After my third week of school, I’ve finally had a chance to get on here and write a bit about what’s been happening! We passed our sophomore barriers and are now on track to go out into the world in less than two years! For those of you who haven’t read my posts before, my name is Steve, and I am now a junior BFA Musical Theatre major, with a minor in Dance.
As soon as I returned from my summerstock job at Timbers Dinner Theatre, I jumped straight into Chicago rehearsals, which opens in less than a month! The production will be huge, with grand technical elements, huge group numbers, and Fosse-inspired dancing. I will also start rehearsals for Dance Ensemble soon, in Angelika Summerton’s piece. Then, next semester, I will slip into Anthony Newley’s shoes and take on the role of Littlechap in “Stop the World – I Want to Get Off”. For those of you who are not familiar with the show, it is a more classic (and British) version of “Pippin”, where a performing troupe acts out the life of a major male character.
When it comes to classes and coursework, I am once again over 20 credits. This is pretty typical for BFA Musical Theatre majors, since there are so many required courses. Some of my classmates have taken on even heavier credit levels, while still maintaining their high GPA’s. Most of our friends outside the department don’t see us until the weekends because we are usually going straight through the day! Our days start with classes, then go straight to rehearsals with our accompanists to production rehearsals, never mind the fact that we have to practice for all our performance classes and voice lessons! It is an incredibly demanding major to choose, but to be honest, it is an extremely demanding profession. Many people choose the major because they had fun acting in high school, but then drop out of the major once they get to college because it was more work than they expected.
Although the workload is incredibly high, it is also pretty fantastic that we get to take classes that are just plain fun! One of my favorite classes is Unarmed Stage Combat. In case you’re wondering what that entails, it is exactly what it sounds like! We’re also taking Shakespeare, which I’ve always wanted to learn more about performing. It is definitely one of the holes in my training at this point. I’m also enrolled in three dance classes, Modern 2, Ballet 2, and Choreography 1. Not only is it required for my dance minor, but I strongly believe that it is important to take as many dance classes as physically possible if you are going into musical theatre. Just knowing how your body works is such a valuable asset. I’m also taking voice lessons (obviously) and a CCC-required course.
Added to the list of my responsibilities is that I accompany as a small job on the side. Every vocal major is required to have an accompanist at their lessons to perform for Recital-Seminars and juries. Its a nice addition, because piano skills are so important as a singer, and this helps keep my fingers agile and fresh.
That’s all I have for now, but my next post will get into more specifics about Chicago, classes, and my experiences here!