Thursday, 29 September 2016

Sky’s Musical Corner – Backstage during CHESS

Being backstage of a show is always great fun and of course it also was this time.

It all started when we arrived at the theatre, time for make-up and warm-ups. We did our make-up at home, because we live so close to the theatre.

Everyone is getting ready, getting into their costumes and maybe eating something in between. After the warm-up and the sound check it’s soon time for the performance and of course it gets exciting at this point. We are gathered in the wings of the stage, ready to go on to the stage. This time we were able to wait on stage, because the curtains were in. And then there is the moment when the screen lifts and it all starts.

The moments when you’re actually not on stage or so much fun. Being backstage, hanging out with the cast is so funny. I remember a moment during sound of music, where we stood in the wings and actually had a bet going on how long Maria and Captain VonTrapp would kiss, so we always timed it on our phones. It’s moments like this that make the experience of being part of a production like this even more special.

Now, here are my favourite moments of CHESS backstage:

Goofing around on stage before the sound check, with Dani (our Freddy), Lilian (one of our dancers), Jennifer (we started together in the group), Dai (our Anatoly, my mum and some others. It’s the jokes about hair or about other thing that make you feel relaxed.

Being in the wings and backstage means getting to watch the show from there. I tried to see the show from every possible angle, there is so much to see. We sing as well, of course not loud, we just move our lips and over do the acting, I think I know all the songs by heart now. During the rocky songs it’s just great to dance backstage, we always have funny choreographies going on.

Getting changed in the dressing room is actually my least favourite part. First of all, there are too many people in the dressing room and having a microphone makes the changing a bit tricky. We still had some funny moments then. One evening we were talking about teaching and then one ask how many teachers there are in the room, it was actually more then half, we couldn’t stop laughing.

So I love hanging around in the wings or behind the stage, I even got myself some jobs of helping with costume changes. In that way nobody can say I’m not allowed backstage. Everyone seems to have their place behind the stage and it works.

When I’m not behind the stage, I’m in the kitchen right next to it, where there is coffee and food, especially cookies. Jennifer had to hide them, because they were gone so fast. It’s a great space to talk to people and find out more about them, we talk about anything and it’s great fun.

The sound check is funny, because people sing all kinds of songs, but some of them are just showing off, which is not fun. They think they are the best and they have to share it with everyone. The sound check is not a competition, really!

Being backstage also permits you to really listen to the singing and the orchestra, so you do realise every single mistake and just hope the audience doesn’t hear it.

We had video projects this time, you can’t see everything from the wings, but it’s still very impressive. We even found some mistakes on them. Saturday spelt like this: Sataurday.

In one song I’m the flower girl. I have to quickly throw over a scarf and get my flowers, they always get caught in my scarf somehow though. I swear that during every performance part of the flowers just landed on the floor or in caught in the scarf.

Watching the drunken Russians during Soviet Machine is the funniest thing ever! I always watching someone else every night and the way the act and sing was just hilarious!!!

I could go on here, but then we would be here for a really long time! Let me just say this: the backstage experience of a musical is full of surprises and fun. 

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