Occasionally I like to take a project that is both community oriented and a bit outside of my comfort zone. I feel that this approach lets me do my part to support the arts while simultaneously pushing my abilities forward. So when I saw that a local junior theater troupe was seeking a guitarist for a production of the rock musical Godspell, I decided to throw my hat in the ring. I figured that since I had done some large ensemble work in the past I could muddle through easily enough.
Boy was I wrong. Musicals are a whole different animal than what I’m used to, for many reasons. The most obvious one, after the fact, was having to watch intently for the cues to begin a tune at precisely the correct moment, rather than just counting in on your own. Luckily for the band, we had a really great and experienced vocal director who helped us with cues and conducted us through the variable tempos.
Another pretty huge difference from my normal shows was just the variety of styles presented in the musical. Musical theater compositions are great opportunities to showcase anything from Cabaret type numbers to Jimi Hendrix inspired rock blues riffs, and sometimes the style changes can happen in an instant.
I won’t lie. This production was very, very challenging for me. However, the tenacity and talent of the performers really made it worthwhile. I am grateful to have been a part of the support system that allowed these young actors and musicians the opportunity to gain valuable stage experience.
I’m not sure I’m ever going to pursue any more theater gigs, but at least I have an idea of what is entailed in case another opportunity pops up. I can definitely say that this project really sharpened my musicianship, so I feel that both of my original objectives were nicely met.