Monday, 10 January 2011

Currently full of the joys of... well, not spring exactly (that would be just a little optimistic, given the freezing fog which obscured most of the morning), but the passing of that phase of winter in which the paths are black ice and windchill means that walking at more than a snail's pace necessitates triple layers on all extremities.  In other words, I'm back on my bike, following an enforced hiatus due to freezing conditions.  Hooray!  I HATED waiting for buses late at night, in dark and miserable bus stops, having invariably miscalculated and missed the previous bus by a few minutes.  (In London I simply learned the bus timetables - say, at 3 minutes past the hour and 33 minutes past the hour, etc., and worked backwards; here, the transport authorities are more cunning, and they alter the timings according to whether it's a weekday, Saturday, Sunday, or past eight o'clock in the evening; just when I think I have it licked, I miss another blasted bus and have to stand and swear for a good long while.)

As a singer, I find that fifteen minutes' cycling in to the theatre is a great start to a warm-up, and is often enough on its own.  (Singers vary in their warm-up needs, from three seconds' nonchalant humming and then walking on to sing Tannhäuser, to over an hour of varied exercises before hitting the stage.  Personally, if I'm out there singing every day, I seldom need much in the way of vocal warm-up, but it's great to get my body moving, as it seems to kick-start the rest.)

It also means, hopefully, that the weather is pretty much bound to improve from now on, which can only be a Good Thing!

An unforgettable instance of audience participation in the performance of My Fair Lady a couple of nights ago.  During the scene in the foyer bar in which I am meant to natter gaily with whichever members of the public will helpfully stand still and allow this, before the dialogue resumes, I was accosted by a lady who accused me in all seriousness of stealing one of the glasses of champagne she'd ordered and paid for.  I was catapulted out of character into flabbergasted stuttering denial (as in, oh, not fair, I'm not even drinking real alcohol!!) and felt hugely awkward extricating myself from the situation upon hearing my cue to resume the dialogue.  Not helped ONE BIT by my dialogue partner, once we'd arrived at the designated table, bunging his elbows down so as to tilt the whole damned thing, sending everthing leaping into the air.  As I lunged for smoked salmon sandwiches with one hand, and a glass of "champagne" with the other, I was overcome with giggles, and had to take a huge gulp of air to smother the giggles long enough to utter the next sentence.  At such times, one is ACUTELY conscious of the video camera right in one's face, conveying every nuance to a fascinated audience...

As the photo says (it's a poster for an Italian circus performing in Germany, seen somewhere on my travels, which tickled my fancy):  All you need is laugh!

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