Context: My written element of my dissertation looked at the idea of a ‘Feminine Mystique’ oppressing the classic 1950s American housewife, confining her within a strict set of gender roles. My dissertation explored the idea that musicals written in the ‘Golden Age’ reinforced and encouraged the idea that women belonged in the home.
I am still in shock that I managed to pull this off.
After enjoying my physical theatre module so much in my second year of University, it ticked me off when I was told that my final performance had to be a recital of songs.
As a joint Musical Theatre AND Drama student, could I not merge both? The exact thing I am best at?
So there I was, proposing a ridiculous ‘one woman show’ idea to my supervisor, expecting her to pull a face and say ‘no’… but she said yes and loved the idea. Thats where the hard work began.
Initially, my theory was that I wouldn’t have to rely on anyone else if I decided to do my performance on my own. Chasing people is not something I enjoy doing.
This was completely and utterly the case, but it was the SCARIEST thing I have ever done. When it comes to a performance, having only yourself and your own abilities to rely on is A LOT OF PRESSURE. (Something which I definitely did not think about!)
When working on individual performances as part of a bigger project/production, it is rare you will attend a rehearsal completely on your own. In my case, I was booking my own rehearsal and spending 2-3 hours at a time just sat in an empty studio wondering WHY DIDN’T I JUST DO A RECITAL?!
The time came when my supervisor suggested throwing a duet into the mix and coincidentally I had just started writing about a duet between Ethel Merman and Frank Sinatra. (You’re The Top – Anything Goes). One person and one person ONLY came to mind… so I asked my friend Josh (he has a BOOM of a voice!)
Inspiration, as it does best, came randomly. Somehow, I managed to pull this little show of mine off! Josh, admittedly, had WAY more confidence in this whole thing than I did, and I think it was his final encouragements that made this a success! (Thank you Josh!)
In the end, I just wanted to have a good time with this piece and that is exactly what happened!