One of my friends is getting ready to do her first cabaret / one woman show next week, and it's been delightful to share the growth process with her. We were talking about practicing the other day, and how some things get easier with practice - like how singing constantly and healthily strengthens the voice and expands possibilities. Sometimes you discover you can hit higher notes, etc.
It makes me think of that old joke: How do you get to Carnegie Hall? Practice, practice, practice.
I had a musical showcase last night, and I have a sketch comedy show next week, so I've been afforded quite a playground to practice in. It's interesting to note different strengths and weaknesses, how things that are easy require a different kind of practice from the things that are challenging. No matter what, it whets my appetite to put in the time to train and enjoy the process.
Bonnie Gillespie wrote a cool article, paralleling The Super Bowl to acting, doing everything you can to train and be at the top of your game, "showing up, suiting up, being ready, and staying in the game."
My teacher, Jen Curran, at The People's Improv Theatre (The PIT), has prepped our sketch group about being aware of what you can and cannot control as a performer, and practice is one of the things you can control.
The last thing I'll add about practice is to enjoy the process. Some of the material I've been working on has been made famous by phenomenal performers, and it could be tempting to be challenged by that. I was telling my brother it's like being afraid to play Hamlet because Laurence Olivier, Kenneth Branagh, or Sarah Bernhardt have played the role before.
It's been really exciting to find my voice, to discover different facets and explore it further.
Going boldly forth! :)