It's also no secret that this show, like any Sondheim musical, is a doozy musically and lyrically. I definitely feel challenged...something that excites me and terrifies me simultaneously. It excites me because I am a Virgo/achiever/leftbrained/go-getter who LOVES to get stuff done and cross off a sensible to do list. It terrifies me because I have a perfectionist/anxious/never-good-enough mind, and I put a lot of pressure on myself. In the words of the show though, I know that "I am not alone."
Being in this process brings to mind feelings from another show I was in a few years ago. I joke about it now (to hide the tears lol) but it was one of the worst and most humiliating weeks of my entire life. At the time, I got even more upset trying to find meaning behind what happened. The only solace I found was Mark Hardy telling me that "sometimes stuff just sucks." Yep, this life lesson has officially taken 3 years to fully comprehend.
You guys know this story so I won't spell it out for you. Let's just say that I put so much pressure on myself to perform this role (Beth March in "Little Women") that everything else became secondary. Aka - It took over my whole life and I completely stopped taking care of myself. I ate even less. I spent hours in practice rooms doing more beating myself up than actually singing. I cried at every vocal lesson. I was having a lot of trouble with my voice anyway, due to my restriction. There was a complete chunk of my range that was just gone. From about a C (above middle C) to F which is like...kind of necessary for musical theatre, especially roles that I am right for. I would try and only air would squeak out -- Beth March literally sits right in that range. I was absolutely terrified and panicked and was trying every Jamey Strawn trick in the book. But nothing was working. And then, I lost my voice. All of it.
I was unable to sing or speak and for the majority of the performances, Harli (who was playing Amy) sang my songs into a microphone off stage. Talk about embarrassing. It was the closest I've ever gotten to just throwing in the towel and screaming (figuratively, of course because I couldn't produce any sound) "I QUIT ACTING FOREVERRRRR!!"
Last night at rehearsal we worked on "I Know Things Now." Not only is the universe bonking me on the head with that title, but it's giving me nice little reminders that even though I am feeling anxious and worried and nervous about this challenging music, the answer is absolutely not to stop taking care of myself. That is actually the opposite of what I need to do! I know it seems like "duh, KT of course" but you would be surprised how right it feels at the time. We are all guilty of it! But I am here to tell you that taking care of yourself needs to be your NUMBER ONE PRIORITY. It's a lesson I learned the hard way.
But you know what? I know things now.