I love theatre. I love singing, I love dancing (though I’m not very good at it) and I love acting which seems obvious, because I am a theatre arts teacher!
Well one thing you may not know, which doesn’t lend itself well to my love for theatre, I am terrible at memorizing.
There are pros and cons to having a bad memory.
Pro - if you want to tell me a secret, I’m the gal for you, I won’t tell a soul, because, well...I’ll probably forget.
But there seems to be far more cons to not remembering, especially in acting.
To memorize a script for me takes AGES. I’ve learned some techniques that help, but it still takes me a while!
There have been a few too many times in rehearsals, auditions, or in performances that I have forgotten lines, dance steps or where I’m going.
But one of the most embarrassing moments for having a brain fart, would have been when I was asked to sing the National Anthem at the Leduc Rodeo.
I think you can see where this is going.
I practiced and practiced. I listened to the anthem over and over. You’d think from singing it MY WHOLE LIFE, I’d be able to remember the song.
And then came the night. I was standing behind the scenes, with the kicking horses and bulls, by the burley cowboys, quaking in my own little cowboy boots (always dress for the occasion) they introduced me. I walked out to the middle of the dirt, humming my starting note to myself, I held the microphone up to my mouth, and began ‘O Canada, our home and native land, true patriot love, in all our sons command’…. (internal dialogue: “Wait, what’s the next part?! Crap I definitely forget the next part. Brain work! Work! Nope.”)
So, as I did not remember the next words of our NATION ANTHEM, really?! I quickly held out the microphone and gestured to the audience to sing along! And it worked! With the help of improvising, no one could tell I had forgotten the song, and I quickly joined back in as the audience reminded me, unknowingly, of the words.
The Rodeo since then has kindly asked me to sing again.
I have so far graciously declined.
But, my misstep didn't stop me from doing what I love, and I learned that knowing how to improvise doesn't hurt either.
Keep up the great work everyone, Miss Melissa