Woah! Sorry got a bit sidetracked. So many things. Going on at the moment and I just haven’t had time to write a blog post. This time I thought I would write about something pretty big that happened to me back in October. Thats a lie, someone gave me the idea. Thank you very much (you know who you are)!
This time last year I was in full swing of rehearsals for our school production. Each year there is a play/musical performed by pupils in our school. Last year it was senior schools turn well when I say that it was only first year who did it but all the same, we were still senior school. You are probably wondering what we performed by now aren’t you? Well we did a musical. A musical called Bugsy Malone.
So we were told in about November 2018 that in October 2019 our year group would be putting on the famous musical Bugsy Malone. It was a bit of a coincidence that only a couple of weeks before I had watched the movie for the first time. Obviously loads of people backed off and my friends at the time all thought it was very weird to perform to people. I was hesitant as it put it in my head that I might be considered weird but in the end I went to the workshop weeks and learned the audition songs and practiced the audition lines. All the people there, I noticed, were not people who I had hung out with before or really spoken to at all. It was a nice feeling just getting to know that those people had a similar love of performing as I did. At the end of those 3 weeks I took a sheet to learn over the Christmas holidays. I was by then very keen and whats more I really really really wanted a main part.
Over the holidays, I worked for about 15 mins a day practicing the lines and the songs. I watched scenes from the film over and over until they were word perfect and also watched dozens of New York Accent tutorials until I thought I was good enough. The accent was the hardest part for sure.
When it got the day of auditions, I was nervous but also excited. This was the first time these people (and teachers) will see me perform by myself. I just had to stand out and exaggerate everything and just go for it. You only live once I guess. I really struggled with the audition song I had to sing but I didn’t hold back and by the end I knew I hadn’t sounded great but I put everything into it. The same with the piece of script. I went with Rachel for that as it was a two person scene and we swapped parts so they could see both of us as the two different people.
They didn’t tell us for about a week who got the parts and even then it wasn’t face to face. The sheet was on the notice board up in the drama department and so when people came screaming down the stairs to me saying: “Martha! Martha! You and Rachel got Blousey! You got Blousey!” I had to go and see for myself. Blousey is the main girl in Bugsy Malone and I just couldn’t believe when I saw Rachel and I had got her. I had to keep my excitement in as I knew some people would be disappointed and no one likes to feel like that.
Rehearsals began and nearing summer it was going so smoothly and well. Then suddenly Rachel got a scholarship at a new school. Worst moment of last year. Not only my best friend gone from my classes but from sport, weekends and the production. I was on my own as Blousey as it was too late for anyone to step up.
Summer came and went quicker than I thought it would and I was almost off script when it came to our first rehearsal back in the new school year. Unfortunately not everyone had been learning their lines and before we knew it stress was kicking in when our teachers announced: “6 weeks of go! Everyone better be off script in two weeks!”
Rehearsals were bumpy over those next few weeks as we needed every detail to be remembered and taken in by all cast members. It was a sigh of relief when intensive rehearsals began and we all were out of class and no scripts were in hand. Costumes were tried on and my butterflies kicked in a week before hand. Sleep was not the main priority for me those days. The songs went round and round and round again in my head and it was all people could talk about. Tickets for the last night were already sold out and the other 3 nights only had around 5 tickets left each. Homework was ditched to the side and I just practiced and practiced my lines and songs, stressing about my high notes and the scenes I was less comfortable with.
All of a sudden it was the first night. Forget butterflies, more like elephants! I was smothered in makeup and my hair was curled. My microphone was fixed to my head and I had a lost minute panic when I thought I had lost my shoes. I couldn’t stand still. I couldn’t talk to anyone. I was shaking. Then the audience went quiet, the lights went up and the music began. Before I knew it we were at half time and everything had gone right. The last half flew by soon after that and soon everyone was going home saying to their parents: 1 down, 3 to go!
Then of course at PE the next day one of our main characters had to go and fracture his arm. And of course he didn’t have anyone double casting him. And of course he was too in pain to do that night with one arm. One of our Bugsys had to step up and do it for him and it was amazing how well he did to remember all his lines and song and moves. The second night was just as good as the first and was actually the night I think I sung the best.
All of a sudden it was the fourth and final night it was all coming to an end. Friday was my favourite night. Just so many good things happened that were not supposed to. Our Fat Sam split his trousers and arrived late on stage which made the audience laugh and we all used and excessive amount of splurge in the end scene. The night seemed endless in the moment but it was soon over. At the end I gave a vote of thanks which I made up on the spot as I forgot the one I had thought of earlier but it went so well.
I am honestly so happy I did Bugsy and no regrets about it at all. I hope I get the chance to do another performance later in school as if it is anything like Bugsy was then I’ll be very happy. I got to meet new people and learn about them and grow in confidence I guess too. If you want to go in for a performance, just do it. It isn’t weird or cringy as others might tell you all the way up until they watch it themselves. Even if they laugh the whole way through. You laugh with them as you literally have the best fun! Just think it won’t be on their CV and they don’t have memories from following everyone else. Just go for it that is what I did! Just do it!
Love Martha B X