Sunday, September 6, 2009

Lousey Memory

Why is it I can't remember lyrics? I remember a time when I could and it doesn't seem I could have done all those musicals unless I could. I'm not sure if it's just an age thing, laziness, or the lack of desire to remember.

Years ago when I was doing musicals I had no choice but to lock the lyrics into my memory. Can you imagine singing a song and forgetting what it is your supposed to say. You can't fake it in front of an audience unless they're totally unfamiliar with the musical and even then, it's just a little difficult to get through West Side Story, for instance, by singing "I feel hmm hmmm, oh so hmm hmmm". Or even "I could have hmmmmmmed all night". Just wouldn't work. Someone would eventually catch on.

I do remember doing Chapter Two with a fever so high I was delirious. I had so many quick changes that each night I had two people back stage helping me change clothes. One of which was a guy. Of course, he wasn't in the least bit interested in seeing me in my underwear so I didn't mind but that night I ended up on stage with my buttons done wrong.

One scene in Chapter Two was a two way telephone conversation. I was on one side of the stage and the guy calling me was on the other side. As each of us would pick up the phone the others side of the stage would dim slightly. It was a series of calls so on the first call I picked up the phone and had a brief conversation, hung up and as I turned to walk away, the phone rang again. I turned back and answered as was scripted to do, everything normal there. I hung up, the phone rang again so I answered. As the dialog was written during this last call I was to say good-bye and hang up but because I was sick, I forgot to hang up. The poor guy on the other line kept saying things to get me to hang up, because he was stuck holding the line...I was totally oblivious and the light crew didn't know what the heck to do. I stood there in silence until I heard a rather strong whisper from back stage saying "hang up the phone", which I did rather promptly. I recall standing there wondering where the heck I was.

Somehow or another, it all worked out and I was able to get through the remainder of the show slightly sweaty but with full memory of where I should be and what I should say and got rave reviews. When I saw my leading man backstage after the show he looked as if he would like to kill me but instead he asked how I was doing. There were only four people in the cast and I managed to get the other 3 sick. None were as bad as I was but they would have liked to kill me anyway.

So if I managed to get through a show with high fever and a few crocked buttons, how on earth is it, I have trouble remembering my lines?

I know people who memorize lines for a show and 10 years later still recall total monologues. I do a show and 10 minutes after it closes I couldn't tell you one line much less a monologue.

I sing at church every Sunday and use music to get through the songs. Sad as it is, I still have trouble with lyrics. But why? I seriously do not understand. I'd blame it on my age but geez, I'm not that old, or am I? I try with everything in me to sing with all my heart and full understanding and really have a difficult time singing songs I don't like because it's too hard to express myself if I don't like the song.

There's got to be a trick to memorizing that I'm just missing. If you know what it is, let me know. I still think you can teach an old dog new tricks and I'm willing.

4 comments:

Leslie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Leslie said...

Don't feel so bad! Half the time, when I'm doing a massage, I can't remember what I did on the other leg. =)

Bunny Missbrenner said...

Don't ask me...Especially lately, I have been forgetting and I'm serious.
Major things like events and pick up times...ect. It sucks!

Debbie said...

My dear, dear Comadre, thank you for your beautiful, kind words on my whiney blog about "Modern America". I know you love me AND I APPRECIATE YOUR FRIENDSHIP so much. ... "I stand on gum" ...

LOVE YOU SO MUCH. You're calm strength has ALWAYS been something I have admired about you. I know I've never told you that, but it's true. You're a good, good friend and love me in spite of all my bizarre quirks and ideas. THANK YOU. GOD BLESS YOU ALWAYS.