November 14, 2010

All Singing. Not All Dancing.


There had better be nothing happening tomorrow.  Nothing, okay?  N o t h i n g. *   I want to hurtle hellhounds, drink too much tea, open the PEG II file and recognise what I find there**, talk to Merrilee***, write another blog entry and go to bed†.   I’m tired of the endless shiny excitements of recent days.††  I want predictable!  I want familiar!

            I’d managed to forget that I had my first proper rehearsal of the Octopus and the Chandelier today.  At least this time I checked my diary before I stretched out on the sofa with two hellhounds and six[teen] books.  But since service ring was late today for Remembrance Sunday††† the rest of my life ran late too.  I managed to stuff down about half my lunch before I ran off to rehearsal and was still about ten minutes late and . . .

            . . . um . . .

            . . . er . . .

            I’m telling myself it’s educational.  I wanted to broaden my musical horizons.  Well, broaden some frelling horizons or other.  I think possibly what I learnt today is that I’m not a musical kind of girl.  The problem with the back row of the chorus is that you sit around doing NOTHING an awful lot.  I’m not enormously talented at the sitting around and doing of nothing.‡  In fact it made me fairly nuts.  And no, this does not mean I’m trying out for a principal’s role next time.‡‡  I’m back row of the chorus because that’s where this voice belongs.  I suppose it might conceivably mean that when this is all over I’ll try a little harder to find that nice local chorus that can use a lacklustre mezzo‡‡‡.  Oh, where is the eleven-person choral group seeking a twelfth when you want them?

            And thank the gods§ that I went for ‘singing only’.  I hadn’t fully grasped the implications of ‘professional choreographer.’  I suppose I thought a professional was licensed to use a cattle prod on amateurs, and that the shepherding from one side of the stage to the other would be done smartish.  But—yeep—this woman has ideas.  I think she watched too much Busby Berkeley at an impressionable stage of her development.§§  But she had the principals and the poor beggars who signed up for dancing walloping across the floor like Fred and Ginger§§§ . . . on a bad day.  On a very very very bad day.  Yowzah.  If our fearless leader and her minions hadn’t been wandering around looking relaxed and interested and saying things like ‘oh, it’s always Krakatoa and sinking the Bismarck at this point’ I might be worried.  But . . . the cast have to learn all that and sing too?   I am too old to take on learning any more new skills.#   I can just about cope with two hellhound leads while shouting.  Choreographic grapevines, shunts and canons and singing are beyond me.  But I wouldn’t mind being in the blokes’ chorus.##


* Barring a film option offer of $1,000,000,000,000 for PEGASUS.  Hell, I’ll throw in PEG II for $1,000,000,000,000.  I wouldn’t mind if that happened tomorrow.^ 

^ Just so long as they promised not to make it.  But option money . . . fab.  Yes please.  I’ll finally get that new door for Third House. 

** I think that falls into the ‘prayer’ category rather than the ‘to do’ category 

*** We have a situation in which I want several people dead or at least permanently exiled to Betelgeuse.   Merrilee gets to talk me out of trying to accomplish this myself.^ 

^ Those hammering noises, as of someone building a rocketship in their back garden?  Whatever can you mean?  

† I might go bell ringing tomorrow night.  Ahem.  But that doesn’t really count.  Why doesn’t it really count?  Um.  Because I usually go bell ringing on Monday nights? 

†† Remember I’m old.  ‘Shiny’ and ‘excitement’ are relative.  I’m the woman who got excited by sparkly socks.  

††† But I’m still short of sleep 

Why didn’t I bring a book?  Very good question.  I asked myself that repeatedly over the course of the three hours.  But it had seemed sort of pathetic to schlep my entire knapsack—with book, and I never seem to be reading small slim paperbacks—to back row of the chorus rehearsal.  I had just put Pooka in a pocket and bolted.  At least there was Pooka.  Pooka and, what’s more, itty bitty earphones.  I got desperate enough I fired up Mobel and rang handbells with my thumbs for a while although the sound of other people singing and that frelling piano was very distracting.  


‡‡‡ There were two blokes and about twenty women.^  The woman sitting next to me started singing the men’s chorus parts too, so I joined her.  In the proper register, mind you, none of this octave-higher stuff.  We made rather good blokes. 

^ plus an enthusiastic rabble of small-to-medium children 

§ and muses, especially Euterpe 

§§ She’s also so young and perky I feel my inner Shub-Niggurath stirring. 


# My thumbs are sore.  And I’ve just bought Beltower.  Which is another frelling ringing ap.  This is all, all Tilda’s fault.  Okay, I admit I asked her to bring it with her, but she didn’t have to be so zealous about it.  The exciting^ new thing about Beltower is that it has little cartoon people pulling on its tower ropes.  Those of us ringers entirely lacking in talent tend to be over dependent on ropesight, which is to say looking around frantically to see the person you’re next supposed to follow (remember that your position in the row changes pretty much every stroke, so for every stroke you’re usually following a different bell too).  Ropesight includes watching people raise their hands to grab the rope.  Abel, the simulator programme I’ve got, just has the ropes twitching from hand to backstroke.  It’s one thing too many that isn’t like being in a bell tower, and I’ve never been able to use the wretched thing.^^  

            Friday night in honour of Tilda’s presence we went to the pub after practise.  Usually people with lives and other inessentials are members of the party and the conversation becomes general.  Not this time.  There were four of us—Tilda and I, and Niall and Edward—and we sat around Tilda’s laptop and geeked over Beltower.  I enjoyed it a lot.

^ There’s that word again 

^^ Mobel’s handbell division and I are, however, warily becoming closer acquainted.  I got through a plain course of bob major even with that piano racket this afternoon.

##  Especially if it meant I got to wear a tux or a dinner jacket in the show.  But I think I have learnt something useful: that I’m interested in singing.  That I’m not particularly interested in all the theatre part.^   

            Sigh.  I wonder if the Cherub has run off to Florida?

 ^ Unless they wanted to tackle Sweeney Todd.  Mmmmmm.  Mrs Lovett.  Mmmmmm.  Hey, a girl can dream.


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