Cover Rehearsals

So I have now had two days of rehearsals here in New York City.  I’m a cover, which, for those of you not in the know, is basically an understudy.  What it means for rehearsals is that I sit behind the people who are singing, and listen.  I follow along in my score to make sure I know everything, but mostly I just sit.

So why am I so tired?  Man, but I feel completely exhausted!  I have gotten more sleep (albeit on a couch) than I usually do.  I have had zero children to watch all day.  My job is basically to sit in a chair all day and listen to awesome singers perform.  I should not be tired.

Maybe it’s all the walking.  I have a 25-30 minute walk to the theater every morning, and then the same walk back in the evening.  Anywhere I go, I walk.  Oh sure, I could take the subway, but I like walking, and besides, they haven’t paid me yet.  Subways are not free.  I’m happy to have the exercise, but it may be why I am so tired lately.

Or it could be the terror.  The horrifying fear that I will show up to a rehearsal and have to sing something.  “But Tenordad,” you say, “don’t you want to sing?  Don’t you love all music and hope every day to be able to sing something?”  No.  Of course not.  First of all, no one actually calls me Tenordad, so cut that out.  Second of all, singers do not like singing.  Singers like being paid, and they like staying up really late, and most of them like drinking.  There are not many career paths that offer all of this, along with the ability to sleep in really late, so singing seems to be the way to go.  Ok, I’m kidding about that last part.  They could also be bartenders.

No, of course I would love to be able to sing the role that I have been preparing for months, but there is that funny bit of fear as a cover.  We don’t get the same coachings and staging rehearsals that the principal singers do.  We have to listen to the directions, and internalize them, rather than being able to properly rehearse, over and over again.  We have to be as prepared to go on stage as anyone else, but with less help.  Every day you think “I hope they don’t ask me to sing,” at the same time as “Please let me sing!”  That’s stressful!  That can tire you out!  But actually, I think it’s just been the walking.

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  1. I wish I had to walk 30 minutes back and forth to work. I would lose the weight i gained this summer in no time. All I have to do is roll out of bed and open my eyes enough to open the front door while dressed in sweats and slippers. I hope the walkimg offsets all the sitting.

  2. Hope you get to sing. I know that you’ll be at ease on the stage, being the inveterate ham that you are! The walking sounds wonderful – probably offsets some of the stress.

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