I was blessed to be cast in a wonderful role in my first professional musical show this summer. We began the six day a week rehearsals two days after the end of my freshman year at Baldwin Wallace, so I didn't get much of a breather, but it was an amazing experience that I wouldn't trade for anything. I got paid, not a lot, but that was nice too. I've performed in three to five ballet and musical theatre shows a year since I was 8 years old so it was nice to finally get a check at the end.
The show was "Smokey Joe's Café", a musical revue of songs by Leiber and Stoller from the 50s and 60s. There was a cast of nine actors/singers/dancers. It was at Cain Park’s Alma Theatre, an outdoor theatre in the city of Cleveland Heights. Scott Plate directed and Greg Daniels was the choreographer so it was awesome to get to work with my professors outside of school. Greg and I got much closer over the summer as he would spend late night rehearsals throwing me around and coming up with "kick your face" dance moves for me. This show was unlike anything I've done in the past as it is a musical revue, without a plot. This meant all of our heart and soul had to go into each number because they in themselves were the story. The cast of myself and only eight other people was a powerhouse group to say the least. My friend Malik brought down the house every night with his moves and smooth voice, and we girls got rave reviews for our rendition of WOMAN, quite an empowering number.
I learned so much from the older cast mates and we all kind of became this soulful sangin' family. We had audiences large and small but no matter the size they were brought back to the good ol' days and loved every minute. Our reviews were phenomenal as well. Though the drive to Cleveland Heights was kind of lengthy, it was worth it to get to be part of something so wonderful