Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The Funeral Sequence

Wow. I'm feeling really bummed right now, 'cause you know my best friend died and all. 
Well not really. In musical theater land only. 
Yes, tonight we did the funeral sequence, which is sad and depressing (if I'm doing it right, that is). It's raining, the boy I'm paired with is holding an umbrella over us, and then he and I, and Monteen and Iola, get to go to the grave side (really, the edge of the stage) and mourn her. Then we go all fundamentalist Christian (really) and have a little moment of self-righteous fury while Frankie sings about getting the man who killed Mary. Yup, we are ready to hang someone by the end. 
Throughout the number, I basically put myself in Essie's shoes. My best friend died--but she didn't just die, she was murdered, and she was murdered at the place where we worked. She was murdered while the rest of us were enjoying a holiday in the city. And I probably know the man who killed her! (because the suspects at this point are Newt Lee, the night watchman, and Leo, the boss.) She's only 13, and she's dead. I'm looking at her coffin being lowered into the ground. It's really, really pathetic. (In the original sense of the word)
But you have to be able to convey the emotion without actually doing it. I can't be sobbing on stage. Renee Fleming talked about this once, saying (I'm paraphrasing) that sobbing is not conducive to clear singing. She's totally right. So how do you convey it, using your voice and your body, but not actual tears? 
I am off tomorrow night, but on Thursday I'm back, and we're working the beginning of the trial--Frankie's testimony and "The Factory Girls/Come Up To My Office." Our big scene!

1 comment:

Lizzie Yoder said...

I think the real reason you're crying has more to do with the Inauguration. You know my thoughts! Any thoughts about what our secret language can be? :)