The Three Belles Rehearsals – A Few Thoughts

I had a fascinating day yesterday.

If you don’t know, I’ve been working with The Three Belles, a vintage singing trio, to develop storylines for Sing Sing Sing! a stage show to be performed at The New Theatre Royal in Portsmouth on February 2nd, 2013.

I came back from the rehearsal yesterday in which The Belles, Joe Bishop, Chloe Seddon (the fourth Belle) and I started to work through the script, find the weakspots and bring out its strengths.

The Three Belles - fond memories...

The Three Belles – Sing Sing Sing

The whole process of script creation has been a revelation for me.  I’ve always been used to working alone, but the time pressure on creating the script meant that the Belles wrote many of the scenes to a storyline I initially developed.

I was out of my comfort zone when this way of working was suggested.  I thought: “Boy, how will we be able to control the story arcs?  How can we direct the nuances between the characters with four different minds on it?  How do we maintain consistency?”

Then Anneka rolled up her sleeves and started turning out her scenes.  It was a genuine surprise to me – how easy it was to work in this way.

Then Sally and Issie did the same with their scenes, and I learned loads about how they approach their creativity.  Each Belle has her strengths.

Anneka is smart and quick – with a clear idea about what she wants from a scene.  She also is good at thinking structurally, and so is aware of how a scene moves a story on.  She is a natural strategist, I think.

Sally has this comic knack and an ability to really make a scene live. I believe there’s a whole load more to come from that fast-moving brain.

Issie was very aware of what she wanted from her character, and since I had already written most of her scenes, she was extremely clear about where the weaknesses were in what I’d written for her, and gave me clear guidance about it.

And so, in about a week, we pulled a script together.

Yesterday was the first rehearsal.  It was really positive.  We all pitched in, giving suggestions on direction, staging and cuts, etc.

There was a moment in the rehearsal room when I saw a different life stretch away behind me. What, I wondered, would have happened had I gone to Uni and studied the arts instead of English Lit and Philosophy?

The answer came back loud and clear.  To be honest, it would have been a disaster. I was so immature at Uni. Now is the right time to be doing this.

I loved hearing what the Belles and Joe had to say about the script. It’s all  part of a creative journey. The thing is, I trust the Belles. No egoes.  We just get on with it.

My final reflection is this: I came away with a feeling I haven’t felt for a long time. Satisfaction. Real deep satisfaction at doing something I absolutely love.

Well, that’s it for now. I have a script to work on!

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