What a rehearsal journey this was! This was my first musical theatre production in New York City and what a lovely first experience it was. From day one we jumped right into music, breaking down small sections of each ensemble song, vocal parts as well as choreography. Quite a lot of the songs had complicated harmonies and I was most certainly challenged by the amount of harmony singing that was required in Mame. The most tricky part was sticking to my own key. I was placed with the mezzos, stuck in the middle, under the sopranos and above the altos, made it hard not to gravitate to either side. But after diligent practice - trying hard to keep frustration at bay - I managed to get a hang of it.
This show gave me a good example of how a professional musical is structured and put to life. Working on small sections of songs and learning the choreography on those tracks in no particular order, definitely not in chronological order, was a little discombobulating in the beginning of the rehearsal period but it became a real joy once I saw the show develop as a whole, gradually seeing where all the piece were coming together.
Since Mame was my first experience as an ensemble member, it gave me a completely new perspective on my involvement in a show. From previous experiences, as a lead or starring character, I got to be part of the arc and storyline of a show and I had the artistic pleasure of having my character live through that arc and, hopefully, have it undergo a character development as a consequence. I noticed that being part of this ensemble I did not quite experience that arc so much since I portrayed multiple characters without their own developing story lines; on the other hand, I was able to completely dedicate myself to the music and choreography and therefore had the luxury to really indulge in thoroughly honing those skills.