As our rehearsal process is coming to an end, I have taken time to reflect on the past six weeks to find gratitude in the growth. As much as I am ready to get out of Germany and finally start performing these shows on the ship, when I stop and reflect, I have found that one of the things I am most grateful for about my job is also one of my greatest challenges.
I have been in rehearsals for eight different shows during my time in Hamburg, and each show is a different style and performed on different stages. And to top it off, two of those shows are in German and French which left me feeling quite handicapped in the beginning of the process.
AIDA works on turning their Lead Vocalists into "Stars".
Coming from a Theatre background, I am used to performing different characters and taking on the character study and the story of the show.
It amazed me how exposed I felt just being Jackie Reynolds when performing the more challenging material.
Of course when you are acting you are bringing yourself to the character, but in this situation, I found more vulnerability in showcasing only myself as the "star".
Yes, I make artistic choices in each show to fit the style, but they have to show up as authentically mine. For example; in the rock show, my two solos are not songs that I would have chosen for myself vocally. They are not in my comfort zone, and I still have to make it work as Jackie, not as Jackie playing another character moving the story along. Feeling very exposed and vulnerable can be liberating and brilliant, but also creates a fear that keeps me comparing myself to the original style or someone else's performance.
This is when I have had to 'let go' and truly rely on how I naturally show up in the world. My "brand" if you will.
We all have a "brand" or a sense of purpose, a force, that represents who we are.
Some don't like the term "brand" but I like to think of it as your soul package. It is who you are. You in the world. You.
It is what you stand for, what sets you apart, it is a living thing - the net result of your behavior.
For me, I like to believe that my "brand" holds true to my positivity, openness, excitedness, with a driving force of compassion. Trusting that these qualities will show up in a performance will be easy if I let go of the fear and just remain transparent and sincere.
Transparency is sexy!
(Easier said than done, but I'm working on it!)
If I rely on an "image" or copying someone else's style to hold onto on stage, it is not stable.
But if I keep my sincerity, my performance will remain rock solid.
All I can say is, is you are the expert on you.
So keep on being yourself relentlessly. No apologies!
And study yourself.
When YOU consistently and genuinely show up, you build trust.
And if you are telling a true story, you can't be wrong.
We embark this weekend and I can't wait to keep sharing my adventures along the way!
I have a feeling this challenge is going to bring me a lot more fulfillment as a performer and a deeper knowledge of my person.
I plan on meeting this challenge head on as we open each show, and will remain accountable to the many lessons I will learn about myself along the way.
"You will always be too much of something for someone: too big, too loud, too soft, too edgy. If you round out your edges, you lose your edge."