“Sing It, Girl!”

I like being busy. I get uncomfortable and anxious sitting around doing nothing (though some of my time on my computer is spent writing, which is in fact doing something, much of it is spent looking at Facebook/Tumblr/YouTube, etc.) These last few days, save for yesterday, have been quite full of THINGS, which means that shockingly, I’m back to working all weekend already, starting tomorrow. Hooray, money!

This evening also found me at my workplace for my second one-on-one singing session. I was kind of nervous, partly just because of how my first one went, but also because I kind of slacked and could not, for the life of me, get down the words to Baby Love. I’ve been practicing it constantly over the last two days, but no matter what, the lyrics would not get in my head. Today as I was driving back from Curves, windows down, Diana Ross blaring, this other car pulled up next to me at the stop light. I didn’t take much notice until they honked their horn and the dad went, “Oh yeah, singin’ Baby Love!” He turned to his wife. “And she knows all the words, too, look at her! Sing it, girl!” They gave me a thumbs-up as the light turned green and I laughed the rest of the way home.

I decided to take the train/subway/walking way to work instead of driving; it was (and still is) ridiculously, disgustingly hot today, and I didn’t want to add the frustration of sitting in traffic to the gross weather. The train and the subway is air-conditioned, I figured, and the walk to the ship wouldn’t be too bad. All of these things were true, but as per usual, SEPTA (Philadelphia’s transportation system) was being its usual self. My appointment was at 6:30. I got on the 5:29 train. It takes half an hour to get into the city… when SEPTA actually does its job. Today was not one of those days. We jerked to a halt and sat there for at long time at every stop, sometimes even in between stops. By the time I got to my station, it was 6:15 and the subway wasn’t running as frequently as it generally does. I knew I’d never make it in time,

Thankfully, it wasn’t a big deal and as soon as I got on the ship, my manager asked me what I brought. I decided to be honest instead of trying to sing Baby Love and embarrassing myself: I told her I was only read to do Let’s Hear it For the Boy. As it turns out, she didn’t even have the backtrack to Baby Love, so I was off the hook anyway. Next time, I won’t procrastinate so badly.

We worked for about half an hour on the song, and it was equal parts fun and excruciating. I don’t know if my manager is always super nice or if it’s because we graduated from the same university (though we were never there at the same time), but she’s so awesome to me. She’s a performer herself, so she’s able to tell and/or show me exactly what she wants. I planned to go in and do the song so well that I wouldn’t need any notes, but the fact is that, despite being a performer, I find it awkward to be looked at. Especially in this circumstance where, yes, I’m performing, but I’m not any specific character- I’m Rachel, singing. So I wasn’t as exuberant or expressive as I could have been until she pushed me a little. However, my manager is very good at giving pointers without making you feel substandard, and the song itself is really fun. In the end, I was approved to sing, starting this week. Hooray!

The second part of my one-on-one was learning the send-off song, which includes a dance routine. Thankfully, this part was not actually one-on-one; another guy was there, and a second joined us a few minutes into the session. The song/dance is only about two minutes long, but there was a lot to learn. We have to harmonize and the dance routine, while not the hardest one I’ve ever learned, isn’t terribly easy, either. I can’t count how many times I thanked my lucky stars that I have a background in theatre/dance; having to learn routines quickly at auditions has conditioned me for this sort of thing. I don’t know how the people who come to this job without that background cope. I have to say, I know that most of my co-workers hate this routine, but learning it reminded me why I chose to do this as my day job; while yes, I’m a waitress, I’m also a performer, and this job gives me at least a small opportunity to do what I love to do. After about forty-five minutes, I knew the dance and the harmonies fairly well, and I’ll probably be thrown into it as early as tomorrow.

I think that, actually, the weirdest and hardest thing for me to get used to is using a mic. I’ve used a mic very, very rarely in my theatrical career, and I am proud of the fact that I have never needed one to be heard. However, it’s necessary for this job, so I’ve had to get used to using one. One of the things the manager and I worked on closely during my one-on-one was when to keep my mic close to me and when to pull it away; I’ve finally developed a fairly good mix belt, and eating the mic when I use it is not a good idea, so in addition to the regular blocking I was given, I had to apply sort of mic blocking. The nice thing about a mic, though, is it gives you something to do with at least one hand during the song; it makes everything a lot less awkward. I’m pretty excited to get to sing soon 🙂

Oh, and one last thing: I feel like some of you guys are probably thinking, “If this girl claims she’s an actress, where are the posts about all the auditions she should be going to?” I promise- I’ve been going. I’ve been on twelve auditions since I graduated. However, I am really superstitious when it comes to talking about auditions before I know the outcome; I firmly believe that speaking of them will lead to me not getting the part. So I don’t talk about them. But I’m going!

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