Tuesday, 1 September 2015

Legally Blonde Experience

I am making a YouTube video about this but I thought I'd also do a blog post about it too! I've just finished performing as Margot in the musical Legally Blonde at The Liverpool Empire theatre. For those of you who don't know, The Empire is one of the most beautiful theatres I've ever seen and had the honour or performing at. That particular theatre has always had a special little place in my heart. I went to see Scrooge in 2004/2005 with my Mum and family and remember seeing kids on stage. It's so strange, I knew about theatres, musicals etc and loved them, but it had never occurred to me that children could be in the theatre too. So once I saw there were kids on stage I was like "wait, hold on, why is that not me?" so from that, I started performing! I auditioned for the production at the beginning of the year. With it being one of my favourite musicals and it being mostly workshop based to begin with, my preparation was easy! We sang parts of "Ohmigod, you guys!", which is the opening number with all of the Delta Nu girls singing. We also read through a script together. A few days later I had a principal callback in which we sang a little more and went through another scene. After two more (I think) auditions, I was given the part of Margot. I liked all her funny little bits she has throughout the musical and the fact I'd be able to act with a little dog really topped it off. Doesn't take much!

When rehearsals started, the cast were amazing and I met so many talented people. (I have a really bad habit of never remembering anyone in auditions, I'm SO bad with faces - oops!). Rehearsals went on for months but we're so much fun. There were so many songs, harmonies, scenes, dances, scenes with dogs etc to learn. It's a good job I already knew all the words, I am THE worst at picking up dances. Once I know them, I'm fine. It's before that point that I look like Mr Bean running around a rehearsal space. A few weeks before the show, a few of us were able to perform at Liverpool Pride. It was so rainy, we had to stand and sing in the rain, but that just made it more fun and nearly everyones hair went curly! Watch the video of the Liverpool Pride performance here!

As tech week rolled by all of the above had been pretty much perfected and a few of us finally got to meet the dogs! We had two little dogs - Breezer who played Bruiser and Lottie who played Paulettes dog, Rufus. Breezer had been in Legally Blonde for three years and worked with Sheridan Smith (Breezer is my new claim to fame) and Lottie had worked on 'Oliver!' recently, I'm sure I heard her trainer say. Learning the scenes with her was much harder than I would have expected. Nothing to do with the dogs misbehaving or anything like that, they were trained so well that YOU had to be so precise.
For those of you who don't know the musical, there is a cute little bit between Bruiser and Margot where he speaks to her on cue and jumps into her arms. That was so hard for me to do at first because I had to keep full eye contact with the dog, hold a candle with a treat in the holder to my chest with my left hand while performing "speak" and "stop" actions with my right. Then when I bent down I had to have my legs placed a certain way so the dogs jump wasn't being blocked and the candle in a certain position so Breezer didn't think I wanted her to jump right over my leg - could have been embarrassing! But after a few practices it went really well.
Through tech week we saw the set. It was absolutely amazing and so much more than what we were expecting! Tech week was SO tiring, we were doing so many rehearsals and lots of hours a day! I think we would have been more used to it if the rehearsal process hadn't been so long, but as we had ages our rehearsals were only about two and a half hours long until tech week. 

I was so out of the swing of being in a show as I had a three month break after Little Women in April this year. I was pretty healthy in how I ate so my energy didn't drop. That was until the rest of the cast went for a kfc before the dress rehearsal. I had a mixture of makeup, hair products and popcorn chicken all over my dressing table and it was one of the happiest moments of my life.

I used my own hair for the show, I've never appreciated wigs more! It was so hard to keep all of my hair and makeup going right as it would just drop instantly! I was literally running to my curlers and dressing table every time I had more than five minutes off stage! Eventually I found a makeup combination that stayed on quite well which I was so happy for!

As the show came around, we were all so excited. Our dressing room was two joining ones with most of the principal girls in so it was really fun before the show (when we wern't stressing!) just all sitting round getting ready together and getting really excited for the show. 

I had so many people who came to see me too including a few people who had never seen me in anything before so it was really nice! I got a lovely bunch of flowers and present from my boyfriend and a rose plant and card from my Mum and Dad, thank you!

Thank you to everyone who made Legally Blonde an amazing experience. I would 100% encourage anyone who is interested in the theatre to audition for anything you can, you'll most likely have such a fun time and the more experience you have, the better!

Snaps everyone and well done on the performances and the amazing reviews! Miss you already! 

Oh, did I mention Sheridan Smith followed a load of us too before the first show? Lovely lady. 

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