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Sunday, June 22, 2008

[ ACTOR P.O.V VI ] Musical Theatre Conservatory

Tomorrow is a new day. I can't sleep, I'm nervous yet eagerly waiting. For next few weeks I will be in class for something I love, something I am passionate about. Next few weeks are gonna kick my ass and I can't wait. It's the beginning of the Summer Music Theatre Conservatory . Let's read from the site:

"The Music Theatre Conservatory is an intensive, professional program of classes, rehearsal, and performance experience, offering training in the three disciplines of Music Theater: Acting, Singing, and Dance. The program is an educational/professional development project of Notre Dame de Namur University, offering college credit through the Department of Music and Vocal Arts, and Broadway By the Bay, an all-producing Bay Area professional musical theatre company. The core faculty and visiting master teachers are all established professionals with extensive resumes as performers, directors, and educators."

I remember around March I believe it was I saw the ad in the theatre bay area magazine and I thought man it would be great to do this program, to train for musical theatre. At this point, I'm feeling quiet comfortable with acting in general. I want to branch out try out other aspects of theatre. At this point, stuff like stage combat, miming, physical theatre, kabuki , etc., are adventures I want to pursue. I want to see performance through different aspects. I also apply to the San Francisco Mime Troupe and I consider applying to the ACT summer conservatory.

So I saw the ad in March when we were full swing with nautanki , which by the way I'm very proud of because it was yet another form of theatre, different from a simple play. So I decided I would get vocal lessons to prepare for theaudition. I put an ad on craigslist went through at least 3 dozen replies and finally I picked a coach and I am not disappointed in fact I am very lucky for someone who has tasted the professional world and who know what they are talking about and most of all someone who I can trust. April began lessons and within 3 weeks was the audition, this involved picking two songs... get the sheet music, get the accompaniment, get your audition practice, get your audition outfit, shoes and what not.

Audition day came. We started with the dance audition I was ready in my outfit clearly there are people far more experienced than I am, I somehow get through the routine and then comes the singing part. Change into dress for singing, get your music, sing, perform your monologue and then comes the part that I did not expect to be hard but was infact quiet testing. The interview. The questions they throw at you while you stand their unarmed on stage. How old are you? Will you able to invest time? Why do you want to join this program? Have you studied performing arts? For every single one I have nothing extraordinary to offer. I sum up with saying , I want to learn and train the right way. I want to acquire skills to make myself a better performer. I can sing I know that but I have not had considerable amount of formal training. I need to refine my dance skills, I feel very comfortable with my acting skills, but it is parts that I'm struggling with is what I want to improve and that this the program that will guide me in the right direction. I had overheard the other hopefuls answer to questions with following endings "oh .. so you toured with that?", "...was that a professional production?" I knew I hadn't offered material in my resume that required questions of that caliber. But this was an audition for a training program, they knew that right?

Weeks go by, I am hanging out with a bunch of friends who I know through my computer science classes.... we are chilling with the game called rock band. I ask for the mic since I would like to be the singer. They have never heard me sing before. Friend number 1 is on bass Friend number 2 on drums and I am singing to Roxanne from The Police. To everyone's surprise I have never heard this song before, I butcher it, I don't sing .. I pretty much scream the song till my friends beg me to stop.. it was my attempt to get out any frustrations I had felt as I had not heard back from the conservatory. I heard back from the San Francisco Mime Troupe, I was selected for that one.. I couldn't confirm what if, music theatre conservatory got back to me ? I couldn't say no to that. I would love to be involved with the Mime Troupe and I will some day but for some reason waiting for the music conservatory seemed like an intuitive decision. I answer my friends' request by setting the mic down. My sister calls..she speaks of a certain envelope that has arrived, I ask of its size.. it's big.. means good right? She opens and tells me the good news... I jump in joy I tell my friends that I am in I got accepted... they repeatedly ask me. .. "wait you are going to be training for musical theatre?" After listening to me howl.. they refuse to believe any of this ... they pass it as a joke.. I for one I'm ecstatic beyond belief.

And then this is today 40 mins before midnight, the day before the program begins, I am too excited to sleep. I have arranged everything, leotards and dance shoes and tights and sheet music and I'm ready. I am nervous but I can't wait.. coming this far has meant a lot. I want to make the most of the days ahead. It would be ideal to record each day here.