Directors are delicate creatures prone to falling over. Try to be kind by popping along to support them at rehearsals whenever you can ....

Directors are delicate creatures prone to falling over. Try to be kind by popping along to support them at rehearsals whenever you can ….

For no particular reason, (honest – my Maskerade cast are pretty damn good), I’ve recently been wondering why so many folk want to perform on stage, but don’t seem to appreciate that in order to do that well, (or even a bit well), you need to practise. I’m a bit pushy with cast when it comes to rehearsals (meaning I actually require them to be there), but even then there will always be one ….

ACTOR: If I don’t come to the rehearsal this week will I miss anything?
ME: Yes, you’ll miss the rehearsal
ACTOR: But is it important?
ME: If it wasn’t, I wouldn’t bother having it
ACTOR: (Slightly thwarted) Oh. So .. do I need to be there?
ME: (Withering look)

I can’t actually imagine a scenario where we all get to rehearsal and I announce “today we are going to rehearse all the pointless and unimportant parts of the play, feel free to leave before we start as I really don’t want to waste your time …” However, I suppose some people are just hopelessly optimistic.

I recently watched the last bit of a rehearsal for a show that was due to go on in 10 days or so. Most of the cast weren’t there. Nor was the (rather crucial) musician. I just can’t get my head round it. Where were they? Being in a play is a privilege. It’s a joyful commitment you make to create a performance with a whole load of other equally committed people that will be worthy of the ticket price and the audience’s attention. Why on earth wouldn’t you want to be the very best you can be? How can you bear to go on stage knowing that you haven’t given everything? So many rhetorical questions, so little time to bang your head against the nearest hard surface.

Well, it happens I know. A conundrum. Oddly, it also inspired me to write a limerick or three. There really is no reasonable explanation for that either. You may want to look away now …..

A lazy old actor called Fred
Preferred to rehearse from his bed
When it got to first night
An attack of stage fright
Drove everything out of his head

His lines were all over the place
His entrances quite a disgrace
He ‘died’ on stage
Three times every page
Of ‘character’ there wasn’t a trace

There are notions you need to dispel
If this rhyme is ringing a bell
It isn’t a curse
To need to rehearse
It’s the process that helps you excel!

Apologies. I’ll start writing a more useful blog post now!



Barbara lives in CMHQ - a virtual land of fantasy and creative wonderfulness where daydreaming is compulsory and much tea is consumed. Some people never come back, some get turned into frogs by witches.


Nonny James · October 7, 2013 at 10:01 am

As limericks go
These ain’t that bad
I’m really quite jealous
But only a tad!

On a serious note, these are such wise words, as ever, from you.

I remember my mother’s mantra “The only difference between an amateur production and a professional production should be that the pros get paid.


Barbara · October 7, 2013 at 10:11 am

I agree with your Mother! And now I come to think on it …. another mind-boggling line of reasoning actors use to excuse themselves from rehearsals is the one where they say “oh, don’t worry, I’ll be fine for the performance”. Oh, good…..
Favourite quote: “How do you keep an open mind without your brain falling out?”

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