The Necessity of Bad Rehearsals

There is no such thing as a bad rehearsal if progress was made.

My drama group had a three hour practice this morning, gearing up for our show less than three weeks away. Unfortunately, due to a variety of circumstances, we worked on our last two pieces for the FIRST time today. Not ideal at all!

For the first two hours we sloshed through my musical “A Woman at War”, first working on the singing (yes, some people didn’t know the lines or melodies yet), and choreography. (Yes,it was extremely sloppy.) But at the end of the second hour, we actually made it through the entire 10 minute musical without stopping. It was pretty much a disaster.

Hour three was spent on a little piece called “What was it like?” that keeps asking questions about the past. Here’s an excerpt:

What was it like to be asked to go to the back of the bus because of the color of your skin? 

What was it like to have the Star of David embroidered on your sleeve? 

What was it like to see the paratroopers come – to watch them drift from the sky just so a girl who was different could go to school? 

What was it like? I wasn’t there. I didn’t experience it. But it was real. And it shaped our world.

A different person is speaking each of the lines while someone else is acting it out. Over top of it is a beautiful original piece of music written by Hui Min Tang which is wonderfully evocative, and really brings out meaning in the words and actions. While all of this is going on, two dancers will be doing an interpretive dance as well. It’s our final piece and should be quite meaningful if we can put it together.

Today it was horrible.

But by the end of the second hour, we made it through the three and a half minute piece, and while it was still cringe-worthy, we made it through the three and a half minute piece.

So the bottom line is this:

  • You have to start somewhere.
  • Messy comes before perfection.
  • Keep your eyes on the goal, not on the failure in front of you.
  • Learn and move forward.

Bad rehearsal always lead somewhere. And that place is a great performance.

 

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