Don't worry, I'm not asking you to change at all! In fact, you are just as wonderful as they come. I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change just so happens to be the title of the second longest running Off-Broadway musical, with music by Jimmy Roberts, book and lyrics by Joe Dipietro. It is also Emerald Coast Theatre Company's 5th Anniversary Season opener and the first musical they have produced on their Professional Mainstage! In a pattern of firsts, this is my first time working with ECTC and the first musical I've done since 2013. Needless to say, it's been an honor.
We are officially coming to the end of week three in the six week rehearsal and performance process for the show, as we prepare for our opening on Thursday, Sept. 14th. Having not performed in a musical in a number of years, the rehearsal process has been incredibly challenging at times, but more rewarding than anything. Most of my training at the University of Florida focused on acting and movement, although I was fortunate to take one introductory musical theatre class. In rehearsing my solo, "I Will Be Loved" I quickly discovered a fear in sharing that kind of intimate vocal vulnerability with people. Aka...singing alone on stage felt real scary. So much so, that it was hard to get the words out at times. After working with our music director, Mary Jeter, who's patience I am incredibly thankful for, I came to realize that I have all the vocal tools inside of me. The voice is there, actually an incredible range I wasn't even aware I had until I began working on this show. The only thing I needed to do was overcome the fear and make the song less about myself, focusing on the story and objectives of the character.
"Being brave isn't the absence of fear. Being brave is having that fear, but finding a way through it."
After a few weeks of working nonstop on technique, utilizing tools I gained from my program at UF, and building the life of this particular character...I can proudly say that I have managed to overcome that fear. Being surrounded by such a talented and encouraging ensemble like Marcellis Cutler, Brian Hilario, and Mckenzie Pollock surely helps as well. I now can't wait to share such a beautiful part of this character, so that audiences can take away something special from what she has to share and maybe even relate to her in a very personal way.
Though we've been working very hard, it hasn't been ALL work and no play. In fact, on August 25th, we performed an opening number teaser at Emerald Coast Theatre Company 5th Anniversary Membership Party! It was wonderful to meet so many sponsors, members, board members, volunteers, and patrons who go the extra mile to support the arts in their local community. Below are some photos of the cast and our incredible director, Nathanael Fisher. Nathanael is also the Producing Artistic Director of ECTC.
Trust me, you won't want to miss this incredible show! Presented in a series of vignettes, this romantic romp is connected by the central theme of the love and relationships we experience over the course of our lives. A musical comedy with everything you ever secretly thought about dating, romance, marriage, lovers, husbands, wives and in-laws, but were afraid to admit. The show runs about 120 minutes and is appropriate for ages 13 and up due to some mature themes and language.
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Runs from Sept. 14th-October 1st.
Show times and ticket information can be found at EmeraldCoastTheatre.org or by calling (850) 684-0323.