I got dropped during Monday night’s rehearsal. It was the first time we tried the lift, and I hit the ground quite hard. After some laughter and apologies and inspections of the areas which I knew would be blue in a few hours we carried on. These things happen in physical theatre. Nobody drops you on purpose.
That was until Thursday. The same cast member who dropped my physically then dropped the group by pulling out of the show.
I arrived bright and early on Friday morning for our rehearsal. I was slightly surprised to see a number of the younger students floating around the rehearsal space. When I walked in I wasn’t greeted with the familiar. “Have you heard the news?” one my cast members asked me. “X pulled out of the show” (I shall call him student X). My first calculated reaction was: “WHAT?!” Apparently it was the same reaction as our director. The next emotional reaction was “Why?”
The reasons for dropping out of a cast, unless you are dead, or strapped to a bed somewhere, usually do not matter much for those who are left behind in the cast. Three rehearsals down we had already done a lot of work, and to teach it to someone new, to get someone new up to speed with our warm-ups and work felt like a somewhat mammoth task.
The cogs in my head turned. That explained the presence of the other students, who I then realised were all boys. We were auditioning then and there, and putting the new straight into the rehearsal, whoever he may be. And we did. Today was rehearsal two with the new soul, and he is fitting in rather nicely as it seems. As difficult as it is to have someone drop you for a show I suppose it’s better that it happens sooner, rather than later. Instead of viewing the recapping and teaching of the work to our newest member I decided to take the opportunity to do something of the fine tuning of the choreography. Adding and fixing as we taught.
Sometimes these things happen. People drop you. And in our case it’s not just a paper that is handed in late, or merely getting a replacement with the same skills. In theatre you are an ensemble. You have to work as a team, and you have to knew that when you come out of that lift that your fellow actor will be there to catch you. And that isn’t easy. Especially after you fell the first time.
Sometimes better consequences come out of disasters, panic and in this case, replacements.