Community Cast rehearsals for The Wiz

Uploaded by BirminghamRepTheatre on 01.06.2011

[Drum intro begins]
I'm the choreographer
And this is Susan who's the associate choreographer.
Associate choreographer.
And basically I create the steps and then forget them
and Susan remembers them and she translates them to the company
who are amazing.
Right, right. Figure it out. Great. Now...
[Soulful saxophone music]
At the moment we're on our fourth major dance routine.
Every week there's a little focus exercise
which Rae, the Associate Director will do.
Then I do a horrific, um, physical warm up.
Which I actually partake in, so it's not like...
Y'know, you do it, I'll watch.
I actually do it. We do it.
Then we do a vocal warm up.
And then we just say, y'know
this is the amount of work we have to achieve in a very small space of time.
And we do it. We demonstrate. They get it.
I mean they're all chosen because they can do it.
There was an audition process, they didn't just roll up.
We chose people who were capable of doing it.
Had stronger strengths in singing, dancing or acting, where
they all have to do the whole thing
because that's the musical theatre deal.
Laughing at the Scarecrow. Blah, blah, blah.
Scarecrow's in the tree. He's up there. Blah, blah, blah.
Let me down. Let me down. And then he starts to sing...
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8. Yes!
And 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8.
Okay, good.
I sort of...
It's bad really, because I slack at first.
I have it get it right in my head and then
I just sort of full pelt once I'm comfortable with it
because I'll forget all the harmony and whatnot.
So for me I concentrate on the singing,
then I concentrate on the dancing,
then I'll put the two together after.
'Cause if I lose a harmony that's it
you'll know about it with me!
With me, definitely try and keep the music.
I try and do the music separate to the dance routine.
What I've been doing this week
is doing my harmonies and my singing this day
and then my dancing that day
and then trying to get them together
because if I try and get them together at the same time
anxiety attack, I'll FREAK OUT!
We're easily confused aren't we?
I'll get it messed up.
So that's how I work.
I like to focus on one. Lock it.
Focus on the other. Lock it. And then...
Lock the two together.
Gel it. Kind of like copy and paste!
2... 3...
[Singing] Popacatapetl, Copper plated kettle.
Popacatapetl, Copper plated kettle.
[Marks out a harmony on the piano]
[Singing] Ooh! EE! Ooh! Ooh! EE! Ooh!
So for me to be able to do the dancing
and the acting which I also love
and the singing combined in one.
I dunno it's a fuel.
Like, every week I'm like, I can't wait for rehearsals I can't wait.
And even though I mess up sometimes and get frustrated with myself,
it really, really makes me feel so, so alive. So I'm passionate.
[Music plays]
We just make it fun and they get it.
And I have in my head created things that I think
will suit their bodies and their types, y'know?
I haven't gone crazy doing things that I know
they're not ever going to be able to do.
I've done things that will make sense to them, make sense to the audience
and that they'll enjoy doing.
And also organically as well, you know?
They learn the songs on a Friday and Paul will go away and say, okay...
Like, for example, He's The Wizard.
And they'll sing the words and they can feel the movement organically as well.
So it's opportunities like this...
and well done to The REP for saying okay, we're having a community cast.
It's a foot in the door for me and it's a credit on my CV.
So maybe I might be able to get into the profession
through a different way without having to go to drama school.
If I need to I will,
but it's a great opportunity and you learn so much, don't you?
You do.
You're part of it and you're working hard, but you...
I'm learning things and I'm thinking oh I'll take that with me,
I'll take that with me and I'll write that down.
[Motown music plays]