I kept a journal in the early days of Tobit rehearsals. I wanted to record and remember my observations of a new experience. Writing and performing a musical is a different experience, and for me, one that still needs testing to be in alignment with the Called and Gifted process of discerning.
In blending together the gifts of writing and music, I adhere to the notion that good feelings alone aren’t indicators of a good path. In any performance medium, the artist is bound to get good strokes. This is true even in liturgical music. I try to keep positive comments in perspective not from a sense of false modesty. (Even my blogosphere foils discern me as “arrogant.”) Positive regard is nice, but it doesn’t further the grace of the Holy Spirit.
With four rehearsals this week, I was relieved to have last night off. The good thing (for me) about liturgical music is that there isn’t a repetition of twenty-three songs every night. When a piece returns after several weeks or months, it feels fresh to me. Not so the musical experience. I should know my own songs–I’ve been playing them enough the past two months. But Wednesday night was a first: starting song number 22 when the script called for number 3.
I have to learn a new way of playing and personal preparation for all this. Dress rehearsal is getting recorded tonight in video and sound. I’ll be nervous. Hopefully the cast will transcend their jitters and be really ready for Saturday and Sunday.