Holy Hot Mess (HHM) – The New Phenomenon

Friday’s run-through #1 of La Tragedie de Carmen left much to be desired. I forgot blocking that we touched long ago, and my mind was so preoccupied with where I was going and what to do next that lines of arias flew from my memory. Any sort of dancing I was attempting in an effort to recreate Carmen’s sex appeal would appear like nothing more than a maniacal flailing of arms. Score. Escamillo’s confidence was less than lustrous, bursting through the doors with a toss of cash to the crowd and a big giant “oooo…. crap, can we go over this blocking again?!”. Frasquita and Mercedes were silent downers for the day, shooting looks of panic across the stage at each other, trying to mime “what comes next, who does this scene change?”. All this led up to an ending where (spoiler alert!) Jose stabs Carmen fantastically! As I fall to my knees and look up pleading to Jose… what happens next… a stream of sweat from poor Jose’s face comes falling onto mine. Awesomely gross, and just what the rotten run through needed to come to a close.

We had a cartoonishly rotten run through.

So, was the run through set up to fail from the start? For Carmen, it sure was. Some of my first moves on stage include rolling my own cigarette with a paper and tobacco, in about a minute, and asking for a light (looking “cool” I might add). Have any of you tried to roll a real cigarette? Well, I should have asked my dad for lessons, because I looked far from cool, and wasn’t even close to finished with it when the time came to light it. Thankfully we have a real cigarette on hand in case we aren’t finished with our own in time. The problem is… I grabbed the cigarette from the wrong end and stupidly inhaled!!! I inhaled straight up, dry tobacco into my precious asthmatic opera singer lungs! What ever happened to “acting”? PRETEND to inhale, you doh-doh! I tried to continue being “cool” and keep going with the show- after all, it was a run through and the show must go on, but the lodged piece of tobacco just kept getting worse and worse and my breathing and singing was more than compromised. I am not kidding. I was coughing and unable to breath properly for the first half of the show, and that only got slightly better after stopping the rehearsal and asking if I could go drink some water and cough it out. Super. Oh, and did I mention this was my first time working with the maestro? *palm on forehead* What a way to introduce myself.

These Wiki-How pics could have been helpful prior to the run…

You might imagine that after leaving a pretty… awful… rehearsal, that I would be bummed and uninspired, right? Well, for me that is not the case, and if you were in my shoes I hope you’d see the glass half full, too. What I DO know from Friday’s rehearsal is that I can make it through the show, regardless of messing up some of the blocking or forgetting some of the words- and that was with a dang piece of tobacco stuck in my lungs! I may be a bit embarrassed about my sound and lack of charm while lighting a cigarette, but I know that there is time to make up for that in the rehearsals to come. I also know exactly where my weak points are in the show – lines I don’t have memorized as well as others, blocking where I am unsure, places where I rely on someone else too much, etc.

We had our second run through yesterday and it was significantly improved. I can happily announce that, yesterday, there were no tobacco incidents and I may be starting to look sort of “cool” while PRETENDING to make and light my cigarettes. #winning


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