“Wooh! Yay!” the crowd cheered. The applause echoed through the theatre as we were proudly bowing. It was all over, with a great success! Tears glistening in my eyes, three months of hard work, all paid off.
In September, I was cast in the role of Ms. Potts in Beauty and The Beast at the Liberty Junction Theatre Inc. after auditioning. It was an exciting role to the extent of the beautiful vocal pieces and warm-hearted character.
I walked into my first rehearsal with shivering and clammy palms, my blood pumping rapidly. I was afraid to present myself in front of anybody. As an amateur, I was clueless of where to go, what to do, and so forth. This increased my anxiety even more. I was shy before performing musical theatre, not enjoying the spotlight at all. Part of my fear was being judged by my castmates. However, as the rehearsals went on, I felt that I didn’t need to care about all that. I tried my best– not to impress anyone else, but myself. With that thought in mind, the butterflies in my stomach were gone, the nervousness naturally turned into confidence.
Mrs. Potts’s character is a challenging one for me. For one, she is a mother, and clearly I am not a mother. Her caressing voice and motherly smile was difficult to portray. Also, not to mention learning to speak in a Cockney accent, and bopping around like a teapot. I had to step out of my comfort zone, and experiment with these challenges. I learnt that acting extends to all parts of your body, not just voice. We had to use different movements to express the character’s emotions during a line or a song. Mrs. Potts’ prologue was the most frustrating part for me. I couldn’t get the tone, the speed, or any of the emotions right at first. I practiced over and over, but my voice still sounded monotone. Emily, a silly girl in our show, had much more experience than I had. She explained how to increase intensity in my voice, where to speed up and slow down. With her guidance, I was able to make changes that I never would’ve thought of.
It didn’t only take me to perform the show, but our whole cast. My castmates are all very talented musicians and actors. Aside from their excellent singing and acting, they were also able to save the day when something goes amiss! Their roles just flow naturally out of them, instead of some people who pretend to be their characters. I always have tons of fun with them and I don’t know what I would do without them. They have been able to support and help me through all of my problems and obstacles.
Beauty and Beast has been such a huge learning experience, and fun experience! It has shown me how much work is really put in to construct a successful show. Although it was quite tough being in a musical, I’m ready to do another play!