Tuesday, March 2, 2010

The Beauty Is...

Hi friends! It's been a while since I've updated this lovely blog here, and truthfully it's because I don't like to force creativity. As graduation approaches in May, I get less and less enthused by anything that resembles work and recently, for some reason, writing anything has felt like work. Chalk it up to exhaustive amounts of journalism I don't want to do or writing about things I'm sick of learning, but I've avoided blogging and I'm not ashamed of that fact. Something tells me I may be close to outgrowing this particular blog and once I graduate I may have to start something new. If or when that happens, I will release WMWC out into the ether, a perfect time capsule of a few years of my life as a college student. If you can't tell, I'm working very hard to accept change...

Excitingly enough, there's also something else I'm working very hard on: a show.


Nice segue, huh? Many of you already know this because, let's face it, you actually know me. And if you know me, you know that I'm probably talking nonstop about this show, humming the songs, and generally living in Florence in my head while the rehearsal process chugs along. So if you're sick of it, you have my full permission to quit reading right now. I won't be offended. But for whomever is along for the ride, I want -- no, need -- to write about this show, this process, and the general way it's changing my life for the time being.

First thing's first, I am playing Clara in The Light in the Piazza by Adam Guettel. It is fully acceptable if that name does not ring a bell. Every family member I tell does the polite little nod, Oh yes maybe I've heard of that?, and then asks how they can get tickets. I will spare you all the specifics of it, but it is simply the hardest thing I have ever done in my life. I played Eva Peron in my sophomore year of high school, where I had about six hundred costume changes and died of cancer on stage a full act after screaming DESCAMISADOS from an infamous balcony in four-inch heels. Clara is harder. That's partially because this isn't high school, and singing on pitch is no longer the number one reason why you get cast in a role. It's also harder because I know how to do this now -- I've spent three and a half years preparing for this process and it would be a shame to waste the opportunity to finally put it to good use. To do something appropriate for me, a show I love -- the closest part I've ever had to a dream role. Scratch that: This IS my first dream role.

So immediately I have to admit that there is enormous pressure when playing this part. Clara has the emotional and mental capacity of a 12-year-old, due to an unfortunate miniature equine accident in her youth. (Side Note: When I saw this show on Broadway and Clara's mother, Margaret uttered the words "...And the pony kicked her..." I busted out laughing. There, it's off my chest. Judge as you will.) But you can't play Clara "dumb." Nor can you play her innocent, naive, excited, or any of the other things one might associate with the overall framework of the character. Beyond that, the program I am part of breeds wonderfully talented singers and musicians. Almost every girl I know could sing this part, and 3/4 of them could sing the shit out of it. It isn't enough to make it sound pretty -- it's a dream role for any young, bright-eyed soprano who thinks Adam Guettel is a genius. One can't help but hear the Are you good enough? voice on a daily basis when you know there are dozens of Claras waiting in the wings. What makes me good enough? Sometimes it's deafening.

And really, that's the first thing I'm learning about myself doing this show -- what makes ME good enough. First off, I'm a hard worker. I take this more seriously than anything in the world, I put professionalism above any other quality I want to be known for. When someone speaks about me, I want the first words out of their mouth to be, "She's so wonderful to work with." What else qualifies me for Clara? Essentially, I'm finding that we are eerily similar. We are both absorbed and overtaken by love and romance in a similar way. We are quick to find joy in simple pleasures, in the sunshine, in the feeling of just living and being. And I find that in playing Clara I don't have to mask my own awkward naivete on stage. She, too, is afraid and unsure when it comes to romance. I may have more experience than Clara, but to me love has never lost its ability to terrify and thrill simultaneously.

Of course, I haven't even touched on the music yet. The score of Piazza is the dictionary definition of "lush." When we add an orchestra into the mix, I know I will cry -- it is only a matter of how often and how much it will impede my singing. The music fits my voice and my range like a glove and there are moments when I am singing and I think that I might float -- just look down and see myself hovering. As if Mr. Guettel's score could work actual magic and defy gravity. There is a feeling in the room when the cast sings together that is of mutual respect, admiration, and general awe, not at our own ability to handle the music, but a sense of "I couldn't have said it better myself." Sometimes, I think that if I were to be in a particularly excited state in my own life and I were to break out into song, Adam Guettel's words and music would slip out of me naturally. He makes musical theatre make sense, makes it feel more real and raw than anything that could happen offstage.

Which is just one of many reasons why this show is a blessing in my life. For the first time since doing shows in high school, for the first time since I can really remember, I am blissful in my everyday life on a consistent basis. My life is speeding towards a goal, towards something utterly spectacular. My brain is on overdrive trying to work through the puzzle of Clara, of her life and her relationships, and sometimes I feel as if I'm coming down from a high (call it the post-rehearsal-hangover, if you will) when the pressure is off and I'm just me again, headed back to my messy little apartment where I find I couldn't be farther from the Duomo. Sometimes when I'm walking to the subway at night after rehearsal, smiling and enjoying the feeling of the wind whipping around the beautiful buildings, I wonder how I ever lived without these feelings. It's like being in a relationship with someone and finding yourself unable to picture the demise of your love -- it's so enjoyable now, how could it ever end?

But the show will end. On the evening of April 4th, this will be over. I might never play Clara again and she may be reduced to twelve italicized words on my resume that are skimmed over, attached to the thought, "Oh okay, legit soprano" by callous casting directors and the like. But right now, finding her language and playing her truthfully is enriching my life. I can never thank the universe enough for these moments, I can only hope I'm blessed with more.

36 comments:

話說 said...

wonderful...................................................

Erica Heller said...

Beautifully expressed, Madeline.
Wonderful blog.
Congratulations on Clara and on graduating.
Knock 'em dead.

育德 said...

I love readding, and thanks for your artical. ........................................

逸凡逸凡 said...

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冠伶 said...

Well done!........................................

俊淑娟美 said...

我們不是因為快樂而歌唱,而是唱歌使我們快樂 ..................................................

明仲 said...

一棵樹除非在春天開了花,否則難望在秋天結果。...............................................................

韋于倫成 said...

如果你不思考未來,你便不會有未來..................................................

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怡君 said...

我愛那些使自己的德行成為自己的目標或命定的人..................................................

玉鳳玉鳳 said...

死亡是悲哀的,但活得不快樂更悲哀。...........................................................................

esthermelvin said...

如果擬任為輸贏是最重要的事,那你輸了........................................

玫友 said...

不要把生命看得太嚴肅,反正我們不會活著離開。..................................................................

育隆 said...

知識可以傳授,智慧卻不行。每個人必須成為他自己。......................................................................

玫友 said...

良言一句三冬暖,惡語傷人六月寒。....................................................................

政翰政翰 said...

人生是故事的創造與遺忘。............................................................

吳婷婷 said...

人有兩眼一舌,是為了觀察倍於說話的緣故。............................................................

JasonBirk佳琪 said...

不錯喔~你的部落格很優~..................................................................

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夜光杯中飲美酒 蝸牛牆邊爬上架 新疆醉人馬奶子 青鳥銜之上金井............................................................

瑤德 said...

Many a little makes a mickle.......................................................................

美娟美娟 said...

要持續更新下去喲!!祝你有個愉快心情..................................................................

魏江伶魏江伶 said...

聰明人之所以不會成功,是因為他們缺乏了堅忍的毅力。..................................................

俊宏淑松 said...

打聲招呼,祝你一切平安!..................................................................

蔡舜娟蔡舜娟 said...

河水永遠是相同的,可是每一剎那又都是新的。..................................................

劉士賢劉士賢 said...

來給你加油打氣!!............................................................

洪志源 said...

在莫非定律中有項笨蛋定律:「一個組織中的笨蛋,恆大於等於三分之二。」. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

姿胤綸婷 said...

世界上沒有本來就應該的事,因為老天爺也沒有劇本.......................................................

文王廷 said...

道歉是人類一定必要的禮節..................................................

承王蓁 said...

人不能像動物一樣活著,而應該追求知識和美德............................................................

承王蓁 said...

向著星球長驅直進的人,反比踟躕在峽路上的人,更容易達到目的。............................................................

張韓涵旺建宇 said...

死亡是悲哀的,但活得不快樂更悲哀。. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

琬群學葉安高 said...

河水永遠是相同的,可是每一剎那又都是新的。............................................................

國林林林林維 said...

有夢最美啦~~加油!元氣滿點!...............................................................

佳張張張張燕張張張張張 said...

從來愛都不知它的深度,非得等到別離的時候.....................................................................

方峻君 said...

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惠NorrisBradwell041花 said...

cool blog,期待更新............................................................