On evenings such as these I am reminded of how much I absolutely LOVE acting. Singing is in many ways for me just the icing on the cake. I get to throw myself into - right into - lives that are so different from mine, their bodies react differently, their faces take on independent expressions, their reactions often take me by surprise.
For much of this evening in rehearsal I had nothing to sing, I was behind the choir on stage and the focus was on them and on other characters. So I pretty much had carte blanche, and such freedom is always interesting. You find aspects of the role you wouldn't have dreamt existed, and little tics that clarify your inner workings better than you could ever have imagined rationally. Probably the same sort of process as allowing children to be bored, hence freeing their imaginations.
I'm also fascinated at the moment by the difference between the private face that an actor (including here actress in that term) chooses to show, and their energy on stage. Some people are naturally "on" all the time. Others, and I suspect I find this interesting because I feel I am in this group, reserve their most intense outward shows of emotion for the stage. I really don't think I have ever seen the difference so readily expressed as with my dear teacher and mentor; in private, reserved, naturally polite, disinclined to criticise; onstage, an imperious whirlwind whom no-one could possibly resist and to whom one's eyes are irresistibly drawn.
These thoughts, obviously, brought to you by a rather nice glass of Spätburgunder in the canteen after the evening rehearsal!