Saturday, July 15, 2006

Behind the Scenes

The actor struts his little hour,
Between the limelight and the band;
The public feel the actor's power,
Yet nothing do they understand
Of all the touches here and there
That make or mar the actor's part,
They never see, beneath the glare,
The artist striving after art.
To them it seems a labour slight
Where nought of study intervenes;
You see it in another light
When once you've been behind the scenes.

For though the actor at his best
Is, like a poet, born not made,
He still must study with a zest
And practise hard to learn his trade.
So, whether on the actor's form
The stately robes of Hamlet sit,
Or as Macbeth he rave and storm,
Or plays burlesque to please the pit,

'Tis each and all a work of art,
That constant care and practice means --
The actor who creates a part
Has done his work behind the scenes.

A B Banjo Paterson

Erin found this poem and I asked her if I could use it. Don't ask me how she did it, but Miss Erin talked both Brady and I into auditioning with her for the "Beauty and the Beast" musical currently being produced at a local community theatre. I've had fun singing in our church choir the last few years, so I thought, "Sure... I could handle singing a few songs in the chorus, if I'm cast."

Hah! My naivete became quite apparent at the first rehearsal. (All three of us were cast and do you think Miss Erin would let us "bow out?") As we started learning the songs I knew that this couldn't be compared to preparing and singing concert music. This is acting. No, the chorus isn't just a group that stands in the background and sings along with the principle actors. The chorus is a group of individual actors who have to know their character history and are as involved in the "conversation" of the scene as anyone who has "lines."

Yikes! More than once I've wondered why they cast me, a complete rookie, if they wanted to have a such a successful show.

In all the musicals I've enjoyed watching over the years...everyone made it look so easy and fun. Who'd have thought so much work was put into them?

Off to practice, practice, practice.


Traci said...

That is a really great poem! I'm so glad that Erin got you and Brady to audition...:)

Erin said...

Luv the poem. ;) Thanks so much for trying something new with me!!