Today’s rehearsal was a rehearsal of firsts. It was our first rehearsal working towards our summer show: Little Shop of Horrors (a super awesome and super fun show you can still get involved in by becoming one of the MYL family!) Our first MYL dance off to settle the winner of every youth theatre groups’ favourite game yeehah or zip-zap-boing or whatever you want to call it. I wish someone had filmed it quite frankly. We’re not talking a funky chicken here or hand-jive there we’re talking full on cartwheels, handstands and splits. I swear to god that thing wouldn’t have looked out of place in Step Up 1, 2 or 3 (ok maybe not 3 – let’s not get ahead of ourselves). Side note: Just in case you think we’re a group that takes ourselves too seriously we also had a ‘moo-off’ and yes that is exactly what you think it is - but it wasn’t the first nor the last for that matter. It was also the first time we rehearsed on the other side of the room which is a big deal for the habitual creature that is the actor. For an actor ‘firsts’ can be as scary as they are exciting. We like to know where we are. We like it when we know a character inside out; we like it when we know what they would do, how they would feel without really having to think about it, because it’s just there in our psyche. We like to know our positions - heaven help the person who screws up the blocking by going to a place that they didn’t go to in the first rehearsal and unknowingly committed to for the rest of eternity! (When you join us just understand that where you sit in your first rehearsal you will more than likely sit in for every rehearsal after that… so choose wisely… FYI the space on the far left next to the piano is taken). First rehearsals for a new show can be particularly nerve wracking; there are a lot of complex emotions that go into that first. For a start one will inevitably compare it to previous shows. Will it be as good? Will it be better? Will I get a part? Do I even want a big part? What’s the feel of this show? How is it different to what I have done before? God is it too different? Maybe it’s not different enough? It can also be difficult coming out of a set of songs you feel totally comfortable in, ones you know exactly what you’re doing in and ones you know you can do well, and having to go in to something brand new, something that seems harder and that you will make mistakes in, something you have to find your feet with. At MYL we’ve been used to doing gritty, powerhouse shows like Les Mis and Sweeney Todd and thus it was a pretty big shift for us into Menken’s blackly comedic rock ‘n’ roll musical a style we duly named ‘dystopian Disney’. That said, what is great about MYL is that we all trust in each other’s ability. We know when we start a song that with hard work it will almost definitely be brilliant and we know that everyone around us will help us if we ask for it or look like we need it. This makes firsts a little less scary. It means that we are free to explore all the amazing things about them: New emotions to express, new journeys to map, new choreography to learn, new lines to get our teeth into, new people to discover. Most of all we know that in the end the best first is still to come – that feeling of elation that comes with the first time you step on that stage to present everything you have poured your heart into to an audience. So bring on the next week and all the firsts that life could possibly throw at us!