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Sing out Louise!

It’s not about hitting the right notes – not for me at least.
It’s about mouthing the lyrics convincingly.
I take a great risk in telling you all this.
When I’m on stage, I’m not really singing. I’m mouthing. And smiling. And nodding to the beat. And praying, praying, praying that nobody notices.

Not that choral director Traci Aderholt would mind. In fact, she’s kind of endorsed it. I don’t think the cast would mind either. But now, every one of you knows to look for my lip-syncing. Well, I plan on it being seamless, so there.

And besides, after seeing my costume, it’s so loud no one could hear me over it anyway.
Mere words, I assure you, cannot do it justice, but I’ll do my best.

Allow me to start off by saying it is a finely made dress and in another era, I’m sure it would have been the height of fashion — a couture tour de force. But on me, in the here and now, this dress turns into a punch line. It weighs eight pounds. It has a pattern that brings to mind a couch in your stuffy great aunt’s sitting parlor…you know, the one you weren’t allowed to sit on that was in the room with all the breakables.
It has these epic puffy shoulder caps that would dwarf Brian Urlacher’s shoulder pads. It has more lace and ruffles than my entire regular wardrobe.

The best part though is it’s not the only one. I’m not the only girl that will be wearing a dress straight out of bizarre-o-Little House on the Prairie world. And that’s a comfort.
And as the play approaches, comfort is in short supply.

The idea of being up on stage, in front of everyone, in costume is exhilarating…for about two minutes. Then I get the overwhelming sense that I’m going to trip on my skirt, tumble into the orchestra pit and break my fall with a cello player. I think that’s the definition for stage fright.

At any rate, it’s nice to know that even if I make a dent in a cello, my vocal inadequacies won’t make a dent in the production. There are some absolutely fantastic voices. Allison Cummings, who plays Aunt Eller ("An old lady. Like always," she will tell you) belts it out. And this isn’t choir, kids. She’s singing with personality.
And unlike me, she’s singing with sound.


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