Hello everybody… guess where I am right now? Yes, I’m home already, and Yes, that means I didn’t actually post anything for the last two weeks of my program. But don’t worry, the posts will still come. I have lots more to talk about, including:
- the musical I was in (that’s what this post is for)
- my trip to St. Petersburg
- wrapping up classes
- saying goodbye to literally everyone
…just be prepared to wait a little between posts.
So, the musical. As you may remember, I was talked into participating in a musical by my friend Ksenia, the director of USTU’s vocal studio. I say “talked into,” because I actually wasn’t as enthusiastic about saying “yes” to this project as I usually am. Because I am not an actress, and I am certainly no good substitute for Stevie Wonder.
Oh yes, that’s right, the musical was based on original translations of Stevie Wonder songs into Russian.
Rehearsals started in February, as Ksenia arranged vocals. 90% of rehearsals at this time were the background vocalists learning weird harmonies and trying to sing them tightly and together.
Then, at some point, we introduced acting to the mix. That went… interestingly.
As we drew near to the time of the show, everything got crazy. We realized just how unprepared we were, the director started to actually despair that Gerar and I would ever act like the besotten young couple we were supposed to be, and the musical director started to wonder if she shouldn’t have spent more time teaching us to sway our hips convincingly while singing backup. But, in the end, of course, everything went off just fine…
Fine enough, in fact, that the rector (who had been unavailable for the university’s first ever musical… something about a basketball tournament in St. Petersburg…) requested a repeat. And because he’s the rector, we complied.
I was gone in St. Petersburg for the whole week between the two performances, meaning I missed the rehearsals in between, but stress? What’s that? I was super chill about the second performance, and I enjoyed it a lot more than the first. This is partly because the temperature in the hall was about 70 degrees F as opposed to the 85 it had been during the first run (and if you’ve ever performed in a fleece Snuggie under stage lights in an 85 degree room, you know exactly how uncomfortable the first performance was).
I’ve attached here a few pictures of me from the second performance, but if you want to browse more, check this link.
We ended up getting good press, and overall, I’d say a success for the American in the far north, and an even bigger success for my costars who had actual classes/exams going on the whole time.
And, most importantly, I came out of it with a few more friends and a lot more memories.