Yesterday I performed as Melchior in Spring Awakening. It was a thrilling day. A lot went right, and unfortunately...there were a lot of challenges along the way...
Friday, when performing a run through of our show, I noticed a very obnoxious twinge start to set into my throught. I tried to ignore it...but it soon became impossible to ignore. By the end of the run, I couldn't start coughing. I was sick. I had no idea how it happened or when it started...but it had happened.
I went out to dinner with the rest of the cast, trying to pretend there wasn't any problem at hand. I laughed and enjoyed my meal...but by the time the check had come I was starting to stress. I felt like crap. Simply put.
I went back to the theatre and was already starting to lose my voice. Now this was daunting to me. When I get sick, I don't typically lose my voice...I've sung through bronchitis and been relatively okay. This growing pain in my chest was sitting right on my chords. I called out of my first show (since I wasnt needed that night anyway) and decided to head home to get some rest.
I took some night time flu medication and passed out by 9 o'clock. Two hours later I woke up in quite a panic. The pain had gotten worse. There was a lot of pressure built up right underneath my larynx. I did everything I could to try to clear it up...but nothing was helping. I called my mother, very upset...this wasnt supposed to happen.
By the morning, my chords were unable to phonate past certain notes. I was so upset by the situation. I wanted my voice to be 100 % that day. It's always 100%. I had to be 100%...I was lucky if I was even going to get it to 20%.
I know a lot of the fans that came to see the show that day were wondering what was up. It was an interesting performance for me because I never thought I would have that challenge to face on top of everything else. ("Everything Else" meaning carrying the entire show!) I still don't think many people understood the extent of the problem I was facing...except for the people behind the scenes who knew my voice. The first performance was quite a struggle vocally...but I will say the challenge brought a lot out of me that I didn't expect. It made me focus in on the scenes and really make sure that everything else was indeed 100%.
I don't ever worry about my voice. This isn't meant to be an obnoxious statement...but I can always confidently trust that if the scene isn't there, the choreography screws up, or I drop a line...my voice will be there. "Left behind" is my favorite song to sing in the show because it sits so well in my voice...When it wasn't there at all during the matinee, I was, simply put, utterly heartbroken. I just couldn't believe laryngitis had hit me on the "big day."
I was precribed some basic things by a wonderful doctor who actually came to the theatre for the second performance and was able to get it back to about 25% vocal health. I just couldn't believe that I was faced with this challenge the day I went on. However...so many other things went right....
The cast was there for me and it was such a thrill to work with all of them. It was amazing to walk out on stage in that role. Even with the added challenge, something felt so natural about being in Melchior's shoes. It was such an honor to go on for Jonathan Groff (for whom I have nothing but respect) and it was such a thrll to play so much off of John Gallagher Jr. and Lea Michelle. There were a lot of fresh moments as well that surprised me and the rest of the cast. I was happy about so many moments in the show that it made the fact that my voice was so off a lot less heartbreaking.
So my voice was a wreck...Oh well. It's a rock show isn't it? haha. I was so honored to be up there, it was a success despite the heartbreak. That role lives so deepy inside of me, I have been yearning to play it since I first read the script. It was incredible to finally do the role. It was a thrill of a lifetime.
And now I have to say one more thing...I have to thank all of the fans who came to see me that day. The very idea that any of you made an effort to come was so beautiful to me. Some of you waited in the rush line overnight! That blows my mind! It's just so incredible. I WISH SO DEEPLY that I could have been in better health for you guys...but your support was perhaps the greatest part of the entire experience. After my first show, I was put on vocal rest by the stage manager and director and not allowed to talk...a good hour and a half must have passed and there was still so many of you waiting at the stage door. Despite my inability to talk, walking out there and greeting all of you was a moment I will never forget. I'll admit I'm a bit embarrassed at the prospect of bootleg recordings of my raspy-laryngitis-melchi but maybe I'll be able to laugh about after I go on next time...maybe ;). The gifts given to me, the words of encouragement...and the very fact that any of you came was just wonderful.
And as I have been informed, there will indeed be a next time...I will keep you all posted. I feel so blessed to be welcomed so fully into such a dedicated group of fans.
To all of my family and friends who came out to support me that day...Words cannot express how happy I was to see you all there. It was an honor to play to each and every one of you. Such a thrill!
Thank you to everyone for the support!