhere I go if it’s a musical with a lot of
every single day after rehearsal I will go in and write out the steps verbally
so that I have something I can go back to if I forget what’s happening in that
in that that step or that dance you want to write everything down that is the
most important thing I can say and give advice to those of you that are just
beginning write everything down when they say we’re doing notes now grab
something to write with it’s really better to grab a pen and paper I know we
use our phones quite a lot but you want to show them that you are taking the
notes taking the feedback and that you’re going to make those adjustments
and that you’re really open to being a team player and making the show as a
whole be successful and not just focused on just you just make sure that when you
go into technical rehearsals and dress rehearsals that you have sit down and
made an organized tracking list or at least thought through the entire show
how you’re gonna change where you’re gonna change and what exactly is
happening for you because not only is there choreography on stage but you’re
gonna have choreography backstage running to the dressing room how you’re
gonna change how long you have make sure you go through all of that on your own
because that’s really your job as an actor is to take everything that you’ve
been given and make it work so it looks flawless on stage and no one knows about
the chaos that’s happening backstage I hope this helps you get ready for your
next upcoming rehearsal if you’re in a show right now leave a comment below and
let me know I’d love to know what show you’re doing and what role you’re
playing or if you’re in the wonderful ensemble up a musical somewhere have a
wonderful week everyone take the actions you need to gain progress in your
musical theater career I’ll see you next week bye

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