The Bodyguard Week 5 – At a moments notice
Straight into technical rehearsal and the time is ticking, we are teching the children as we go which means some scenes are repeated 4 times. A great way for us swings and covers to see the show and continue to lock in people’s tracks, as it’s hard to watch 7 people at one time.
Our leads are working day and night whether it be interviews, vocal calls with the band, costume fitting or notes sessions.
Tech again, things are slowing down as we work through act two and some parts of the show that are more technical. I’m conflicted between watching and taking myself away and working through lines and choreography, I’m feeling like I lack a bit of structure within myself.
We are now experiencing the feeling of being backstage then in a blink of an eye being on stage with 100% energy, this can sometimes be just tech week but in the style of this specific show it’s going to be the arc of the ensembles show. The challenge of warming up and being ready mid show after being back stage for a while. Staying warm and ‘in the show’ so that we meet the energy of the show that is going on stage at that moment.
Like most technical rehearsals I think we are slightly behind, we were due for a dress run today but we are continuing to work through the show as we haven’t finished yet. There’s a lot to get through and the company’s safety and understanding of the show is priority. Again I’m watching out front and staying motivated, which today is easy, as we get towards the end we see the end of the show coming together and the beautiful moments that are created. Again I’m so overwhelmed and happy to be a part of it all.
The finale (one of the biggest numbers) is almost finished and I make the mental note that this is the number that I am most hazy on and have little understanding of, some homework to be done here. There are pros and cons to being an on stage swing, personally I love being on stage it gives you a sense of the stage and keeps some stamina for dance numbers, but right now I need to look at the charts to see the bigger picture as I’m a little lost on this number.
Ok…so it’s notes a few fix ups and boom tonight we have an audience. It’s a charity dress run. So the audience are our first and it’s announced at the start of the show that as it’s a dress run, if something becomes unsafe we may call a show stop and fix the problem. Audiences love this in my opinion as they feel a part of it, which they are. We are all very nervous but excited to see how the show is received. And we are off, the audience is so supportive and we all automatically lift.
In the down times I continue to watch some backstage traffic as it’s one thing to learn the onstage traffic but there s a whole machine like show backstage of people changing wigs and costumes, set pieces being moved, times you can wander and times you can’t backstage, certain places that are safe to stand etc, now the audience are in and I can no longer be out the front I start to learn this traffic. As it’s the first time that we have run it backstage is all the hype as the crew are also learning the show it’s the first time they have run the show in sequence. And there it is our director calls a show stop, nothing serious just a costume change that also affected automation on the set, the audience erupt with applause as we set back, go again and then the show continues again, at the end of this number the audience went crazy. (As I look back on this I remember my flat mate, a non musical theatre performer, telling me when she was at her hairdressers the lady next to her was saying she was at this performance and she was telling her hairdresser about the show stop and how exciting it was and how great it was to be a part of the final dress run.)
We get through the show and another day. Great first run with all the bells and whistles.
Days are long, we are generally here in the theatre from 1-10.30pm with a break. Today’s schedule is production photos followed by a dress run with no audience, then our first preview. The dress run felt ok, I take today to just feel confident with my own swing track, remembering that we can get excited when everything all comes together, I try to keep my energy in the correct place and support the show as needed.
Time for first preview, again I’m nervous but excited, I’m always so amazed with the crew as we (the cast) have been rehearsing the show for weeks but they only have a few days to learn it and have only ran the show at this stage twice. Already they are so on it and it’s running super smooth. I feel so safe in the hands of this company. I mention to Heath Keating our DC – Dance Captain to let me know where he is keeping the bible as we are in show calls now. ‘The bible’ is a book with a copy of the plot sheets in sequence of everyone’s tracks that we can make reference too. Amy Campbell has been documenting the show during rehearsals to make sure it’s all correct for choreography and Chris Parker for blocking. It’s a massive job and they are both so awesome that during previews we have pretty much a complete bible!
The show is going well, then after Salsa one of the ladies has an injury flare up and I am advised I will finished her show. Here we go, the bitter sweet moment of seeing a beautiful, hard working woman in pain, but also having the chance to jump in a plot. I grab Heath Keating and we head straight up to the the room so I can very quickly go through the last of her act 2, of course it’s the ‘finale’, the one I made a mental note of looking at as it’s very busy, one of the ladies works with me as she is my opposite for spacing and I work out as much as I can to feel confident, either way in a few minutes I’m on stage in her track. I could vomit lol, just kidding but actually I’m nervous, understatement. Ok lezzgo. The show goes on, it finishes and that’s my job.
So the call happened and I am on for the remainder of the weekend. Which is a great opportunity for me, but also it gives time for our injured ensemble member to heal and be strong for opening next week. Today is a dress run with no audience with our alternate Rachel and tonight is our second preview.
Our alternate Rachel, Emily Williams, is amazing. An alternate is someone that is in the theatre (but not on stage) at all times and goes on alternatively for the leading role. Rachel is a huge sing and has 13 numbers in the show. Shows use alternates when the leading role is incredible demanding and is not uncommon.
We had alternates for both Glinda and Elpheba when I joined Wicked. Amy’s watched the run (Amy Campbell and Amy Thornton) and we spent some time going over notes and cleaning up the precision of some dance breaks. I’m so lucky to have these two generous ladies helping me and I feel ready for this evening.
Tonight’s run felt a lot better and I’m starting to enjoy it.
One show Sunday’s are heaven!! Again I’m focused and continuing to look over spacing and counts etc.
I really enjoyed today’s show and was connected to my partners and able to really perform. If there’s one thing swinging has taught me it’s to be prepared and do the work so that those few quick moments that you get on stage are as enjoyable as possible. It’s almost impossible for it to be perfect but if you don’t enjoy it…. why do it. We are lucky in his show that the numbers the ensemble are involved with are ‘feel good’ numbers so we can really ‘live.’
I’m very thankful to the cast for having my back and being able to get some stage time so early on.
Time for a day off and a cheat meal!!
Next week is Opening.
As you’re reading this you may be thinking, hang on hasn’t The Bodyguard Opened, indeed we have, however due to the nature of this job, it’s been a big week so I got a little distracted and behind in my blog.
Till next week, get lots of sleep and drink good coffee,
The Bodyguard opens at Sydney Lyric Theatre on April 21 before continuing to Brisbane and Melbourne. For more information and Tickets visit: thebodyguardmusical.com.au