Tuesday, November 25, 2014

"It is the future that they bring when tomorrow comes!"

 Once upon a time, I played Eponine in Les Miserables.

 For three months, this show has been the most exciting part of my life. Really, this is one of the greatest things that's ever happened to me. It's not every day that a dream like this comes true. And that's what this has been-- a dream come true. It's always been a dream of mine to be in a musical, period. Then when I started to love Les Mis so much, I dreamed of one day being a part of it. But to play Eponine....!!!! That was the greatest part. I am so happy and so blessed and so absolutely thrilled that I've gotten the opportunity to do this, because it's what I've always wanted to do. Three months of rehearsals, twelve shows, and I had the time of my life. And now...

  It's all over. The end.

  I'm feeling pretty sad about it, of course. The word most people around me have been referring to the wrapping up of the show as is 'bittersweet', which I guess is fitting. There is a small part of me that feels relieved to have my evenings at home back, and more time to think and concentrate on other things (like, um, writing for one) instead of having the show on my mind ALL the time. But it sure is going to be hard to get back into a normal routine after all the excitement of the past few weeks. I've dreamed the dream and now it's over. I may never have the chance to be in Les Miserables again. I may never see some of the people I worked with again. *sniffle* And I will no longer be Eponine.

 But no, I'll always be Eponine. :-)

  This has been an experience that I will always remember. Forever and always. It hasn't been all fun and happy the whole way-- no sir. It's been work. I remember during the second month of rehearsals, there was a time when I wasn't feeling too good about the whole thing-- about my acting, and about being around so many people all the time. (I'm a very staunch introvert, and often people and I don't mix well.) My confidence in my singing ability even wavered slightly. (And people, that NEVER happens. When Emma starts doubting her singing, you know things are going down.) But that's all been part of the journey. It's definitely been a learning experience, as well as an oh-my-goodness-this-is-everything-I've-ever-wanted-now-I-can-die-in-peace sort of thing. The Lord has used this season of my life to teach me several things about myself, about how He works through us, and about other people and my relation to them. So no, it hasn't by any means been easy. But it's been worth it. Oh my goodness, has it been worth it.

  So now that it's all over, I am now going through the inevitable listless, dreary drudgery known as post-musical depression. Tough stuff, people. The best cure for that, I've found, is books, popcorn, laughter, and Dr. Quinn. ;-P

  Of course I can't describe just what a tremendous thing it was, much as I would like to. I don't have the words (nor the time) for that. But here's a glimpse of what being in Les Miserables was like for me.

The Eponines-- big and little (although here she's in her costume for the beggars)
  Being in Les Miserables was exciting. It's been one of the greatest adventures I've ever had, and I'm going to miss the excitement that went with performing a lead role in such a huge production. This is something I'd always wanted to do, and I had the time of my life.

Me and little Cosette
  Being in Les Mis was exhausting. Late night rehearsals, technical difficulties, being around so many people all the time....it took a lot out of me. And then when the show opened, we didn't get home until around 11 every night, which totally messed up my sleeping schedule as well as pretty much everything else. ;-P But it all culminated in one of the best experiences in my life, and so it was all worth it.

   Being in Les Mis was interesting. VERY interesting. If you know me well, you know that I like to observe people. I met so many unique and talented people, and became good friends with some of them. I may not be the most socially adept person, and it is true that people exhaust me (hey, I'm not gonna lie ;-P), but I certainly find them interesting. It's the writer in me. :-)

Gavroche photo-bombing our picture ;-P
    Being in Les Mis was hilarious. So many funny people doing and saying funny things, messed-up lyrics (not during the actual show, of course-- well, there were a few), mispronouncing names, on-stage pranks (that's a long story there :-)), humorous accidents-- we were almost always laughing, and laughter is just the greatest. :-)

Mary and Me :-)

    Being in Les Mis was amazing. Completely and utterly awesome. And I've come through it all with a newfound knowledge of musical theatre, the acting world, and with every single stinkin' line of the show memorized. No joke. It's pretty awesome, but it can get annoying when the music is running through your mind literally ALL the time and at night when you're trying to go to sleep and all you can think about is "Valjean, at last, we see each other plain....M'sieur le Mayor, you wear a different cha-ain..." :-)

   If you've never been in a musical before, you cannot possibly know the thrill of pure joy that occurs when you're standing on the barricade at the very end of the show, singing with the entire cast the words "It is the future that they bring when tomorrow comes!" , and the curtain lowers on you as the crowd erupts in cheering and applause. It was an entirely new sensation to me, and one that I hope I will get to experience again. I guess I've been bit by the theater bug, you could say. ;-P

  Then there's also that wonderful feeling of accomplishment when you come out to take your bow and the audience cheers wildly for you. Wow. Another something I will never forget.

Eponine taking her bow :-)

     Yes, I'm sad it's over. But all good things must come to an end, and the pain will subside in time. :-) Because after all, even the darkest night will end and the sun will rise. I know this is one experience I'll remember fondly, always.

    Big long post with lots more pictures from the show coming soon! :-)

And now, in the words of Jean Valjean: another story must begin.


  1. Oh my goodness! These pictures are awesome! You and little children, Emma, you look so natural with them. :-) I love Gavroche photo-bombing and little you and Cosette are so cute!

    SO sad for you and SO proud of you. How many times have I said that, you ask?

    GREAT post, dearest! You look completely awesome in the pictures!

  2. Hi Emma, you do not know me but I stumbled upon your blog as I was looking for reviews of Pride & Prejudice and I have to say your beautiful personality and writing skills really hooked me! I am now an avid reader of your posts and they always make me smile :-) I just want to say how trilled I am you enjoyed yourself in Les Mis! You look wonderful as Eponine and I wish you could post some videos so we could hear what you're singing is like!! All my best xxx

  3. Wow, that's sooooo amazing! It must have been a ton of fun. (-: Who put on this play?
    I've always wanted to be in a play, especially a musical. Do you have any tips for auditioning?

  4. Probably people have been saying "Well done" and "You're so lucky" all the time lately, but I'm just going to comment and say them as well. Because they're both true and they're practically all that was going round in my head while reading this. :D

  5. Congratulations on a lovely post and performance as Eponine Emma!

    Having been in the orchestral pit for a local production of Oklahoma for 5 months I certainly know what you mean about pranks, and laughter and inside jokes.

    Really they are quite fun, but it's really hard when you try to explain them to someone else because I find I just go into cackles of laughter and the story is never told.

    If you will permit me, I could tell a silly one here. Ok so, I'm in the orchestra on my viola (yes you probably knew that), it's opening night and we have these two pieces called "Pore Jud is DIAD" and "Lonely Room" and in the middle of them as sort of a interlude a gun with blanks is fired twice into the air.

    We had "GUN X 2" in our music in pencil so we knew it was coming.. however it was our first rehearsal in the proper venue and pit and everthing echos.. like really echos. Anyhow, up until this point we had used a pop gun. We being the two actors involved. Our cue was that after the second gun shot we had to start playing. Little did we know that the director had told the two actors to use the gun that fired blanks.... and we did not know just how loud or how terrifying it was going to be.

    You can probably guess what happened.. instead of a nice "pop" it was "BAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAANG" "BANG" (orchestra meant to start playing by now)

    Then muffed commotions banging and crashing and "Dum duh duh" we start playing as if nothing happend holding in our laughter as we did so. Then once the curtain went down for Act 1 and the audience went to intermission you hear this loud giggling and laughter from the orchestral pit's mikes which were still on.. ooops.

    Anyhow that was much longer than I actually intended and involved me cackling with laughter at my laptop, much to the horror of my family.
    Hope you enjoyed the experience and hpoefully you will do another musical like I am! :D

    Me, Myself and I

  6. Videos???? PLEASE post videos!!! I want to see!!!

  7. Beautifully worded, Emma Jane!! :) I'm so excited you were able to do it--and I know exactly what you're talking about regarding the adjustment.... All that feel of "Okay...what is my life purpose again???" Keep the popcorn and other good stand-by story fixes close at hand. :)

    And I can't wait for more pictures!

  8. Naomi,
    I know, me and little children! I showed the pictures to Molly and she was like, wow, that's something I've never seen before! Haha, most people don't know how strange it is to see me posing with children. I love all those kids-- I'm going to miss them so much. WAAAAAAHHHHH. (Okay, calm down, Emma.)
    And thank you again! I have lots more pictures that I'll post very soon. :-)

    I'm so very glad to make your acquaintance! Thank you so much for your sweet comment, and the lovely compliment. You have no idea how happy it makes me when people tell me they enjoy what I write!
    Oh dear, you read my P&P review?! *Emma bites her nails nervously* Um, practically everything in that review is shockingly out of date. I wrote it almost two years ago, when I first started blogging, and I myself don't even agree with most of what I wrote about the movie. But oh well, I'm glad to see you're not holding it against me! ;-P Hehe.
    Thank you for commenting! I'd love to hear more from you in the future.

    Yes, it was a ton of fun. :-) The musical was put on by our community college- they always do a musical every fall, but this is the first time I've been involved in one. The auditions were open to anyone, so a lot of the people in the cast weren't even college students (including me-- I was the youngest one). Hmmm, advice for auditioning? Well, I've only done it twice, both for this show, but the main thing I'd say is to just be confident. I'm still very new to it myself, so I guess I don't have many tips. ;-P

    Thank you! :-)

    Your story was hilarious! Thanks so much for sharing that with me. :-) Our orchestra was sequestered in another room (Sadie was playing in it) and the sound was piped into the theatre somehow, which everyone thought would be a disaster but it actually turned out alright. There were some pretty rough rehearsals, though. ;-P
    And thank you for your congratulations! Yes, I would love to do another musical in the future-- I've discovered it's something I really love to do. :-)

    I'm still not sure if I'll be able to post any videos-- there was a recording made of the show, but I don't know yet if I'll be able to get my hands on a copy, and if I do I'm not sure how to upload it. ;-P Yeah. But it is a possibility! I will try!

  9. Heidi,
    Thank you! :-) Yes, the adjustment is difficult. In the evening I find myself looking at the clock and thinking, "Oh, the show starts in an hour..." ;-P I've been making lots of popcorn and reading good books to console my sadness.
    More pictures coming soon!

  10. Congratulations again Emma!!
    Love all these photos. You're such a beautiful Eponine!
    I can't wait to see more pictures from the show...it looks so fantastic I just keep wanting more, haha. :)

  11. Bitten by the theater bug, indeed :-) I was in 3 Gilbert & Sullivan musicals in college, though only ever in the chorus, and I absolutely loved the whole process. Rehearsals, making scenery, costume fittings, learning to do stage makeup -- fascinating stuff. I'm a firm introvert too, and I hate calling attention to myself ordinarily. I get nervous leading a Sunday School class of 2- and 3-year-olds in a song. But if you stick me in a costume and let me have memorized lines to say/sing, I'm more than happy to stride out on a stage with a hundred people looking at me. Weird, huh?

    I'm glad you had such a great time in Les Mis, and that you took lots of pics! Always take lots of pics. I've never regretted having "too many photos" of an event, but I've often regretted not having enough.


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